Teresa Roza d'Oliveira, Untitled, 2006, Oil on canvas, 81 x 116 cm
Ed Cross is delighted to present ‘Sem Titulo’, the first ever exhibition of work by Teresa Roza d’Oliveira in London. Born in 1945 in Mozambique, d’Oliveira found herself excluded from the art scene of her contemporaries, due in part to her sexuality and gender (she was in a relationship with a woman for the last 30 years of her life).
Featuring work made between the 1970s and her death in 2019, Sem Título‘s recurring figures and tableaus testify to d’Oliveira’s inner conflict as well as her unmistakable vision — pseudo-biblical serpents and floods, couples in an Edenic garden, and winged creatures that could be angels or devils, abound.
Throughout, human bodies are heavily, almost ruefully present; inflected with some insidious incorrectness, the sense is one of punishment — by invisible forces that leave visible as well as psychic wounds, and by the artist’s own hand.
Born in Mozambique and living between Mozambique and Potugal, Teresa Roza d’Oliveira (1945 – 2019) is best known for the unexpected combination of colours and forms that make her pictorial world, inhabited by strange characters and anthropomorphic animals. A white, Luso-descendant artist, part of a generation of Mozambican artists which included Alberto Chissano, Malangatana Ngwenya and Ernesto Shikhani, d’Oliviera was an important activist for the independence of Mozambique and the end of the Portuguese dictatorship. Due in part to her personal life – d’Oliviera was in a relationshipwith a woman from 1990 until she died in 2019 – she has been written out of the history of an artistic and political scene in which she played a major role.
D’Oliveira participated in multiple solo and group exhibitions in several countries, including Mozambique, Angola, Portugal and Spain. Her artwork is represented in several museums, including the Pretoria Museum and Durban City Museum, South Africa, and the National Art Museum and the Chissano Museum House, Mozambique. D’Oliveira’s artistic estate was integrated into Perve Galeria’s collection in January 2022, and in March 2023, she was included in an important auction by Sotheby’s in London.