Álvaro Lapa was born in Évora in 1939. He graduated in Philosophy from the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon. His adolescence was marked by his contact, in Évora, with the painter António Charrua and the writer Virgílio Ferreira, who awoke his interest in art and literature.
In 1956 he settled in Lisbon. He then enrolled in Law and, later, Philosophy, a degree he concluded in 1975. In 1961 he travelled to Paris, where he came into contact with painters close to surrealism and with North American artistic movements.
On his return he began to paint, encouraged by António Areal, creating works with a strong abstractionist and informal vocation. He exhibits individually for the first time in 1964 and moves to Lagos the following year. During this period he explores the use of "noble" materials and begins to structure his work in narrative series, in which he integrates a restricted set of symbols and shapes, also inserting the written word as an element of plastic composition.
In 1976 he became a lecturer in theoretical subjects at the Escola Superior de Belas-Artes do Porto and settled in that city. In the 1980s he met José-Augusto França, who advised him on his doctoral thesis on Surrealism in Portugal. Alongside his artistic production, Lapa devoted himself continuously to writing and was the author of numerous publications.
He was awarded several prizes, including the 3rd Prize of the 1st Lagos Art Salon (1970), the AICA prize (1987) and the EDP Grand Prize (2004).
Álvaro Lapa died on February 11th, 2006, in Oporto.
Source: National Museum of Contemporary Art, Chiado
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