Curator: Sandra Vieira Jürgens
Organised from the works of the Collection of the Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the exhibition Against Abstraction is centred around one of the main concepts of Art History: the abstract.
Focusing on the collection’s multiple (and sometimes contradictory) models, the exhibition presents fundamental references from the world of geometrical abstractionism, rooted in Europe, but also works produced by artists who have stimulated the fusion of aesthetics and cultures, demonstrating that abstraction has always been a space shared between different cultures in diverse contexts and periods.
Against Abstraction seeks to represent the reality of the artistic expressions of Modernism, underlining the interest in popular culture’s manifestations of identity, as well as the playful, functional, collective and community-based characteristics of art.
Caixa Geral de Depósitos collection
Caixa Geral de Depósitos art collection began in 1983 with acquisitions that follow a set of guidelines devised by the board of administrators. After a decade, the entire collection was analysed in parallel with other public and institutional art collections existing in Portugal. Because of this appraisal, among other criteria, it was decided to favour the after 80s artistic production and a recommendation was made that previous works by artists consecrated in the 60s or in the 70s should be also included.
Culturgest took over the management of the Collection from the year 2000; it is from this moment on that the scope of the collection is broadened to contemplate a wider sense of all things Luso(1), i.e., in addition to Portuguese art, special attention was also paid to the contemporary art production of Brazil, Mozambique, Angola and Cape Verde.
After 2004, acquisitions tend to support a deeper understanding of the artists represented and of their career, which is why comprehensive clusters of the same artist can be found in the Collection.
Acquisitions are suspended since 2008. Culturgest, however, continues to manage, promote and curate the 1,800 works (approximately) that belong to the CGD Collection; these works include painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, video, installation and engraving. / etching.
The works displayed here were chosen according to events in progress, such as, works on loan for exhibitions in Portugal and abroad, works currently being shown in exhibitions at Culturgest and works undergoing restoration.
(1) Luso – word used in reference to Portugal and to countries that use Portuguese as their official language; it is related to the Lusitanians (the most numerous and dominant group of people that inhabited pre-Roman Portugal).