Works from the CAM Collection in the exhibition dedicated to Siza Vieira

Thirteen works from the CAM Collection form part of the exhibition 'Siza', dedicated to the work of Álvaro Siza Vieira, which opened on the 17th of May at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
20 may 2024

Following a donation by the architect in 2018, around 100 works belonging to the estate of Maria Antónia Siza (1940-1973) became part of the CAM collection. This collection mainly includes gouache and ink drawings, as well as some studies and embroideries made by the artist and wife of Álvaro Siza Vieira.

In the exhibition ‘Siza‘, we can see a total of ten works by Maria Antónia Siza from this set, in which gouache and ink on paper are the main vehicle for the creation of works that restlessly explore the fragility of the human condition. Figurative line drawings contrast the empty white of the paper, exploring themes relating mainly to motherhood, transfiguration, and the multiplication of the self. An artist who left us prematurely at the age of 32, she also left behind a large collection of anguished silhouettes and contorted figures that greatly inspired Siza Vieira’s work. One single oil painting from the CAM collection is also presented.

In a very unique way, the architect’s work was and is greatly influenced by Portuguese modernism. Three works by Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso (1887-1918), a leading figure in the first generation of the movement, are also part of the exhibition. The human figure floating on the uninhabited page, which represents the importance of drawing in the movement and in artistic creation in general, once again dominates this set of works. Siza Vieira, whose oeuvre spans six decades, uses these references to develop drawings, but also plans and design pieces, which are also presented in the exhibition, demonstrating his connection to the modernist movement and the continuity he has given it.

Curated by Carlos Quintáns Eiras, ‘Siza’ reflects on the architect’s voluminous body of work, a production we can understand as filling in the often inhospitable backgrounds of the works of those who influenced him. The works from the CAM Collection by Maria Antónia Siza and Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso reflect the strong artistic references that resonated with Álvaro Siza, Portugal’s most renowned contemporary architect.


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