The Top Art Galleries In Porto

Bethan Morgan

Classified as a World Heritage Site, Porto is famous for its historic architecture. However, with artistic initiatives becoming more prominent, the contemporary art scene is gaining much-deserved attention. Stroll down trendy Rua De Miguel Bombarda for a refreshing and lively insight into Porto’s contemporary art scene.

Galeria Presença

Galeria Presença is situated along the famously stylish Rua De Miguel Bombarda, a street renowned for its artistic activity. Dedicated to promoting contemporary artists from both Portugal and abroad, the gallery holds regular events as well as group/solo exhibitions.

Recent exhibition:

Jorge Santos: ‘The Language of Flowers’ 2 March – 13 April

The gallery was transformed by the work of artist Jorge Santos. His pieces encapsulate the intersection between nature and architecture as he presents floral compositions developed on themes of landscape and spatial configuration.

Gallery Sao Mamede

Founded in the sixties by Francisco Pereira Coutinho, Sao Mamede Art Gallery was conceived in a particularly turbulent political time; a decade in which Portugal was engaged in numerous conflicts with former colonies. Francisco Pereira Coutinho felt it necessary to approach these times through visual art and has embraced contemporary Portuguese art ever since. He manages three galleries in total, located in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.

Gallery Sao Mamede

Founded in 1993, Galeria Fernando Santos prides itself on developing the reputation of the artists it represents as well as supporting emerging Portuguese artists. The gallery successfully promotes its artists through the national and international arts market and furthermore, through the organisation of influential exhibitions in established museums.

Recent exhibition:

Pedro Quintas: ‘I don’t bother you don’t bother me’ 2 March – 13 April

Pedro Quintas addressed the relationship between the observer’s positioning within the spatiality of the gallery. The exhibition included eleven paintings and a video.

Galeria Nuno Centeno

Galeria Nuno Centeno began in numerous different forms, but now resides as a contemporary art gallery which represents and develops emerging and established artists. The gallery works with a cocktail of Portuguese artists and international artists exploring a range of media which has advanced the contemporary art scene within Porto.

Recent exhibition:

Dan Rees: ‘Civic Pride’ 2 March – 11 April

Welsh-born, Berlin-based artist Dan Rees speaks of his hometown, Swansea, through a plethora of visual forms and juxtaposing textures. Rees explores the notion of pride and identity relating to this idea of the ‘hometown’.

A Certain Lack of Coherence

The artist-run space A Certain Lack of Coherence plays a significant role in the development of contemporary art within Porto. It can be defined as a platform for artistic expression with a willingness to unite different areas of the community. It has a diverse programme of events including a variety of discussions and exhibitions.

Gallery Hostel

Gallery Hostel is brimming with character as it playfully combines a hotel with an art gallery. This amalgamation unites areas of style, design and artistic integrity as well as introducing tourists to Porto’s cultural scene. The gallery provides bi-monthly exhibitions and other artistic events.

Recent Exhibition:

‘Secret Woods’ Feb 2013

This group exhibition was led by artists Rita Stravinsky and Aurelia Brysch as they delved into the theme of nature. The artists celebrated the subject through a hybrid of forms and mediums.

Ap’arte Art Gallery

This contemporary art gallery focuses on maintaining a stable and supportive environment for emerging artists by representing them in art fairs, biennials, competitions and exhibiting them within their permanent exhibition space. The gallery embraces all contemporary art disciplines such as painting, sculpture, photography and new media.

Recent Exhibition:

To celebrate the gallery’s third birthday a group show was curated which epitomized Ap’arte’s artistic direction and ethos.

Galeria Artes Solar Sto António

The gallery opened its doors in July 2007 with the aim of promoting the work and supporting the growth of emerging artists within the contemporary art sphere. In addition, the gallery is also experienced in developing the reputation of more established artists. The gallery’s dedication to design and style is exemplified by the building, designed by architect Mario Jorge Rodrigues.

Ó! Gallery

Ó! Gallery focuses principally on highlighting the skill, passion and artistic magnitude of illustrators from Portugal. The space displays illustrations, drawings, books, ‘zines and author pieces relating to this artistic language.
By Bethan Morgan

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