Franziska Schmidt . Berlin - Kunst Foto Historikerin, Germanistin
Biography René Bertholo
Biography René Bertholo
Born 1935 in Alhandra, Portugal, the painter, musician, publisher, inventor, René Bertholo studied at the António Arroio Decorative School (1947-51) and the School of Fine Arts in Losbon (1951-57). He started painting in 1953 and participated in the 7th General Exhibition of Plastic Arts at the invitation of Júlio Pomar. The following year he was included in the 1st Salon of Abstract Art by José-Augusto França.
From 1953 to 1955 Bertholo founded and edited with other colleagues the magazine „Ver“ („To See“) (1953-55) and was one of the animateurs of the Pórtico Gallery, together with Lourdes Castro, José Escada, Costa Pinheiro and Teresa de Sousa (1955-57).
In 1957 he went to Munich to exhibit with Lourdes Castro, Costa Pinheiro and Gonçalo Duarte. Following with a solo exhibition in 1958 at the Portico Gallery Bertholo moved to Paris where he published the magazine "KWY" and co-founded the "KWY.group," which included artists like Lourdes Castro, Jan Voss and Christo. 12 issues were published up to 1963. The „KWY“ group’s work were displayed between 1960-62 in Saarbrücken, Lisbon, Paris and Boulogne.
In 1959 he obtained a grant from the Gulbenkian Foundation. In 1960 he published „Livre Libre“ with original serigraphs" and produced in 1961 first drawings and monotypes of „accumulating images“. In 1963 he had a solo exhibition at the Galerie Dragon in Paris.
In 1964 „Il Faut ce qu’il Faut“, a book of original serigraphs including „Conciliabules“ were published by Bertholo and André Balthasar.
In 1966 Bertholo built his first moving objects, the „reduced models“ and produced small mechanical and electronically activated devices, imaginary cars, spaceships, boats, architectural sketches, sculptured objects, and male and female figures that colorfully populated his artistic two- and three- dimensional, multi-media, multi-stylistic artistic output.
In the mid-1960s, Bertholo's painting was influenced by Pop Art and Nouveau Realism. In 1972 as a result of his experiments in applying electronics to art, Bertholo received a one-year artist-in- residence grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst in Berlin. 1972 At the initiative oft he Centre National d’Art Contemporain, he painted a mural on a large wall (40x40 metres) in Paris.
Bertholo created in the 1970s a series of „sound machines“. 1981 he returned to Portugal and settled in the Algarve. The Serralves Museum organized a retrospective of this work in 2000.
Réne Bertholo died 2005 in Ribeiro do Alamo.
(quoted after: René Bertholo, Confusões, Galeria Fernando Santos, Porto, 2001)
© Estate of René Bertholo