2nd Floor

entry: General Conditions

Portraits and figures in the landscape

National Museum of Contemporary Art-Chiado Museum Collection


This exhibition of the museum’s collection was motivated by the exhibition Pine Flat by Sharon Lockhart, which runs alongside it. Based on similar premises, which consist of a confrontation between two recurring categories in the history of art – the portrait and the human figure in the landscape – works by different artists and from different eras were grouped into these categories and in a non-chronological way. In the first gallery, dedicated to the portrait, seven sets of works are exhibited that produce different perspectives on the construction of identities: verism, identity as expression, the displacement of identity, the social rhetoric of the image of itself, subject and melancholy, subject and death and the identity as other. 

The museum’s following galleries are dedicated to the human figure in the landscape. The first part focuses on the isolated figure. By means of six groups of works, these figures construct the behaviour and action of questioning man’s place in the world: the variation in the perceptive relationship, the landscape as place of desire, the landscape as introspective space, as ironic source of the conditions for producing the subject, as territory of apprehension and disaster, and even space of possibility and will. In the second part, the landscape turns into a set of forces between subjects and is inhabited by groups. From space of amorous intimacy to allegorical place, it also configures the one of the relationship of identity with the whole, or the one of the process of transformation of the will.

Pedro Lapa
Director Museu do Chiado – Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea