Installation view of “Un Autre Livre Rouge
Since the 1950s, Lourdes Castro has dedicated herself to the creation of artist’s books, objects, drawings, prints, videos and performances based on her contact with elements from her daily life, especially landscapes and plants grown at her home-studio in Madeira, Portugal. Alongside this, her interest in methods of dematerialization of the art object led to her research on shadows, a central theme in her production. In the series Sombras à volta de um centro [Shadows Around a Center] (1980-1987), the artist places a vase with flowers over a sheet of paper, underneath a spotlight; the base of the vase is the center of the shadows that Castro carefully traces with crayons, colored pencils or China ink. This simple procedure leads to an herbarium of topographic traces, with colors that emphasize different areas in each piece. Another strategy adopted by the artist consists of collecting materials and creating a type of inventory around a topic of interest. Un Autre livre rouge [Another Red Book], started in 1973 in partnership with Manuel Zimbro, consists of gathered and catalogued objects extracted from different cultural contexts, united by the characteristic predominance of red. The result puts us in contact with the erratic movement of a color that is loaded with symbolism in the contemporary imaginary.