If you are travelling to the capital of Portugal, be prepared to see some spectacular art. Lisbon art galleries, cobbled streets, colorful walls, vintage trams and historic monuments seem to inspire artists. This captivating and picturesque city, with sandy beaches, mild Mediterranean climate and the proximity to the ocean, is a home of several museums, independent galleries, and many fantastic large murals. Also, it is the place where international artists and art-lovers really feel at home. The scene in Lisbon is thriving. You cannot miss the artwork on the vibrant streets of the second oldest European capital. Since it is very tiring to explore the streets on foot, hunting for the art (remember, the Portuguese capital is also called the City on Seven Hills) the great thing is that many urban artists are exhibiting in galleries. The charming galleries display both emerging and established names. From the best Portuguese street art supported by the Underdogs platform, famous international artists brought to Lisbon by Cristina Guerra to the beautiful mix of photography and painting in AFK Art Gallery, the galleries in Lisbon will feed your thirst for urban and contemporary art.
ALECRIM 50 - ANNUAL THEMATIC EXHIBITIONS
In 2006, Alexandra Serôdio Gomes and Pilar Norton dos Reis opened a charming exhibition place in Chiado, one of the most elegant neighborhoods in Lisbon, on Rua de Alecrim 48/50. Their aim was to exhibit paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and installations of young, up-and-coming artists and to promote innovative art. In addition to six individual/group exhibitions, they organize a thematic exhibition once a year, which is curated by the guest curator and comprises both emerging and recognized artists. Also, what’s interesting about Alecrim 50 is that there is Art Renting Service, which allows companies and institutions to decorate their offices with cutting-edge works from this gallery. The list of artists who exhibit here includes André Almeida e Sousa, Luísa Jacinto, Bela Silva and Domingos Rego.
Image courtesy of the gallery.
UNDERDOGS GALLERY - A CULTURAL PLATFORM
Underdogs is much more than just a gallery, it’s a platform for urban art, established in 2010. It includes an exhibition space, the production of original artist editions, a store and guided tours showing the art created under the Underdogs Public Art Programme. It promotes both emerging and established contemporary artists. On the big, white walls of this gallery you can see the works of well-known Portuguese urban names, such as Akacorleone, ±MaisMenos±, Wasted Rita and Smart B. In December 2014, it hosted the SOMA, a grand exhibition displaying the finest Portuguese urban artists. However, Underdogs is the place where you can find renowned international artists, too. Finok, Sainer, Cyrcle, Martha Cooper and Alex Fakso are on the list of big names who exhibited here.
TREMA CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY - OVER 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Trema Contemporary Art Gallery is one of the oldest on this list. It opened in 1992, and relocated to its new premises near Príncipe Real Garden 17 years later. This venue exhibtis paintings, sculptures, drawings and installations of contemporary Portuguese artists, such as Ana Sofia Gonçalves, Bela Silva, Brígida Machado and Joana Rosa Bragança.
Image courtesy of borbotosebarbelas.blogspot.com
ANTONIO PRATES - INTERNATIONAL EVENTS AND COLLABORATIONS
The Gallery Antonio Prates has been showcasing up-and-coming and established contemporary artists since 1996. It has at least four individual exhibitions per year. The gallery collaborates with other museums and takes part in different international events. Alberto Reguera, Vera Fonseka and Ken Rinaldo are some of the artists whose works have been exhibited here.
Image courtesy of Gabriel Garcia
GALERIA CRISTINA GUERRA - REPRESENTING PORTUGUESE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLDWIDE
In 2001, Galeria Cristina Guerra was set up in Lisbon’s Estrela neighbourhood. The gallery got its name after its owner, Cristina Guerra. Cristina’s aim is to promote Portuguese artists on the international market, which she does by taking part in fairs such as ARCO, Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, FIAC and Zona Maco (Mexico) A the same time, she loves to bring famous foreign names to her gallery and show Portugal what good contemporary art is. Cristina supports the conceptual work of over 20 artists and encourages them to be original and get out of the comfort zone. Some of them are Filipa César, João Onofre, Rui Toscano and Yonamine.
Image courtesy of makingarthappen.com
ART GALLERY AFK - PHOTOGRAPHY AND PAINTING
Art Gallery AFK is the youngest on our list. Established in 2012, the gallery represents both local and international contemporary artists and specializes in painting and photography. It also offers the workshops of Photochemical Manipulation. Here you can find the works of Julie de Waroquier, Alfred Weissenegger, Manuel Sousa, Sarah Graham and many more.
Image courtesy of arteafk.tumblr.com