Currently on view through July 31, 2018.
The Kreeger Museum presents Second Nature: Portuguese Contemporary Art from the EDP Foundation Collection, opening June 5, 2018. The first group exhibition of contemporary Portuguese art 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. The result is a unique portrait of artistic production in Portugal over the last fifty years, a period in which the idea of nature has undergone a profound change. Against this backdrop, artists are the first to understand nature as a subject that is essentially produced by humans – a subject to be captured, filtered and reinvented by technical media that include the tools of painting, sculpture and photography. The artist’s gaze is itself the creator of a “second nature,” one which no longer pertains to “natural nature” but to the domain of art.
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.
“We are honored to collaborate on this significant exhibition with the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology, a cutting-edge and interdisciplinary cultural center,” says Helen Chason, Director of The Kreeger Museum. “Second Nature continues The Kreeger Museum’s long tradition of presenting diverse currents in contemporary art and engaging with Washington’s international community. Its exploration of artists’ treatment of nature is especially fitting as we continue to integrate the Museum’s exhibition space with its surrounding woods.”
The exhibition brings together works created over the past two decades by nineteen artists from different generations, each of whom employs modern technology and materials to explore the theme of the influence of humans on the natural world. 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.
Second Nature: Portuguese Contemporary Art from the EDP Foundation Collection is organized by the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon and the EDP Foundation. It was originally displayed at the MAAT in 2016, where Second Nature was the first of a series of Perspectives that the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology is devoting to the EDP Foundation Art Collection. The exhibition is curated by art historian Luisa Especial and MAAT Director, Pedro Gadanho.
Gabariela Albergaria, Vasco Araújo, Michael Biberstein, Fernando Calhau, Alberto Carniero, Paulo Catrica, Noronha da Costa, Alexandre Estrela, João Grama, Victor Jorge, Maria Lusitano, João Queiroz, Sandra Rocha, Martim Ramos, Julião Sarmento, Miguel Soares, Susanne S. D. Themlitz, Pedro Vaz, and Valter Vinagre
The Kreeger Museum is located at 2401 Foxhall Rd. NW.