Hargreaves, Manuela – Colecionismo e Mercado de Arte em Portugal, O Território e o Mapa. Porto: Edições Afrontamento, 2013.
In this book Manuela Hargreaves give us a view of the modern and contemporary art in Portugal. The small world of Portuguese art which are almost nonexistent breath studies devoted to art collecting, the art market and, in general, what we might call the material conditions of circulation and reception of art objects.
A huge number of artists made the body of what one might call a Portuguese art, that is, an art that comes in fruitful dialogue, the major issues that arise to art internationally, but without having to do outside of Portugal throughout the XX century, and start with Amadeo, the fact is that, in cultural, economic and symbolic plans, the country was unable to follow this immense happen.
Culturally to see his first contemporary art museum, the newly created Serralves Foundation, opened its doors when the XX century was over. No public institution, so as to fit Gulbenkian solitary, private foundation, partly fill this gap . There will be many other examples of such inanity in civilized Europe.
Also critical, as well as the history of art in Portugal, were lame and slow to keep up with the bulk of the work of artists, only in the second half of the century institutions began to watch a more systematic effort to survey and critical attention to contemporary artistic production since the first half of the century, the reflection on art was scant and most often was left to mere journalistic description. It was not until the 70 of the XX century to appear a first synthesis of the XX century due to José Augusto França. Newspapers devote less and less space to the disclosure of this activity, having disappeared the few art magazines that briefly existed. In this sense the press failed.
On the economic front, the XX century was also a desert. Although some collectors have emerged, Augusto Abreu and Jorge de Brito, Portugal failed to sustained construction of a solid art market, able to give consistency to the circulation and sale of works of art and everything was confined to pioneer and historical activity of two galleries, Alvarez of Jaime Isidoro and 111 of Manuel de Brito, since all have not gone too timid and temporary experience.
The majority of Portuguese artists, is very interesting that his work was confined to the mediocre narrowness of a culture that disbelieves herself and whose guardians are essentially uneducated.
The relevant artistic activity going on almost all by the National Society of Fine Arts ( SNBA ), in the decades 60-70 .