press release

15.09.2021 - 09.01.2022

Luminous Matter

Curator: Sérgio Mah

Luminous Matter explores light-based approaches by means of an itinerary through artistic practices in Portugal, from the mid-1960s until today. Featuring thirty-eight artists, the exhibition assembles a very diversified set of art forms, as well as trends, aesthetic processes, and conceptual stances. Being an essential theme, present throughout the history of art and, correlatively, of the image, light is examined in its multiple meanings, as a material and means of visual expression, as an aesthetic, poetic, and allegoric motif, and as an integral part of a culture that is becoming more and more imbricated with technological systems.
The exhibition includes a significant number of works that make use of a broad spectrum of lighting materials and devices. These are pieces that require activation, that are energy conductors, that need electricity in order to emit and irradiate, in the sense that their plastic power transcends the limits of their physicality.
By including a number of recent, previously unseen pieces, Luminous Matter shows how artists remain motivated to express and reconvert the multiplicity of feelings and imaginings that move around our various ways of feeling and understanding light. The sun and fire, day and brightness, but also night, darkness, the colour black and shadows, are all abundantly depicted and evoked as either concrete realities or through their various declensions. From religion to mythology, from art history to popular culture, from philosophy to literature: the social and cultural indexations that light carries and animates are inestimable.

Sérgio Mah, curator of the exhibition.

Works by Alexandre Estrela I Ana Jotta I Ângelo de Sousa I António Palolo I CABRITA I Diogo Evangelista I Eduardo Nery I Fernando Brito I Fernando Calhau I Francisco Tropa I Gilberto Reis I Helena Almeida I João Maria Gusmão I João Paulo Feliciano I Jorge Martins I Jorge Molder I Jorge Pinheiro I José Barrias I José Luís Neto I Júlia Ventura I Julião Sarmento I Leonor Antunes I Lourdes Castro I Luís Noronha da Costa I Luísa Correia Pereira I Manuel Rosa I Miguel Palma I Miguel Soares I Paulo Nozolino I Pedro Morais I Pedro Paiva I Renato Ferrão I René Bértholo I Rui Chafes I Rui Toscano I Sérgio Taborda I Silvestre Pestana I Vasco Lucena