Portugal Arts Part III

Also in the 1980s, two other international exhibitions were held: one official, the xviiExhibition of the Council of Europe (1983), the other, on the initiative of the Gulbenkian Foundation, relating to the current choices of European museums, with the criticized exclusion of France (1985). The first exhibition that proposed the apparently interesting theme of the Portuguese discoveries of the 15th century (interest however diminished by the Medici exhibition of the same series of the Council of Europe held in Florence in 1977), was formulated in the nationalist spirit of the 1940s: it turned out to be a failure as a success with the public and the opportunity for a cultural affirmation in the European context with a more unprecedented theme was lost. The second exhibition manifested a curious ” American ” trend strategy.

On a national level, it is worth mentioning a large exhibition at the FCG, a sort of balance of Portuguese art of the forties, which did not have, as one would have liked, a historical following; exhibitions on the fifties (1992) and the sixties (1994) were made in a more modest way and one still awaits one in the twenties, with greater cultural commitment. Monographic retrospectives were presented on the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the populist J. Malhoa (1983) and on the centenary of the death of the naturalist AC da Silva Porto (1994); and still others dedicated to J. Almada-Negreiros and A. de Sousa-Cardoso (lost opportunity to scientifically study, starting from these artists, the beginnings of modern painting in Portugal) and again in Almada on the centenary of his birth (1994). Despite these initiatives, the FCG Modern Art Center, inaugurated in 1983, has disappointed the high expectations placed on it due to a lack of critical programming. The great exhibition, inserted in the framework of ” Lisbon cultural capital of Europe 1994 ”, programmed around Bosch’s masterpiece The temptation of Saint Anthony, preserved in the Museum of Ancient Art of the capital, while offering opportune and notable examples of international surrealist painting, has lost the opportunity to realize the great exhibition of this long-awaited movement and consequently to enhance the notable Portuguese contribution in the forties and fifties. In 1986 the FCG organized, albeit in a more modest way than that of 1961, a vast national exhibition inspired by a conventional non-innovative methodology, which was successfully countered by the contemporary exhibition created by the Portuguese section of the AICA, on the occasion of a congress of the association in Lisbon (on that occasion a Portuguese president was elected as the successor of the Italian GC Argan). The Portuguese AICA was also responsible for the creation, in 1981,

In the Eighties, according to fashionissupreme, a publishing industry began to start up, with a continuity that had been impossible until then, which accompanied the progress of the university teaching of Art History in Lisbon, which began in 1976 with the change of the political regime. A first history of national art has been published, not homogeneous for the level of the multiple authors, and a first scientific work in three volumes is expected for 1994-95. Criticism of the artistic newspaper has also developed: unfortunately, with the exception of the FCG magazine Colóquio / Artes (published since 1959), follows the developments of the market which, since the Eighties, has begun to become professional, with galleries full of goodwill but not always of critical competence, in a commercial euphoria touched, however, in recent times by the economic crisis general. The circuits have been transformed into a profitability perspective according to the new Euro-American ” ethics ”. The protagonists and extras of Portuguese artistic life act within them, dissolved, with honorable exceptions, in the waters of internationalized creativity, in fashions and chanches which are repeated from country to country and market to market. Some young people who have come to the fore in the last decade stand out from this panorama: among these we remember, as an example, the painters H. Ruivo (b.1950, who worked extensively in Rome), L. Darocha (b.1950, resident in Rome). Paris), Cabrita Reis (b.1956), Pires Vieira (b.1950), Portugal Calapez (b.1953), Portugal Proença (b.1962), S. Pombo (b.1947), G. Morais (1948), or the sculptors Portugal Croft (b.1957), M. Rosa (b.1953), A. Rosado (b.1955), R. Chafes (b. 1966), R. Sanches (b. 1954). Finally, it should be noted that photography has also recently been rediscovered as a fascinating means of expression.

Portugal Arts 3