Originally architect, José Pedro Croft is one of the chief exponents of the renewal of Portuguese sculpture. His career, both as a sculptor and as a draughtsman, has been characterized from its earliest stages by a painstaking constructive process that combines his formal universe with his personal world. In the artist's own words, “the interest of my work lies in its nuances and in the little differences, not in any attempt to pigeonhole it within a specific line of work.” In short, Croft's artistic project falls outside the path determined by schools and groups.
In connection with this notion, he has permanently worked on a series of “boxes”, related to his sculptures: very simple structures made of metal, glass and mirrors, in which he handles the concept of orthogonal construction that gets distorted or, as he likes to say, ‘dislocated’ by a reflection mechanism. Croft doesn’t care about geometry as stability an order but as tension. As well as in his sculptures, his engravings respond to a broken geometry, somehow frustrating, in which the boxes seem tipped over in a too narrow space and without clear coordinates.
His artworks are part of international collections such as the Centre Pompidou, the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian of Lisbon or the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid. In 2017 he represented Portugal in the 57th Venice Biennale
57th Venice Biennale (2017)
Curated by João Pinharanda, Croft, one of the most important sculptors of the 1980s generation in Portugal, presents ‘Uncertain Measure’ a group of monumental sculptures in the gardens that surround the elegant and eclectic nineteenth-century architectural complex of Villa Hériot, on the Venice waterfront.
Monumental steel frames (8 x 3 m to 6 x 1 m) spread out in the public space hold up coloured glass or mirror planes which, positioned at different angles, multiply the real by capturing both distant and immediate architectural planes and the atmospheric, vegetal and aquatic landscape.