Many know Portugal as one of the culturally and historically richest countries in Europe. While that is entirely true, there is a great side to it celebrating the now, not the before! Meaning that the country also has a lot to offer when it comes to contemporary art and culture, not just historical pieces. That being said, it can be quite tricky to pick several you would really want to see, so we did that for you! Check out our list of the top 5 best modern art galleries in Portugal!
- Ainori Art Gallery, Lisbon
Self-proclaimed as daring, fresh, and provocative, Ainori Art Gallery is the next step in Modern Art for Portugal.
Featuring the works of various contemporary artists from around the world, Ainori manages to create a space inviting you to explore the art and learn of its meaning, yet leaves plenty of room for interpretation and your own creativity.
The gallery celebrates and encourages international relations between the artists, explaining how it adds and adds to the contemporary art culture. Ainori also carries out the thought that modern art is all about irony and how much you are aware of it, but at the same time, how you understand reason.
If all of this sounds a bit confusing, however, the best way would be to simply visit the Ainori Art Gallery. Maybe after seeing the pieces, you will see what we mean, and if not – let a consultant tell you!
Also, while you are exploring Lisbon, remember to stop and admire the true colors of the city!
- Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto
After discovering the daring artwork of Ainori Art Gallery, we suggest boarding the high speed train from Lisbon to Porto and settling in for another artsy day!
The Serralves Museum of Contemporary art highlights the city while speaking of modern art, starting with the building’s loud exterior and ending up with the inside. When we say loud exterior, you probably imagine something colorful and complex. However, Serralves is a bit more reserved in that matter and displays soft white color with a plain U-shape design, which conveys a clear message. When you see that kind of building, you immediately know you will be thrown into something modern, artistic, and yet quite minimalistic.
There are 14 exhibition rooms and store rooms distributed across three floors, but that is not all. Apart from collections of modern paintings, sculptures, and installations, you will find a restaurant, work-room, bookshop, and auditorium. So, you can really manage your time here.
There are no permanent exhibitions at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. Still, every year they invite five different artists to display their work, so it is fascinating to know you might be looking at something unseen and completely fresh!
- Lady in Red, Lagoa
Let’s leave Porto and explore the wonders of the Faro municipality! The Lady in Red is located right above a wine cellar in the most important historical building in Lagoa, so you can already predict it will be an impressive one.
The gallery with the beautiful name is divided into three parts or rooms. The first Venue is called the Red Room and is lit in a way that specifically lets you see the newest art pieces and exhibits. The second one can be considered the most important one, as it holds a vast open space, showing the more permanent artwork, and only presents one artist at a time. Lady in Red generally displays urban and industrial art, making it sort of different from other contemporary art galleries. And they are all for diversity! You will see works of local, some international and national artists.
Finally, they have the third space called the Lounge Bar. You might immediately think it is a place for you to chill out and drink for a bit, right? Well, the name is a bit misleading, as the Lounge Bar is yet another artsy area, yet this one especially interesting: it shows the connection between wine, art, and coffee.
By the way, the best way to reach the gallery and Lagoa would be by the short trip on the Lagos to Faro train. Lady in Red is by far one of the most exciting and unique art galleries in Portugal, so make sure you find the time for it!
- The Lux Gallery, Portimao
Moving on, we have the Lux Gallery located in the charming Portimao city in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. The gallery actively represents artists and supports rising stars by connecting them to the most viral marketplaces and social networks. Also, it helps them grow by ensuring the visibility it gets in the world of influential art. They also organize art auctions, fairs, and other events besides physical exhibitions!
While it is sometimes overlooked, the Lux Gallery is what you would call a progressive museum, where creators of local, international, and national backgrounds get to show their expressivity and also make custom pieces! In other words, you can not only admire the craft but make sure you leave with something personal for yourself.
The exhibitions have a solid sense of contemporary movement, involving sculptures, paintings, and photographs, and are considered one of the most rapidly-growing and innovative galleries in Portugal.
- Galeria Foco, Lisbon
Galeria Foco is brave, loud, and super-contemporary. Similar to the Lux Gallery, Foco also works a lot on promoting international and Portuguese artists, ones without the right connections but with a lot of talent. It generates galleries, performances, and discourses, gaining recognition for the young yet undiscovered creators.
In Galeria Foco, you can see all there is! It includes ceramics, paintings, photographs, paintings, product designs, and film! It really is incredible how it all seems to be working together in one venue and how things like paintings and film installation do not clash.
They usually focus on one exhibition at a time, and it is on display for approximately a month, then they change up. So, for example, right now, we have Enigma, a photograph exhibition, but from the end of September, you will see Unconscious Fruit – works linking all types of art mentioned above!
See the different side of Portugal right now! As stunning as its historical background is, it is a good idea to focus on what is happening right now because art never sleeps. So have the best time, and we wish you a very cathartic experience! Enjoy!