The Writer
Ana Hatherly in the FLAD Collection


27 mar - 20 jun 2021


The Writer

Ana Hatherly in the FLAD Collection

27 mar – 20 jun 2021


Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Center, in co-production with the Luso-American Foundation for Development (FLAD), presents the exhibition “A Escritor – Ana Hatherly in the FLAD Collection”. This is the first exhibition in the Azores dedicated to Ana Hatherly. The works presented belong to the Collection of the Luso-American Foundation for Development, which has an important nucleus of works by the artist.

João Mourão, Arquipélago’s director and curator of the exhibition writes: “Over 60 drawings are now on display, all of them small, the size of a postcard written at the kitchen table, or on one’s knee, and kept in a notebook. They give us a glimpse of an archaeology of writing, which leads us to the origins of signs and the legacies of Eastern calligraphy, which the artist copied diligently.  A free course Hatherly gave between 1978 and 1979 at Ar.Co, an independent art school, whose documentation we present, reveals this journey through history of art by means of the relationship between word and image, and leads us via geographies and languages which we identity in both the pictorial and poetic work of the artist.

” The Writer – Ana Hatherly in the FLAD Collection ” is open from March 27 to June 20, with a serious of activities around the exhibition promoted by the Mediation Service, such as workshop-visits and guided visits.


Biographical Note

Ana Hatherly was born in the city of Porto in the year 1929. A visual artist, writer, essayist and filmmaker, she studied German philology at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon and earned a PhD in Hispanic literature from the University of California, in Berkeley. She went to Germany to specialise in baroque music but soon had to abandon her musical career due to problems with her health.

Interested in all forms of communication, she began to develop her work in the fields of writing and drawing. She wrote her first book of poetry, Um Ritmo Perdido [A Lost Rhythm], in 1958, as an allusion to her unfulfilled musical career. It was the beginning of an extensive poetic work.

A member of the Grupo Experimentalista Português, Ana Hatherly was one of the theorists of this movement which began in the 1960s in Lisbon.

She left for London in 1971, motivated by the political situation in Portugal and the censorship directed at poetry – because ‘poetry demands freedom’. It was there that she began the technical course in cinema at the London Film School. She returned after the Carnation Revolution and settled permanently in Lisbon.

She dedicated herself to the investigation and promotion of Portuguese culture in the baroque period, publishing numerous studies on this theme. She began her academic career, in 1981, at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where she researched processes of writing and its deciphering, the variability of play in the construction of the sacred, and the mysteries of visibility. She founded the journal Claro-Escuro in 1988.

She participated in numerous exhibitions, most notably Alternativa Zero, in 1977, which marked the country’s awakening to the artistic avant-garde. Also significant was the large exhibition of her visual work produced in the period between 1960 and 1990, at the CAM, in 1992. In 2017, the Gulbenkian Museum and the Carmona and Costa Foundation revisited her work.

Writing and drawing follow a single path in her artistic production, in a discourse which moves between the visual values of writing and the visuality of language.

Ana Hatherly died on 5 August 2015, in Lisbon. She was 86 years old.

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