Paintings by artists such as Picasso, Warhol, Miró, Magritte, and Lichtenstein, along with photography, sculptures, and installations now cover 8000 square meters of Belem Cultural Center (CCB) that have been transformed into the Berardo Museum of Modern and Centemporary Art.
They were open to the public last night for the first time, in a festive atmosphere that included a fireworks show (see the picture above).
The layout of the exhibition space was well thought-out, divided into seven thematic sections: “Re-take” (photography), “The Power of Color,” “New Figures” (where Realism and Expressionism are exemplified through works by Francis Bacon and Paula Rego, among others), “Surrealism and Beyond” (works by René Magritte, Max Ernst, and Dali are the highlights), “Autonomy,” “Pop & Co.” (a popular favorite for the colorful works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein), and “Minimalisms”.
One of the works that drew the most attention was Picasso’s Femme dans un fauteuil (Métamorphose), incidentally the most valuable piece in the collection (worth 18 million euros according to Christie’s). Another favorite on inauguration day was Andy Warhol’s Ten Foot Flowers, this one also one of the most valuable and emblematic of the museum (worth 12 million euros), on display at the “Pop & Co.” section. Another unmistakably Warhol painting, Portrait of Judy Garland, stands next to it, and is yet another emblematic piece of the museum (see it at GoLisbon’s Berardo Museum page).
These are just a few examples of what those who enjoy art can expect at the Berardo Museum (that estimates 400,000 visitors a year – 12,000 were reported to have gone through the doors on this first day). It didn’t disappoint me, and I’ll surely be back. There are temporary exhibitions already in the works, and since the collection is so huge, not all of it can be displayed at the same time, forcing a continuous rotation of pieces, guaranteeing a return for those who enjoy modern and contemporary art.
The Berardo Museum is now a perfect complement to the Gulbenkian for those visiting Lisbon –- two world-class museums with private collections turned public, offering a historical perspective on the evolution of art from past to present. (For additional information see GoLisbon’s Berardo Museum page.)