Born in 1947, Avelãs de Caminha, Portugal, lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Antonio Manuel da Silva Oliveira arrived in Brazil in 1953 and settled with his family in Rio de Janeiro. In the mid-1960s, he studied at the Art School of Brazil, with Augusto Rodrigues (1913-1993), and attended the studio of Ivan Serpa (1923-1973). At that time, he audited at the National School of Fine Arts (Enba). Initially, he used the newspaper and its matrix – the flan – as support for his works. Manuel changed the interference and invented news, in which he approaches political issues and aesthetic discussions. In 1968, at the exhibition Apocalipopótese, organized by Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980) and Rogério Duarte, he presents the Hot Urns – sealed wooden boxes that were supposed to be broken by the public. In 1970, Antonio Manuel proposes his own body as a work of art, at the Salão de Arte Moderna, held at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM / RJ). Subsequently, he produces several short films, such as Madness & Culture (1973) and Semi-Optics (1975). In the 1980s, he paints abstract-geometric works, in which he explored orthogonals and the suggestion of labyrinths. He presented in 1994, the first version of the installation titled Phantom, the work was later presented at the 24th Bienal de São Paulo, in 1998. The installation had dozens of pieces of coal hanging in an exhibition room next to a photograph of a witness of a crime who could no longer expose his identity. Manuel also exhibited the installation Succession of Facts at the Mercosur Biennial in Porto Alegre in 2003 and participated in the 29th São Paulo Bienal in 2010. Antonio Manuel has works in important Brazilian collections, such as MAM-RJ, MAM-SP and MAC-USP.
Using various forms of expression, the work of Antonio Manuel brings a character of restlessness and constant reflection on the Brazilian social and political context.