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The 60s

Transforming moments in the 19th and 20th centuries


This exhibition of the museum’s collection brings together two periods separated by a century and which have little in common aesthetically. In similarity, it can be said that they correspond to two moments of profound transformation in the Portuguese art practices. In the mid-19th century, the late introduction of Romanticism configured a new understanding of the work of art and introduced the first hints of modernity, whose advent, at the political level, embroiled the country in major clashes between conservatism and liberalism. 

The 1960s, under the anti-modern dictatorship and censorship, constituted a period of radical transformation in the understanding of the art object. Artists synchronized their inquiries with those taking place in the European context and, at times, exhibited their work there, as in the case of the KWY group. However, this reality, in socio-economic terms, was not a real experience and the new languages of the mass media, that so fascinated Pop Art, seemed like a sign of the distance from the new modern world.
Between both these moments from two utterly different centuries, the modern project was a distant desire, as remote as the rest of the world and a missed encounter.

Pedro Lapa

Director of the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea – Museu do Chiado


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