Critics’ Picks

View of “José Pedro Croft: Paisagem Interior” (Inner Landscape), 2007.

View of “José Pedro Croft: Paisagem Interior” (Inner Landscape), 2007.


José Pedro Croft

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum | Lisbon
Av. de Berna 45A
April 13–July 15, 2007

José Pedro Croft is one of the first living artists to exhibit at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which presents the collection of ancient, medieval, and nineteenth-century art—as well as antiques and jewels—built by the oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian. Invited to develop a project that would engage the works already on view, Croft created instead a set of new sculptures for the entrance hall that address the politics of the museum in general and the techniques of display in particular. Alluding to the architectural features of the galleries and the vitrines that populate them, the seven large-scale floor pieces (individually titled Sem título [Untitled], 2007) bring to mind the exhibition apparatus. However, by following Croft’s signature visual language—based on the examination of form and volume, the exploration of geometric patterns, and the use of materials such as steel, glass, and mirrors—the pieces also succeed beyond the commission’s framework. One of the bigger rectangular works, for example, encapsulates a smaller mirrored, diamond-shaped object that reflects its structural components and generates multiple perspectives that challenge the viewer’s bodily and intellectual perception. As in a sculpture garden, the elegant works brought together by Croft under the poetic title of the show—“Paisagem Interior” (Inner Landscape)—live, therefore, within the beholder’s eye, calling one’s attention to their aesthetic significance.