Julião Sarmento, who was born in Lisbon in 1948, is a Portuguese artist living and working near Lisbon. He is one of Portugal’s most resounding names in the art world, from the seventies to the present day, receiving institutional and private prestige in a career full of highlights.

He studied painting and architecture at the Lisbon School of Fine Arts and has been exhibiting regularly, both in group and solo shows, since the 70’s. There are some truly stellar moments to his career, such as representing Portugal at the 46th Venice Biennale (1997) and being included in two other editions (1980 and 2001). He was also exhibited at the Documenta 7 (1982) and 8 (1987), the São Paulo Biennale (2002), Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid, 1992), Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisboa, 1993 and 2000) and Museu Serralves (Porto, where he had his most complete retrospective ever presented in 2012-2013). Tate Modern also installed an art room for Julião Sarmento in 2011. His work is present in public and private collection in North and South America, Europe and Japan.

He works in his Sintra studio since 2000, a lush warehouse complete with a working area, but also gallery space (where he can preview his works), storage and the rich archive you can see in our report. After all, we had the chance to visit all these areas, focusing on the bigger picture, but also in the little details. Knowing beforehand how Julião Sarmento’s work has been performed in a wide variety of media, our pictures try show some of the nuances and dimensions featured in his work and process.


Exclusive article by Aujourd'hui with photos by Maria Rita.