Posts About 'Art'

Joana Vasconcelos, Portugal’s Top Contemporary Artist in Lisbon’s Berardo Museum

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Joana Vasconcelos, Lisbon

Lisbon’s Berardo Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art inaugurates a special exhibition today called “Sem Rede” (“Netless”) presenting the work of Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. She’s recognized as Portugal’s top contemporary artist, having one of her pieces recently sold for half a million euros at a Christie’s auction. That piece was called “Marilyn,” a couple of stilettos (pictured above) made of stainless steel pots and pans. The artist is known for her large pieces made of unusual materials, with an especially famous creation being a large chandelier completely made of tampons (it hung for some time in Lisbon’s Lux club).
The current exhibition can be seen until May 18, and is free along with all the other exhibits (temporary and permanent) of the museum. There are around forty of Vasconcelos’ works, including large-scale sculptures placed at the entrance and outside the building. Much of the artist’s work is said to question identity (gender, class, or ethnicity), and has a particular focus on the female condition, social issues, and Portuguese culture.

Lisbon, “the Most Gracefully Decorated City on Earth”

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

An article published in the travel section of the American Pittsburgh Post-Gazette goes through Lisbon’s museums and finds that together with the city’s “romantic views, grand public squares, and tiled walkways,” the Portuguese capital “is the most gracefully decorated city on Earth.”
The writer starts at the city’s most famous art collection, that of the Gulbenkian Museum, and also explores the Orient Museum and the Tile Museum which “speak to the city’s soul.” Then it’s time to go to the district of Belém for a visit to the Electricity Museum, and of course the irresistible pastries which the author found that “like the city’s charming museums, they left a taste of Lisbon’s grace and warmth.”
You can read the entire article here: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Travel

Lisbon’s “African Soul” Exhibition

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Lisbon was the first European city to create trade and cultural ties with Africa and Asia, bringing the art and culture of different civilizations to the Old Continent. To see how the European (and specifically the Portuguese) culture influenced Asian art and vice versa, you may visit Lisbon’s Orient Museum, but for African art and culture, there isn’t yet any one museum or cultural center for that in the city (it’s in the planning stages). This means that those curious about the art and culture of Africa in Lisbon will want to know that there is currently a great opportunity to feel the “African Soul” in a special exhibition until February 7, 2010.
The “Alma Africana” (“African Soul”) exhibition can be seen in Páteo da Galé, a space in Comercio Square accessed through the arches next to the city’s main tourism office. It’s open every day except on Mondays from 11AM to 7PM and offers free entries on Sundays and Wednesdays.
The art on display belongs to the Berardo Collection, and are pieces that are not part of the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. There are more than 1000 of them in total, divided into archaeological, ethnographic, and modern art displays, with some of the pieces dating back to the 3rd century and from different places such as Niger, Angola, and Zimbabwe. Among the statues, masks, musical instruments, and jewelry, interesting objects include crucifixes showing the Catholic Portuguese influence, as well as readapted versions of chairs given by the Portuguese explorers to local tribal chiefs.

5 Things You Must Do in Lisbon this October

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

September is almost over, so it’s time to look forward to another month. October in Lisbon will be filled with special events and activities, and there are five that you should strongly consider doing:


See Lisbon from the perspective of its famous explorers — from the water. October is your last chance to go on the Tagus sightseeing tour until next April, so get your camera ready and go from the Age of Discovery monuments in the Belém district all the way to the futuristic Parque das Nações. You’ll admire Lisbon’s skyline, see its monuments from a different perspective, and gain a new appreciation for the city’s setting and atmosphere. Book it here: Tagus River Sightseeing Cruise

It takes place in the city every October, and this year it will be from the 15th to the 25th. It presents the world’s best documentaries from the past year, and there will be several awards, including Best Feature Documentary.

You have until the 8th of November to experience one of Lisbon’s biggest cultural events that only happens every two years. Check out the special exhibitions of the Experimenta Design biennial, focusing on design, architecture, and contemporary culture.

We told you about it last June, so it’s time to remind you that Lisbon’s most important exhibition of the year is being shown right now in the Ancient Art Museum until the 11th of October. It’s called “Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries,” organized by the Smithsonian Institution and previously shown in Washington DC and Brussels. A few priceless national works have been added to Lisbon’s exhibition and it’s a fascinating but often forgotten story showing how Portugal started globalization with its trade and cultural ties with the East.

As already posted here yesterday, the Chiado Museum is showing a special exhibition of modern Portuguese art which includes works from Portugal’s most prominent artists. That’s until the 31st of October and be sure to take advantage of the free Sunday mornings.

Lisbon’s Chiado Contemporary Art Museum Now and in the Future

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Lisbon's Chiado Museum - The National Museum of Contemporary ArtIt has just been announced that Lisbon’s Chiado Museum (officially the National Museum of Contemporary Art) will be expanding to a building currently occupied by a local police force. In the past, that same building was a convent and has been seen as the future annex of the Chiado Museum over the last decade. At the moment, the Contemporary Art Museum is housed in part of the former convent building, after a beautiful renovation by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte in 1994. It has around 4500 pieces of Portuguese art from the past century, but they’re not all displayed at the same time due to lack of space. Instead, the museum presents temporary thematic exhibitions of the permanent collection, but hopefully with this planned expansion it will be able to show all of its works together with special temporary exhibitions and educational services.
But as it is, this museum is already very much worth of a visit by admirers of contemporary art, and in particular by those curious about Portuguese artists. Now even more so, with its current exhibition “Modern Portuguese Art: From Amadeo to Paula Rego.” It’s being shown until the 31st of October, and if you go on a Sunday morning before 2PM, it’s free. It presents works from the first half of the 20th century in the cultural and political context of the time, as well as important works by Portuguese artists heavily influenced by the art of Paris, as was the case of Amadeo Souza Cardoso and Vieira da Silva. From more recent times there are pieces by Joaquim Rodrigo and Paula Rego, this last artist now with her own museum in Cascais, as recently reported here on GoLisbon.

