Everyone can feel Oporto’s vibe and its fame stretches way out of Portugal. The creative economy boomed during the great recession and the city gained some new faces, some new artists and an even more glooming art feel. The Portuguese scene is not only Lisbon, but a wide array of places happening in all of Portugal. Oporto is home to some of the best galleries and a lot of them are in the same street – Rua Miguel Bombarda. Lauded internationally due to its looks and spirit, it’s time to choose and recommend some of the cities brightest galleries.
The first stop in our gallery street is Galeria Fernando Santos. This gallery, established in 1993 in Oporto, has presented itself with several, and very ambitious, goals. To introduce the best in the international panorama to its collectors, but also to sell Portuguese big names and support the emerging artists. It’s crystal clear that Galeria Fernando Santos has succeed, presenting artists like Bosco Sodi and Pedro Cabrita Reis, while pioneering home grown talent.
Address: Rua Miguel Bombarda 526 - Website: www.galeriafernandosantos.com
Founded in Oporto in 2007 by Nuno Centeno, the gallery changed its name when Bruno Múrias became a member. The new name brought a new location and a second space was unveiled in Lisbon in 2014. They have already displayed works from emerging and established artists such as Max Ruf, Secundino Hernández and Dan Rees. With consequent presences in the Arco Madrid, Murias Centeno shows the influence that Portuguese galleries have been building in the Iberian and European context.
Address: Rua Miguel Bombarda 531 - Website: www.muriascenteno.com
GALERIA MÁRIO SEQUEIRA ( Braga )
Galeria Mário Sequeira is still a stretch away from the gallery street in Oporto. After all, it’s located in Braga, but is still worth the distance and the mention in this gallery guide. Premiering in 1994 in an old farmhouse, a beautiful new space was unveiled in 2000, designed by Carvalho Araújo. With exhibitions by Jason Martin, Anselm Kiefer and Pedro Cabrita Reis, and presences in Arco Madrid, Art Rio and Art Cologne, Galeria Mário Sequeira sure deserves to be in this Gallery Guide Porto.
Address: Rua da Galeria ( Braga ) - Website: www.mariosequeira.com
Opening in 2010 to show and represent both established and emerging artists, Kubik Gallery takes us from Miguel Bombarda to Rua da Restauração in search of new art thrills. One of them is its original “Kubikulo”, a project space with only 4x3m, with no restrictions but its size, for artists to intervene and complement the obviously bigger gallery space. A small and quirky detail for a gallery present in some big art stages like Arco Madrid, Art Rio and BA Photo.
Address: Rua da Restauração 2 - Website: www.kubikgallery.com
One more stop in Rua Miguel Bombarda is Galeria Presença. Present since 1995, it has some heavyweights names among its roster like Portuguese artists Alexandre Farto aka Vhils, Pedro Calapez and Vasco Araújo. Galeria Presença also had a second location in Lisbon from 2006 to 2008, but the focus in Oporto is total by now. It has had occasional presences in art fairs such as Arco Madrid and Est Art Fair.
Address: Rua Miguel Bombarda 570 - Website: www.galeriapresenca.pt
GALERIA PEDRO OLIVEIRA
Galeria Pedro Oliveira was founded in 1980 with the name Galeria Roma e Pavia. The new naming was presented in 1990, the first year in which it participated in Arco Madrid, without failing a single presence ever since. With artists like Paulo Brighenti, Julião Sarmento and Jorge Molder in its roster, it is sure a worth a detour from Rua Miguel Bombarda to Calçada de Monchique.
Address: Calçada de Monchique 3 - Website: www.galeriapedrooliveira.com
GALERIA QUADRADO AZUL
Galeria Quadrado Azul represents Portuguese and foreign artists, both established names in the art scene and fresh young artists. Born in 1986 in Oporto, the gallery was one of the first commercial exhibition spaces in the city, emerging from the interest for contemporary and modern art by Manuel Ulisses, art collector since the 1960’s. Present in Arco Madrid and Art Brussels, Galeria Quadrado Azul showcases artists like José de Guimarães and Ana Perez Quiroga.
Address: Rua Miguel Bombarda 578 - Website: www.quadradoazul.pt
GALERIA DAMA AFLITA
A ten minute walk from Rua Miguel Bombarda to Rua da Picaria brings us to Galeria Dama Aflita, the only gallery of our list with a clear focus on Drawing and Illustration. The gallery favors the exchange of experiences between various areas of Illustration and also promotes satellite events such as public art, workshops and artist publications. Pedro Zamith, Craig Atkinson and André da Loba are some of the artists Galeria Dama Aflita has already shown.
Address: Rua da Picaria 84 - Website: www.damaaflita.com
How does a high-end boutique end up in our gallery guide for Oporto? By showcasing some top notch art while selling quality clothing. Wrong Weather believes fashion is an art form and with such interruptions that creative designers have to face in their dialogue, they decided to show more daring ideas. With a space devoted to the visual arts, Wrong Weather has showcased artists like Bruce LaBruce and Patrick Church and that deserves to be mentioned in this gallery guide.