Serralves Collection: 1960-1980

Exhibition design by COR Arquitectos

by Valentina Ieva
5 Love 3927 Visits

"Serralves Collection: 1960-1980” is organized by Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art and curated by Suzanne Cotter (Museum Director) with João Ribas (Senior Curator and Deputy Director) and Ricardo Nicolau (Deputy to the Director and Curator).


The design of "Serralves Collection: 1960-1980” has been conceived by COR arquitectos - Cremascoli Okimura Rodrigues.


Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, from 8 May 2017 to 28 January 2018.

From the architects


Serralves Collection: 1960-1980 presents the work of Portuguese and international artists from the collection of the Serralves Museum. This new display, which marks the beginning of a series that gives continued visibility to the Serralves Collection, privileges the decades of 1960 and 1970 as foundational to our understanding of contemporary art and to the development of the Collection since the establishment of the Serralves Foundation in 1989.



The Works on view reflect a diversity of artistic production, ranging from the beginnings of post-minimal and conceptual art and their expressions in Portugal and diferente parts of the world, to experimentation with abstraction, figurative representation, performance and the use of new media. 


When Suzanne Cotter, the museum director, invited us to draw the collection’s exhibition, she challenged us to find a clever solution to show the treasures of the museum to the general public. We had a sequence defined by the three curators (Cotter, Ribas, Nicolau), a constructed narrative and a story to tell, because there is always a story to tell, made of heroes. We had rooms of the museum designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, heavily humanized spaces. We had the landscape, outside, inside. A constant feature of the museum's management, since Suzanna Cotter’s arrival, is to keep the windows overlooking the garden as an integral part of each exhibition, as it was thought by the museum's author.


The public is led by the landscape that suddenly enters the rooms in the form of colours which rise through the walls to the ceiling of the museum. These are the colours of the garden. The seven colours give rhythm to the rooms as partitions of narrative groups, creating defined spaces where displays float in space trying not to contaminate the relationship between works or artists; helping the sudden scale changes between works and space, between visitor and museum.


Beginning in the sixties, and throughout the seventies, the social and environmental conscience of the artists mixes with the practices and techniques of representation. From Art Povera to Body Art - works by Etel Adnan, Helena Almeida, Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Lothar Baumgarten; René Mel Bochner, Fernando Calhau, Alberto Carneiro, Merce Cunningham, Marlene Dumas, Hans-Peter Feldmann, David Goldblatt, Dan Graham, Giorgio Griffa, Richard Hamilton, Jannis Kounellis, Fernando Lanhas, Álvaro Lapa, Marwan, Cildo Meireles, Ana Mendieta, Robert Morris, Antoni Muntadas, Bruce Nauman, Silke Otto-Knapp, Nam June Paik, Charlotte Posenenske, Yvonne Rainer, Paula Rego, Gerhard Richter, Joaquim Rodrigo, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha, Julião Sarmento, Nikias Skapinakis, Robert Smithson, Ângelo de Sousa, Ana Vieira, Pires Vieira, Franz Erhard Walther, Hannah Wilke, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (among others) - vibrate between the spaces of colour.


There are large rooms, which look like wunderkamera.

It was the way we found to surprise and showcase the collection treasures.

Many years ago, wandering aroundh Porto with Pierluigi Nicolin and Giovanna Borasi, I was entrusted by Pierluigi with a mission: colorare Siza!

I haven’t thought about it again, but it happened.

It's still going to happen.


Photographs by atelier XYZ


    • Valentina Ieva

      Valentina Ieva


      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al)