For the duration of the ARCOLisboa Fair 2018, the Galerias Municipais/EGEAC will present an exhibition on the lower floor of the Torreão Nascente da Cordoaria Nacional featuring the new acquisitions made by the Lisbon Municipality for its collection between 2016 and 2017. Prior to this date, acquisitions to the collection had been few and far between, though this changed in 2016 with the municipality’s appointment of a commission made up of Sérgio Mah, Manuel Costa Cabral, Luís Porfírio, Sara Antónia Matos (Atelier-Museu Júlio Pomar/Galerias Municipais) and Joana Sousa Monteiro (Museu de Lisboa) who together developed acquisition criteria. The acquisitions took place in the context of the 1st and 2nd editions of the contemporary art fair ARCOLisboa, though they were also designed to stimulate the local art market. Acquisitions to the municipal collection included works by artists Alexandre Conefrey, Ana Manso, António Júlio Duarte, Armanda Duarte, Ângela Ferreira, Carlos Nogueira, Eduardo Batarda, Fernanda Fragateiro, João Jacinto, João Marçal, João Queiroz, José Loureiro, Luísa Cunha, Manuela Marques, Paulo Brighenti, Pedro Calhau, Paulo Nozolino, Rui Toscano, Sara Chang Yan , Susanne Themlitz and Vasco Araújo.
The artists chosen are each at different stages of their career and have unique artistic languages, some reinventing media and pushing the boundaries of their respective artistic disciplines, others remaining more faithful to their areas of operation. In any case, each of these artists was considered indispensable by the commission who, in making their selections, considered different genres and generations, the career status of the artists in question, the need for stimulation at the various stages of the artists’ production and the diversity of the galleries that represented them.
Organized according to aesthetic criteria and spatial relations, the subtitle of the exhibition is taken from the name of Luísa Cunha’s work, ‘Field of View’, drawing attention to the importance of the gaze and to our ability to directly relate to works by embracing the problems and questions they raise, whether these are photography – itself a technology steeped in a process of observation and framing – or three-dimensional, two-dimensional and soundbased works.
The exhibition gives the public access to the works acquired and reaffirms the municipality’s desire to continue to build and develop its collection, with the prospect of integrating more artists in the future, broadening its representativeness, and creating incentives to both public and private collecting. Whether public or private, creating a collection is a commitment woven with the history of art and artists that makes it possible for present and future generations to understand the foundations of their culture and its choices, concerns and aesthetic, political and social transformations. We must also remember that prior to any exhibition, it is necessary to catalogue, care for, preserve, study and systematize the works/collections – a burdensome and often forgotten set of tasks undertaken by institutions, in this case the Museu de Lisboa/EGEAC in collaboration with the Galerias Municipais/EGEAC. By continuing to develop, preserve and exhibit their collections, institutions play an indispensable role in solidifying artistic developments and in the formation of the public and their aspirations and cultural ambitions.
– Sara Antónia Matos, curator