23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

André Letria

André Letria was born in Lisbon in 1973. He studied painting at the Faculdade de Belas Artes de Lisboa. Since 1992, he has worked as an illustrator, mostly for children’s books and educational material for newspapers and magazines such as »O Independente«, »Journal de Letras«, »Livros«, »Visão«, and »Ícon«. He has also presented his work at various exhibitions such as the Bratislava Biennale, the Bologna Illustrators Exhibition, Sarmede, and Ilustrarte.

He has collaborated with his father, writer and dramatist José Jorge Letria, on a number of his projects. Their 2011 collaboration »Se Eu Fosse Um Livro« (Eng. »If I Were a Book«, 2014) was written as an homage to the book as a medium. In this work, Letria complemented the delicate texts by his father with playful, imaginative illustrations, in which a book is sometimes depicted as a ship, sometimes as a dragon and shows children the different aspects, possibilities, and qualities of a book. The work was translated into many languages and was an international bestseller. His 2010 book »Mar« (Eng. »Ocean: A Visual Miscellany«, 2018) was created from texts by Ricardo Henriques. The book is intended for children eight and up and is an introduction to the world of the oceans and seafaring; it explains nautical terms, tells astonishing facts and anecdotes, reveals the techniques of the sailor’s knot, and explains how to find one’s way with a compass and the help of the stars. Letria and his father presented their second joint work »A guerra« in 2018 (Eng. »War«, 2021). The text of the poetic picture book addresses how wars quietly arise from misguided ambition and hatred. Concise, and structurally identical sentence beginnings reflect the underlying causes of violence and war as well the horrors it carries with it. The visual aspects of the book are dominated by dark brown and gray monochrome. Letria’s illustrations use elements that are usually associated with war – tanks, fighter jets, bombs – but he also depicts a leader who destroys books, a cleared forest, and a leveled city. The work has received multiple awards, including the White Ravens 2018.

In addition to the above-mentioned awards, Letria has been honored with the Prémio Nacional de Ilustração (1999) and the Grande Prémio Gulbenkian (2004) in the Illustration category.  His books have been published not only in German-speaking countries but also in the USA, Brazil, Spain, and Italy. In addition to producing illustrations for books, Letria have developed animated films and designed stage sets for theater productions. In 2010, he founded the publishing house Pato Lógico, which mainly focuses on the publication of children’s books. In 2012, he was a jury member for the Digital Award at the children’s book fair in Bologna.