Second Nature: Portuguese Contemporary Art from the EDP Foundation Collection
Sandra Rocha, Untitled (from the series DR – Um Diário da República, 2012), 2014, inkjet print (Epson Ultrachrome K3) on hot press paper, 15 3/4 x 22 3/4 in.
Open June 5 through July 31The first group exhibition of Portuguese art of the 21st century to be presented in the United States, Second Nature is both a portrait of recent artistic production in Portugal and an exploration of the relationship between human culture and the environment. Working in media ranging from watercolor to photography to video, artists in the exhibition consider the tension between the concept of an untouched natural world—a popular subject in art history—and the ways humans have dominated and reshaped the environment using modern technology.
The exhibition includes 38 works and is the first to go on tour from the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon, which opened to the public in October 2016. It is curated by art historian Luisa Especial and MAAT Director Pedro Gadanho, formerly Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The exhibition brings together works created over the past two decades by sixteen artists from different generations, each of whom employs modern technology and materials to capture, filter, and reinvent the natural world, thereby generating a “second nature.”
Highlights include an installation centered on an orange tree root by sculptor Alberto Carneiro (1937–2017); two multimedia sculptures by artist Vasco Araújo (b. 1975) that explore the relationship between nature and colonialism; a 24-foot multi-perspectival drawing by Gabriela Albergaria (b. 1965); and arresting photographs of illegal fishing and hunting traps by João Grama (b. 1975).
All of the works are drawn from the EDP Foundation Art Collection, the collection of contemporary Portuguese art that comprises the MAAT’s permanent collection.
Opening Reception Photos
Pictured (right to left): Miquel Coutinho, Executive Director, EDP Foundation; Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital: Helen Chason, Director, The Kreeger Museum; lsabel Maria Rito de Oliveira Afonso de Fezas Vital
Pictured (right to left): Luisa Especial, curator; Miquel Coutinho, Executive Director, EDP Foundation; Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital; Helen Chason, Director, The Kreeger Museum; lsabel Maria Rito de Oliveira Afonso de Fezas Vital
Pictured (left to right): Ben Patton (Patton Veterans Project, NYC); Blair Miller (Blue Orange Capital, NYC); Elena McCarthy (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, RI); Craig Blackwell; Cristina Del Sesto; Robert Brown; Paul Roberti (Chief Counsel, US Dept of Transportation, DC)