Ar.Co – Centro de Arte e Comunicação Visual will celebrate 50 years of activity with an exhibition of 60 works by different artists, some of which have never been seen before, and a documentary installation. Entitled I-II-III-IV-V: Five Decades of Ar.Co – Center for Art and Visual Communicationthe exhibition will open on March 7 at the National Museum of Contemporary Art – Museu do Chiado (MNAC-MC), where it will remain until the 27th of May.
The six dozen works – from the Ar.Co collection, but also by guest artists – were selected by cultural personalities, encompassing 47 artists and encompassing drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, ceramics, jewellery, graphic arts and video , indicated Ana Bustorff Martinho, from the art center’s development office.
Ana Hatherly, Fernando Calhau, Lourdes Castro, João Onofre, Pedro Barateiro, Rui Chafes, Augusto Alves da Silva, Francisco Tropa, João Queiroz, Susanne SD Themlitz, Tereza Seabra, Jorge Molder, Alberto Chissano and Lúcia Abdenur are among the chosen artists.
As part of this celebration, a group of artists was invited to carry out original interventions of their own, and a documentary installation was created on the 50th anniversary of the school, curated by the artist Diogo Pinto.
Consisting entirely of works donated by their authors, the Art Collection of Ar.Co currently brings together close to 800 pieces, representing more than 230 Portuguese and foreign artists, specified the same source to Lusa.
Under protocols in the process of being renewed, the Visual Arts and Ceramics sections of this collection are deposited, in the form of long-term loans, respectively in the MNAC-MC and at the National Tile Museum.
Created in 1973 as an independent art school dedicated to experimentation, training and dissemination of arts and crafts and visual communication disciplines, Ar.Co is constituted as a non-profit cultural association of public utility.
The idea of setting up an Art Collection at Ar.Co “was born from the realization that works of undeniable artistic interest accumulated in the school’s archives, offered over time by their authors, usually for fundraising”, recalls a text from the direction regarding the institution’s 50th anniversary.
“Bearing in mind the statutory imperative of disclosure, a project to develop this collection took shape in 1995. From the first contacts – not just with some artists linked to the school, but also with others whose work aroused interest –, the results surpassed all expectations”, with the collection recognized as a project of cultural interest by the Ministry of Culture.
Ar.Co’s main training areas are drawing, painting, photography, jewellery, ceramics, engraving/screen printing, illustration/comics, cinema/moving image, art history and theory, and also individual and multidisciplinary projects.
This exhibition, conceived to celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary, will later lead to the publication of a catalogue.