Lisbon’s Street Art Gallery

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

The graffiti you see on the photos below are not acts of vandalism (well, with the exception of that on the funicular). The graffiti on five large panels down Calçada da Gloria which descends the hill from Bairro Alto to Restauradores Square is all legal, and are works of street art that make up Lisbon’s Street Art Gallery. They’re creations of local graffiti artists and change from time to time to new colorful and often amusing images. The first works were created last October and this outdoor “gallery” will remain on display until the end of 2010.

Lisbon Street Art Gallery

Lisbon Street Art Gallery

Lisbon Street Art Gallery

Experimenta Design – Lisbon’s Design Biennial 2009

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Experimenta Design, Lisbon

Lisbon’s biggest event this fall is its design biennial, Experimenta Design. It’s been taking place in the city since 1999 and was expanded to Amsterdam in 2008, focusing on design, architecture, and creativity. The event has a different theme for every edition, and this year it’s called “It’s About Time.” It starts on the 9th of this month and will continue until the 8th of November, with special exhibitions around the city looking at time as material, resource and challenge. Some of the venues include the Orient Museum, the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Camões Theater in Parque das Nações. You may get the complete information about the event and find out how, where and when you can check out the exhibitions and conferences at the official website:

A First Look at the New Paula Rego Museum

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Museu Paula Rego, Cascais was the first website to bring you a report from the opening of the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and also brought you regular updates about the Design and Fashion Museum until its recent opening in Lisbon. Now we’re bringing you a first look at the upcoming Paula Rego Museum, located just outside the Portuguese capital by the beaches of Cascais. It will open next month and will include paintings and drawings by Portugal’s most acclaimed living artist.

Paula Rego was born in Lisbon but has been living between Cascais and London since the 1970s. In the British capital she married artist Victor Willing and was appointed the first associate artist of England’s National Gallery. She’s also considered one of the best living painters in Britain, and her works can be seen in several museums around the world, from the British Museum in London to the MoMA in New York. Her most valuable work is 1994’s “Baying” which was sold by Sotheby’s last February for over one million dollars (just over 740,000 euros).

Her work has been described as “disturbing” and “surrealist,” usually depicting what are considered feminist ideas and comments on Portuguese culture and society. In Lisbon, you can see a couple of examples at the Berardo Museum and at the Modern Art Centre of the Gulbenkian Foundation, as well as in the Chiado Museum‘s current exhibition “Modern Art in Portugal – From Amadeo to Paula Rego.” In the past, there have been retrospective exhibitions of her work in Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum, Porto‘s Serralves Museum, and at the Tate Britain.

Now there will be a permanent home for much of her art, with the upcoming museum housed in a brand-new building designed by the renowned architect Eduardo Souto Moura. It features two conical towers that bring to mind the famous gigantic chimneys of Sintra‘s National Palace, while inside it will show a total of 121 works by the artist. The 750 square meters of space will also include an area for temporary exhibitions, a cafeteria, a bookshop, and an auditorium.

Remade in Portugal: An Exhibition Of Environmentally-Friendly Art in Lisbon

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Remade in PortugalDesign pieces using recycled materials make up a special (and free!) exhibition in Lisbon called “Remade in Portugal.” It takes place in the temporary exhibition space of the Electricity Museum until September 12, and is meant to show how art can be environmentally friendly. The first edition was in 2007, and this year’s show will feature works by some of Portugal’s top contemporary artists and fashion designers. More than just show creative pieces, the exhibition promotes the idea of rethinking materials and reminds visitors to be more environmentally-conscious. Just outside the exhibition area is a shop selling those very original pieces that are helping to create a healthier and more attractive world.

Thursdays – The Best Day to Be in Lisbon This Summer

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Berardo Museum, Lisbon

Today is Thursday, and that is the best day of the week to be in Lisbon this summer. Sundays and Mondays are the worst, as you’ll find that (as is the case elsewhere in Europe) most of the shops and restaurants close on Sunday, and monuments, museums, and all other restaurants close on Monday. So when planning a trip to Lisbon, be sure to avoid those two days of the week, or know how to plan your itinerary carefully so that you can choose alternatives that actually remain open.
Thursday is the best day to enjoy the city because that’s when many museums stay open until midnight (until September 24), and offer a 50% discount on admission after 6PM. That’s also when they’ll host a number of activities from live music concerts to theater performances, so be sure to check in advance. This actually happens at most national museums around the country, and in Lisbon it’s your chance to stretch your sightseeing schedule and not miss the collections of the Chiado Museum, Ancient Art Museum, Coaches Museum, or Ajuda Palace.
Thursday night is also the unofficial start of the weekend, when for many it already feels like a Friday night and the city’s bars and clubs get larger crowds than on other weekdays. Many of the clubs even host special theme nights on this day.
An extra-special event today happens not at a club, but at one of the city’s most important museums. The Berardo Museum is celebrating its second anniversary with a 24-hour party that began last night and will continue throughout the day today. It includes live performances, DJs, and street art — all for free!