Lisbon is where it’s at
The Portuguese capital is the new epicentre for Contemporary Art in Europe.
BY SOFIA PALACIOS
In 2017, Lisbon was selected as the Iberoamerican Capital of Culture. Previously in 2016, the city successfully hosted for the very first time ARCOlisboa. Since then, the Portuguese capital has become an unmissable spot of the European contemporary art circuit. The art scene in Lisbon isn’t as large as it might be in cities like London or Paris. However, as gallerist Belén Valbuena highlighted to artnet news, Lisbon is rich and presents a ‘solid artistic tradition’. Both editions of ARCOlisboa have also enhanced the city, presenting its contemporary art scene as an emergent, promising venue that is increasingly attracting national and international collectors.
This year, ARCOlisboa will open its doors between the 15th to the 19th of May, taking place, once again, at the Cordoaria Nacional. More than 70 galleries, most of them based in Portugal, will take part in this fourth edition of ARCOlisboa. In addition, the art fair will present a wide range of special projects and activities focusing on specific interests such as African galleries, based in countries like Angola, Mozambique and South Africa.
During that week, Lisbon will be busier than ever offering its visitors the chance to enjoy other artsy activities apart from the art fair. It’s a great opportunity to visit museums like the MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology) or the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. The first institution presents a solo show by the Portuguese painter and sculptor Carlos Bunga. Where I am free, shows a selection of drawings, sketches, and notes that have never been shown to the public before. The latter museum has curated Francisco Tropa. The Pyrgus from Chaves, on view until the 3rd of June 2019. In this solo exhibition, Tropa enables a dialogue between classical and contemporary sculpture and archaeology. This conversation stems from a dice of bronze from the Roman period known as pyrgus, that has recently been found at the Roman Baths of Chaves. For those interested, it’s also the best time to visit leading contemporary art galleries like Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art and Galeria de Arte AFK, among others.
KOYAC didn’t want to miss all the hustle and bustle during that week, so we’ve liaised with ARCOlisboa to present a new edition of #mecomprounaobra, #eucomproumaobra. This initiative aims to make contemporary art accessible to everyone. The project encourages each participant gallery to offer a selection of artworks under 2.019 euros. Born in November 2017, galleries like Galería Pilar Sierra, F2 and García Galería paired up influencers like Spanish designer Ana Locking, actress Antonia Sanjuan and the Spanish chef celebrity Samantha Vallejo Nágera to select their favourite #mecomprounaobra artworks. Last year, we launched the second edition of #mecomprounaobra in collaboration with ARCOmadrid, this time online on the KOYAC website. After this success, along with ARCO, we’ve decided to present #eucomproumaobra to convince the Portuguese contemporary art scene and its audience, that good art can be accessible to everyone. Stay tuned!