Metropolitano de Lisboa: Deep Art

Gulbenkian joins Lisbon Metro
Par JoÁ£o GALVÁƑO Il y a 6 ans

Lisbon tube celebrates 70 years of existence and it has invited the Gulbenkian Museum to decorate the party, deep underground.


Art fled the Gulbenkian Museum but did not conquer the city: it escaped through tunnels and settled in the underground station of Baixa-Chiado.

This exhibition is part of Metropolitano de Lisboa's 70th-anniversary celebrations, which take place throughout 2018. It is the result of a partnership with the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and it intends to present some of the most emblematic artworks of the Museum's various collections.

Paintings from the Gulbenkian Museum shown at the Baixa-Chiado subway station

The exhibitions at the Metro stations in Lisbon showcase various reproductions of works by artists such as Lalique, Renoir, Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso or José de Almada Negreiros, and serve as an amuse-bouche to meet them "live" at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.


This way, Metropolitano de Lisboa invites Lisbon people and tourists to visit or revisit one of the most emblematic Portuguese art museums. Gulbenkian receives about half a million visitors a year.

Pictures from the Gulbenkian Museum shown at the Baixa-Chiado subway station

This show is itinerant, but it will always be en route within the Metro lines: until August 20th it can be seen, as I said, in Baixa-Chiado, from then until October 18th at the Airport station, then at Terreiro do Paço until December 18th and finally, until February 18th, at the Oriente station.


The Metropolitano de Lisboa "thus reaffirms its objective to continue promoting culture and sustainable mobility, following the best standards of quality, safety and economic, social and environmental effectiveness, by betting on new forms of loyalty and funding of new customers ".

Work by Bela Silva at Alvalade subway station

Some of the stations of the Metropolitano de Lisboa are already art galleries in themselves, thanks to an effort that the company undertook when hiring great artists to decorate their underground spaces.


One of our favorites is Bela Silva's intervention in the Alvalade station: as always, women are the main focus of the artist, whether in more or less obvious themes, such as in the traditional story of " Monkey with Truncated Tail " or in other mysterious and intimate speeches.


Aeroporto, one of the last stations to have been built, was decorated by the excellent cartoonist António Antunes and stands out even more by not using the traditional tile format; António's cartoons are drawn in black on beige stone, cut with a water jet and mounted later as if they were pietra dura compositions. They show relevant personalities of the Portuguese cultural and sports scenes. 

Relevant Portuguese personalities at the Aeroporto subway station

In addition to these, the interventions of Pedro Cabrita Reis, Graça Pereira Coutinho, Pedro Calapez and Rui Sanchez at the Olaias station are also worth a visit. The station was chosen by CNN in 2014 as one of Europe's most impressive subway stations.


There is also the work of Júlio Resende at the Jardim Zoológico station, where yellow, green and blue compositions mirror the physical animal proximity. For the floor, Resende chose the traditional Portuguese sidewalk design, having drawn long snakes that guide the user to the exit.


These are our favorites, but there are many more and they can all be seen for as little as 1,45€, the price of a subway ride. 


Images from the exhibition provided by the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.

Photos of the stations taken from the Metropolitano de Lisboa website.