1993


Luís Pinto Coelho was born in Lisbon in 1942.
He studied painting and sculpture at the Escola Superior de Belas Artes of Lisbon from 1959 to 1961, and lives in Madrid since 1961.

He worked under the guidance of the painter Luís Garcia Ochoa.
He participated in over a hundred collective exhibitions and apart from paintings, an important part of his work was in other media, such as ceramics, mural painting, stage sets, graphic arts, photography, interior decoration and drawing.

As a portrait painter, had illustrious sitters such as King Charles I of Spain, the Gran Duke of Luxemburg, the President of Malawi, King Simeon of Bulgaria, Prince Albert of Monaco, among others.
The body of work of Luís Pinto Coelho was not confined to one genre or to one medium, for his art expressed itself in painting on canvas, tiles, three-dimensional objects, etc.

For Mário Graça, the whole of his oeuvre has the same sense of meaning, the same spirit, results from the meeting of two or three lines that constituted a strong vital lead common to all his vast and varied artistic production.

                          Fotografia de Luís Pinto Coelho

Luís Pinto Coelho, continues to be faithful to the main principles that governed his artistic development, with the presence of symbols, reminiscences and references to various facts that were part of the artist’s childhood and youth in Portugal, added to those that refer to his life in Spain.

The artist has always kept a critical vision, ironical, sometimes verging on caricature. This vision is punctuated by memories of his youth mingled with those of the society in which he lives. His artistic temperament is perfectly in tune with the world in which he lives, on which he casts an observing eye, with an irreverence and sometimes even maliciously innocent touch.
In the commissioned portraits, he endows the sitter with dignity, but he always manages to include surprising details, a humorous note.

His portraits are, nevertheless, faithful representations of the people portrayed, with their traits of character and features well conveyed by the artist. These paintings are often, not just the portrait of a gentleman, lady, or family, but often allegories, which depict intelligence, wisdom, beauty, harmony, power, vanity, ambition, triumph… Very theatrical, the artist uses his sitters as characters in a play, characters that are part of a society which the artist criticises or eulogises.

                        

His work has an accentuated symbolic slant. With great freedom, he can decompose the figure, or use various materials to express his intention, which can be very playful. Having lived twenty years in Portugal and over thirty in Spain, he has naturally incorporated in his unconscious the values of these two peninsular countries.
According to Mário Graça, this is an essentially Portuguese exhibition, as the artist now well into his middle age goes back to the themes of his natal birthplace. This is reflected in the simplicity of construction of some of his works, small theatres, horses and other themes which go back to his beginnings.

It is not surprising that, evoking his Portuguese childhood, he should come upon images of India and its Viceroys, a unique gallery of illustrious figures in Portugal’s history: Francisco de Almeida, Afonso de Albuquerque, João de Castro and many others. They are the symbols of honour, dignity and bravery that the artist wanted to dignify by depicting on horseback, a stance which traditional iconography did not attribute to them.