José Borges da Fonseca
Bernardo Pinto de Almeida
Mário Cesariny was the artist recognised by the 2002 EDP Foundation Art Grand Prize. A unanimous decision the jury found justified by "the greatness of his creative personality, particularly his unique journey as a visual artist."
A recognised poet with one of the most important voices in Portuguese surrealism and one of the Movement’s most controversial personalities and pens, his work in the visual arts, which accompanies and may even precede the most intense moments of his writing, has not been consensually understood, in its originality and innovation, by the historiography of Portuguese art.
The EDP Grand Prize 2002 exhibition took place at the Museu da Cidade in Lisbon, occupying spaces in the White Pavilion and Black Pavilion between December 2, 2004 and February 13, 2005. It was also presented at the Cupertino de Miranda Foundation, in Famalicão, between March 5, 2005 and April 30, 2005. In 2006, the EDP Foundation was invited to present part of this project at the Círculo de Bellas-Artes, in Madrid, between September 19 and November 19 of that year.
Born in Lisbon in 1923, Mário Cesariny met some of his future surrealist companions at the António Arroio High School. In 1947, Cesariny met André Breton and, in that same year, he founded the Portuguese Surrealist Group. Later, he would form another movement: The Surrealists. His first exhibitions took place in 1949. His visual art works include paintings, collages, “soprografias” and exquisite corpses. However, painting and poetry always came hand in hand with Cesariny: many of his works include cut-out words, combinations of text and image, as well as other experimental forms. His poetic and theoretical oeuvre includes many widely recognisable works.