press release

Held in partnership with the Carmona e Costa Foundation and curated by Delfim Sardo, this exhibition is being shown in two locations—The Museum of Electricity and the gallery of the Carmona e Costa Foundation—and brings together more than 300 works by about 100 artists from the private collection of Julião Sarmento. Gathered over three decades, the collection shows in a very personal way the artist's network of contacts and artistic collaborations, friendships and affinities.

It is a significant collection, including a number of different techniques, from painting to drawing, sculpture to photography, video to installations, all with very relevant elements that highlight the decades from the 1960s to the 2010s, although there are also several works from earlier periods.

The collection at the Electricity Museum presents some major names in contemporary art.

International: Nan Goldin, Cristina Iglesias, Pierre Bonnard, Andy Warhol, Rita McBride, Cindy Sherman, Bruce Nauman, Marcel Duchamp, Marina Abramovic, Joseph Beuys, etc. Fom Portugal: Eduardo Batarda, Fernando Calhau, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Jorge Molder, António Palolo, etc.

The collection shown in the gallery of the Carmona e Costa Foundation is mostly composed of drawings.

"The Sarmento collection is not a collector's collection, but an artist's, inasmuch as we have access to the transformations in art in the relevant period, but we also have a mirror-like view of the artist on his aesthetic choices, obsessions, interests and vision on what art can be at any given moment, reflecting the author's own work as a recollector," writes Delfim Sardo.

What is indeed striking in the Sarmento collection is the links to artists who have shared their life's journey with him, says the Curator. This is the case of Fernando Calhau, born in the same year as Julião Sarmento and with whom he shared his first years at the School of Fine Arts; the Spaniard Juan Muñoz, with whom Julião Sarmento has been very close since the 1980s; Michael Biberstein, with whom he shared a studio in Sintra; and Lawrence Weiner and John Baldessari, artists with whom Sarmento maintains a close relationship as friends and colleagues, and with whom he has co-authored a project.

"The Sarmento collection is, however, also a tribute to the most significant moments of the emergence of art mediation structures in Portugal, from the 1977 Alternativa Zero exhibition (...) to the emergence of galleries like Quadrum and later, Cómicos," says Delfim Sardo.