Batarda (Fernandes), Eduardo (Manuel)
- Ruth Rosengarten
(b Coimbra, 1943).
Portuguese painter and critic. After studying medicine at the University of Coimbra, he studied fine art (1963–8) in Lisbon. He spent three years (1971–4) on a scholarship at the Royal College of Art in London. On returning to Portugal, he worked as a critic for the weekly newspaper O sempre fixe.
In the 1970s Batarda’s early conceptual work gave way to a detailed, obsessive and cruelly playful figuration, often in watercolour, with a complex iconography drawing on literary, art-historical and popular sources. The social and political satire of these works has affinities with that in the watercolours of George Grosz and Otto Dix. Intricate images of invented mechanical objects, personages and animals fill up and float against a space at times structured by a geometrical grid. His later black and white paintings maintain the geometric grid and the obsessive quality of the earlier works but dispense with figuration....