Alberto Carneiro [en]

As árvores florescem em Huesca, 2006.

Bronze tree, Calatorao black stone and Ayerbe stone
500 x 700 x 700 cm
Chopera de Belsué

Curator: Javier Maderuelo
Technical development for the project: José Miguel Ferrando

Video 30″:


Alberto Carneiro CatalogueAlberto Carneiro, texts by Alberto Ruiz de Samaniego, Javier Maderuelo and Alberto Carneiro (Huesca: Centro de Arte y Naturaleza of the Fundación Beulas, 2006).



This Portuguese artist began his career in a workshop dedicated to the creation of religious images, where he worked from the age of 10 until he was 21 years old. He later studied sculpture at the Porto School of Fine Arts and at St Martin’s School of Art in London, where he was taught by Anthony Caro and Philip King. In Porto and London, he studied under a grant provided by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

He has combined his artistic career with teaching work at the University of Coimbra’s Círculo de Artes Plásticas, the Porto School of Fine Arts, and the University of Porto’s Faculty of Architecture. Carneiro has studied depth psychology, Zen, Tantra and Tao as a means of exploring the creative process and relationships between the mind, body and senses. He has also taught courses and given lectures on these subjects. Since 1963 his work has been featured regularly in exhibitions. He has participated in over 80 solo exhibitions in Portugal and abroad, and more than one hundred group exhibitions. His encounter in 1965 with Gaston Bachelard’s writings on the material imagination had a major impact on his ideas about the creative process.

In 1968 Carneiro won the National Award for Sculpture. A tireless traveller, he has explored the United States and a number of countries in Africa and Asia. In India, Nepal, China and Japan he observed and reflected on Hindu, Tantric, Zen and Taoist practices. He is particularly interested in the creation of mandalas and the ways in which nature is related to the configuration and meaning of gardens. These journeys will no doubt influence his work in coming years.

A wanderer in the lands of Huesca, Alberto Carneiro has explored the Pyrenees, the counties of Somontano and Olla de Huesca, the mountains and valleys, the forests and the deserts, to finally find the isolated spot, surrounded by an exceptional landscape, where he chose to place the centre of his cosmos, to construct his personal mandala, a work entitled Ás Árvores Florecem em Huesca (Trees Flower in Huesca).


[quote style=”first”](,,,) The territory in which Carneiro opted to install his mandala is the Belsué Valley, a place off the beaten track, characterised by richly expressive geological formations that offer countless textures, both mineral and vegetable, with myriad subtle shades of colour. The out-of-the-way site is set in a rugged landscape where over the course of millennia rocks have been gradually worn down by the cold, crystal-clear waters of a torrential stream.

The work engages with the place by virtue of its presence there and the new meaning it gives its surroundings, as it also engages with the bodies of those who penetrate in its interior. The blind stone walls do not form part of the structure of a house or agricultural building; instead they constitute a ‘poetic architecture’, a mandala, rising up to offer a powerful geometric structure without function, a structure that serves to enclose a metaphorical tree, the bronze sculpture partially visible within a large gnomon, a contemporary menhir.[/quote]

Javier Maderuelo. Alberto Carneiro. CDAN de la Fondation Beulas, 2006. pp 89-90.


[quote style=”first”]Nature sustains the work of Alberto Carneiro, which is better seen as the outcome of an interpretative life experience than as an argument or an attempt to address a particular subject. Since the beginning of his career, his various series and works have examined the ways in which nature imposes on any visual notion of landscape and finds a corporal connection with the human.[/quote]

Santiago B. Olmo. Alberto Carneiro. Centre Galicien d’Art Contemporain. 2001, p 118.






How to get to As árvores florescem em Huesca:

Coordinates: Latitude 42º 18’ 50,04’’ N. Longitude 0º 20’ 42,24’’ W



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