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Art in Porto: Miró Fundação Serralves

If the spectacular opening of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Maat) marked Lisbon’s arts rentrée last October. Then the arrival of a unique collection of Miró paintings to Serralves, in Porto, seemed like the North’s response to the capital’s cultural effervescence. The paintings by the renowned Catalan artist Joan Miró, now shown at Fundação Serralves, belong to the Portuguese State. After a controversial process (they were to be auctioned by Christies’) the paintings finally remained in Portugal. They are now being shown in a not-to-be-missed exhibition. Fundação Serralves, one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in Portugal, is their new home. Be sure to include in your itinerary if you’re planning a city break in Porto.

Joan Miró: Materiality and Metamorphosis at Serralves

The exhibition “Joan Miró: Materiality and Metamorphosis” runs until January 27th at the Fundação Serralves. Curated by Robert Lubart Messeri, an expert in Miró’s work, it comprises 84 works covering six decades of intense artistic production. Miró was a very prolific artis. This collection, now shown at Fundação Serralves, spans his entire career, featuring works from 1924 until 1981. Another great attraction of this show is the exhibition design itself. Very subtle, it is signed by the renowned Portuguese architect and Pritzker prize laureate Álvaro Siza Vieira. Siza Vieira’s connection to Serralves is very strong. He designed the building of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, one of Porto’s architectural gems, back in the 1980s.

Across mediums: Miró Fundação Serralves

Suzanne Cotter, Director of Serralves Museum, stated that this “will be an authoritative and unique presentation of this singular collection”. The collection of Mirós once belonged to the art dealer Pierre Matisse. The Serralves exhibition comprises around 80 works by Joan Miró from the collection of 85 works, most of which have never previously been seen by the general public. Among the highlights of the Miró exhibition at Serralves are six of his paintings on masonite produced in 1936 and six “sobreteixims” (tapestries) of 1973.

This exhibition is a fantastic opportunity to plunge into the universe of Joan Miró, the artist who pushed surrealism to a new dimension. Across different mediums, like drawing, painting, collage, and work in tapestry, the show fully demonstrates Miró’s creative “disquiet”, through his extraordinary artistic metamorphosis. A visit to Serralves to encounter this fascinating works by Joan Miró should definitely be on your priority list if you’re visiting Porto for a city break this winter.