Three major exhibitions of mainly Portuguese art, one of which features many works offered by prominent artists to the gallery owner and collector Manuel de Brito (1928-2005) that have never been put on show to the public, have been inaugurated at the Centro de Arte Manuel de Brito (CAMB) in Algés, near Lisbon.
Titled “O Afeto” (Affection), “Os artistas surrealistas na Coleção Manuel de Brito” (Surrealist artists in the Manuel de Brito Collection) and “O Legado de Mário-Henrique Leiria” (The Legacy of Mário-Henrique Leiria), the three exhibitions are to run to 17 September, according to the CAMB.
The first of the exhibitions includes works offered over the space of half a century to the collector and his family by 50 artists, from Sonia Delaunay, who was born in 1885, to Rui Pedro Jorge, on special occasions such as visits to their studio, at Christmas, or for the birth of his children or on birthdays.
Manuel de Brito was one of Portugal’s most important gallery owners of the 20th century, and over his life amassed a collection of some 2,000 artwoks, including drawings, paintings and sculptures.
Among works in this exhibition never before shown are a canvas presented by Júlio Pomar as a wedding gift, a piece by Paula Rego, and a portrait of Manuel de Brito painted by Fátima Mendonça after the collector’s death.
The Surrealism exhibition also inaugurated on Thursday includes works by António Pedro, Cândido da Costa Pinto, António Dacosta, Artur do Cruzeiro Seixas, Jorge Vieira, Fernando Azevedo, Mário Cesariny de Vasconcelos, Marcelino Vespeira, Carlos Calvet da Costa, Eurico Gonçalves, António Quadros, Raul Perez and Mário Botas.
The third exhibition is of artworks formerly owned by the poet, translator, art critic and publisher Mário-Henrique Leiria, who was actively involved in the Portuguese Surrealist Group between 1949 and 1951. After his death in 1980 his collection was acquired by Manuel de Brito, preventing it from being split up and potentially lost to Portugal.