I am not surprised by this idea, on the contrary … we are body and spirit; each physical incarnation has consequences on the lives of others, children, family, friends, future generations, through direct connections or through the work the legacy we have left behind. But I had never gave it serious thought.
In the case of artists, philosophers, writers this research can be done when there is a special interest or a renewed popularity in the work they have left. The great retrospective exhibition of the work of the Portuguese painter Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso at the Galeries Nationales of the Grand Palais in Paris, held between April 20 and July 18, 2016 provided me with this opportunity.
Biography of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso
- Amadeo Ferreira de Souza-Cardoso was born on November 14, 1887, in Manhufe, Amarante county, the son of a prominent landowner and Emília Cândida Ferreira Cardoso. His maternal uncle, Francisco José Lopes Ferreira Cardoso, has supported him since a very young age in his artistic vocation.
- In 1905 he left for Lisbon with the intention of following Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts where he successfully completed three courses on drawing.
- On the day he turned 19, he leaves for Paris in the company of Francis Smith. He attends preparation workshops for the School of Fine Arts competition with the aim of studying architecture, but shortly thereafter he gives up, dedicating himself entirely to painting while meeting with other artists in an environment of the creative vitality of prewar Paris. He did not have the financial difficulties of his comrades, so his atelier becomes a meeting point.
- In 1908 he met Lúcia Pecetto with whom he was to marry in the year 1914.
- In 1909 he attended the Viti Academy directed by the Spanish painter Anglada Camarasa and met the Italian painter Amadeo Modigliani with whom he exhibited two years later. He spends time with artists like Picabia, Juan Gris, Diego Rivera, Sónia and Robert Delaunay.
- In 1911 he exhibited six works at the XXVII Salon des Indépendants in Paris and the following year he exhibited again at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automme.
- In 1913 he participated in the Armory Show in New York with eight works. Three of these works are acquired by art critic Arthur Jerome Eddy who reproduces some of his works in the book “Cubists and Post-Impressionism”
- The approach of World War I prevents the realization of the London Salon where his works had been accepted. In the summer of 1914 he was in Barcelona with the architect Antoni Gaudi. Surprised by the outbreak of the War, he returns to Manhufe already married, dividing the time between the maternal house and the house in Espinho.
- In 1916 Amadeo publishes a selection of “12 Reproductions” and in Lisbon, and meets with José de Almada Negreiros and the Orpheu Magazine Group, a magazine that intends to publish in its third issue Amadeo’s works. It holds two exhibitions in Portugal, one in Porto that is received with hostility by the public and another in Lisbon which is accompanied by a text / manifesto by Almada Negreiros.
- In April 1917, a futuristic meeting was held at the Teatro da República, from which the idea of publishing the magazine “Portugal Futurista” emerged but the magazine was seized. It contained three works by Amadeo.
- In the year 1918 a skin disease prevents him from painting. On October 25, he died in Espinho, a victim of the Spanish Flue an epidemic that plagued Europe and America at the end of the war.
The work of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso
His life was very short, he died before his 31st birthday, and although his years in Portugal were marked by a great creative frenzy always hoping to exhibit again in Paris, the dissemination of his work was very limited. Portugal, a culturally backward country, does nothing to promote this great artist. 50 years after his death the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation buys some of Amadeo’s works and in 1983 with the inauguration in Lisbon of the Center of Modern Art of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, his works can be seen by the national public.
Until the great retrospective of 2016 in Paris, there were only half a dozen small exhibitions of his work in Portugal, Brussels and Madrid.
The exhibition at the Grand Palais
The Grand Palais in Paris was built to house the 1900 Universal Exposition being a set of impressive spaces where great exhibitions of painters such as Turner, Renoir and Picasso are held. The choice of location alone shows the value that the curators attributed to Amadeo. The catalog of the exhibition classifies it with these words: “Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso is a multifaceted artist whose work is at the crossroads of all artistic movements of the twentieth century. In addition to impressionist, fauvist, cubist and futurist influences, he refuses labels and creates an art that is his own, between tradition and modernity, between Portugal and Paris. Two hundred and fifty works by Amadeo and his close friends, Modigliani, Brancusi and the Delaunay couple are gathered in this exhibition, the first major retrospective dedicated to the Portuguese artist since 1958. ”
The reviews and the public are unanimous. They surrender to the genius of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso. On the website of the Grand Palais is the following description: “Probably there is not in the 20th century a great artist as surprisingly forgotten as Amadeo de Souza Cardoso. American art historian Robert Löscher described him in 2000 as “one of the best-kept secrets of modern art.” Taken by the Spanish flu epidemic at the age of thirty, leaving the Parisian avant-garde at the beginning of the war that he was one of the most original figures, Amadeo left the radar screens and kept his celebrity in his own country. However, he managed to leave an impressive work, simultaneously reflecting all the aesthetic revolutions of his time and unlike any other. If we look closely at the chronology of his coexistence with Modigliani and Brancusi, it is often Amadeo who stands out as an inventor of forms. “
With the birth certificate in hand it was easy to make Amadeo’s chart. At first glance, I did not find anything that would astrologically justify this explosion of an artist’s popularity that was such a “well-guarded” secret. Then I looked at the progressions. I made Amadeo’s chart for the opening day of the exhibition, and I almost had a shock because it was so obvious what was happening in terms of transit to the progressed Ascendant. Pluto was there to dig up that secret and reveal it. I often say that the Ascendant is our window to the world and in this case, we can say that Pluto has thrown it wide open.
Another case – Les Mis
I proceed to analyze the chart of Victor Hugo, well-known writer to the literary public, that is a very restricted public. With the musical production “Les Misérables”, based on his book with the same title, 70 million people in 44 countries now know Jean Valjean, Cosette and the context of the Republican Insurrection of 1832 in Paris, not counting the additional millions who can sing “I Dreamed a Dream”.
This production premiered in 1980 in Paris in French, yet the resounding success only came with the translation into English and the London West End debut on 8 October 1985 and then onto Broadway in New York. According to the website is the most popular musical of all time. It can be said that on this date Victor Hugo gained an odd visibility.
Astrologically speaking: in 1985 Pluto, the post powerful planet transited the natal Ascendant natal in Victor Hugo´s chart. As the French would say “Et voilá!”
I have noticed that for centuries this subject has made ink run. Brazilian astrologer Clélia Romano, an expert in medieval astrology, wrote an article based on a precept by Abu Mashar on this theme titled “Immortality of the Astrological chart,” and on page 5 of this article she states “The chart of the deceased acts as a mathematical construction, a construct, an “as if” and the astrological order remains valid “.
Indeed our chart remains alive, which holds us even more accountable for what we do every day of our lives!
(This article was originally published in Portuguese by Jornal 4 Estações no. 16, a publication of Aspas)