Sintra - Iberia’s Arcadia on display at Galeria Côrte-Real in Paderne

Sintra – Iberia’s Arcadia on display at Galeria Côrte-Real in Paderne

On display at Galeria Côrte-Real in Paderne, an exhibition of unattainable beauty
Each painting is in tune with nature at the same time conveying an otherworldly quality that is not quite real. The series has been created by American artist Kevin Kadar during a visit to Portugal and Spain. The places all exist although in every case he has romanticised the atmosphere using a variety of unusual techniques.
Inspired by the landscape masters – painters such as Constable, Turner and Corot – Kadar had adopted many of their approaches. Theatrical lighting, intense weather phenomena and compelling composition take precedence over direct observation and literal documentation. As a consequence, his paintings have a timeless quality only found in dreams and imagination.
Close to Lisbon, the bucolic landscapes of the Serra de Sintra especially infatuate Kadar. In the 18th century Lord Byron compared this half-tamed wilderness to a ‘glorious Eden’ and, like the Young Romantic poets of that time, Kadar is attracted to pastoral scenes, flowing watercourses and dramatic skies.
Sea mists frequently seep into the hilly terrain giving the atmosphere an eerie sense of impermanence as places appear and disappear from view.
Following in the footsteps of Byron and Southey, the highpoint of Kadar’s journey around Iberia was the extended period of time he resided in Sintra’s magical village. Once the pastoral playground of Portuguese royalty, it is now a World Heritage site.
Looking at his surroundings through a haze of idealism, he was carried away by the sight of rich forests of pine, oak and fern, mossy glades, green vales and ethereal rivers. Such subjects lend themselves to be flattered and recreated by Kadar. It is hardly any wonder that his paintings portray Sintra as Arcadia, a version of paradise where – according to Greek mythology – the god of the forest lived alongside his dryads in a virgin wilderness.
Kadar is a Fine Arts graduate from Manhattan’s prestigious Cooper Union. After leaving New York, he moved to Portland, Oregon. Over the course of 25 years visits to Europe have been an important catalyst stimulating some of his finest studies.
During his most recent visit, he worked as Artist in Residence at Galeria Côrte-Real completing his paintings of Sintra and other more remote parts of northern Portugal.
He has produced compositions for Tacoma Art Museum, Willamette University Museum in Salem and the Oregon Historical Society.
Visit Côrte- Real’s new gallery located above the estate agents ‘Fine and Country,’ in the centre of Carvoeiro (Rua do Barranco).
The main gallery ‘Galeria Côrte-Real’ is signposted from Boliqueime, Ferreiras and Paderne. Open Thursday to Sunday, from 11am until 5pm.
912 737 762 |
By Carolyn Kain
Photo: Painting by Kevin Kadar at Galeria Côrte-Real