The paintings in Toledo’s 2017 solo exhibition, The Portuguese Collection, are a reflection of the artist’s exploration of her second home, Lisbon, where religious and public buildings don elaborate tile work and interiors are decorated with 17th century Pombal tiles. The works pay homage to a time where nature intertwined with architecture to create unique designs and a way of life.
Reflections on Islamic Splendour, our third solo exhibition in Dubai in 2012, is based around museum pieces from the region. Twelfth century incense burners and water holders from the era, along with the intricate Islamic embroideries of the eighteenth century, were Kate’s source of inspiration, becoming the new axis for her rich visual language.
Toledo’s second Dubai exhibition in 2010 shows the artist’s sensibilities as a collector, and her love of porcelain and its patterns. Inspired by twelfth century Persian ceramics, these paintings play powerfully with scale: what is minute on porcelain is given a different dimension on canvas.
Kate Toledo’s first Dubai exhibition. Upon moving to the Middle-East in 2006, Kate explored old souks and villages, becoming fascinated by the designs of old houses, ornate doors, mashrabiya windows and balconies. These images were the basis of 2009 Dubai exhibition ‘Stepping Back’. “I have combined my Brazilian palette with the architecture of the region and something really vibrant evolved. I am reminded of the richness of the culture and its history”.
Kate’s Brazil paintings, during her time there, were inspired by the richness of the Baroque art found in Brazilian churches and sacred spaces. Her Brazil paintings are heavily influenced by the colours and shapes of the Afro-Roman Catholic syncretism found in the Brazilian hinterland. It is easy to recognize in Kate’s work the influence of “festa do divino” images; rococo splendours in rich textures of gold; the royal and purple blue of the saints, mixing with the red and ochre of the figas and chicken blood from the African religion Candomblé.