Art and culture Iberia Plus

Lisbon's art beat

The Portuguese capital has both a burgeoning contemporary art scene and more established museums in exquisite surroundings

ARCO Lisboa

In 2016, Spain’s premier art fair ARCO Madrid launched its smaller, ‘boutique’ Lisbon edition. From 18-21 May 2017,  ARCO Lisboa returns for the second time, with 40 international galleries participating in a citywide programme that will also raise the profile of the capital’s contemporary art scene. The event promises to unveil new art spaces and will welcome an international assembly of artists, critics and collectors keen to soak up the artworks and socialise with their peers.


Open since late 2016 on Lisbon’s Waterfront, MAAT – the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology ­– is a unique venue with a cultural remit that extends to new media and the sciences. Its contemprary, undulating silhouette is courtesy of London-based Amanda Levete Architects, and MAAT also incorporates the former Tejo Power Station building. On the first Saturday of every month, there’s the chance to take a 90-minute Legible Spaces architectural tour, which explores the contrast and dialogue between the two.

Galeria Filomena Soares

One of the city’s more high profile contemporary art galleries, founded in 1999, Galeria Filomena Soares aims to support and foster the creation of art within Portugal. In the city’s formerly industrial east, it boasts a 1000m2 exhibition space, represents some of the country’s key contemporary artists, and maintains a regular presence at international fairs.

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Part of the wider foundation of the same name, this Lisbon museum set in landscaped gardens includes The Founder’s Collection of works owned by Gulbenkian himself, including Manet’s Boy Blowing Bubbles.

Image: Paulo Coelho Courtesy EDP Foundation