Hugo Canoilas. Sculptured in darkness

Sculptured in darkness is an individual exhibition by Hugo Canoilas which features a selection of works that follow a research around the sea floor initiated by the artist in 2020.

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At the invitation of the CAM, Hugo Canoilas is preparing a project specifically for the temporary exhibitions gallery of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. This project continues the artist’s research, initiated in 2020, into life on the sea floor and ‘aquatic’ environments, proposing an immersive and sensory installation inhabited by creatures, painting-sculptures to which colour, texture, fluidity and an organic nature give an almost alchemical quality, as though they were in the midst of a metamorphosis right before our eyes.

Curator: Rita Fabiana


Hugo Canoilas lives and works in Vienna and New York.

Recent individual presentations of his work include Buoyant, Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna; On the Extremes of Good and Evil, curated by Rainer Fuchs, mumok, Vienna; Cnidarian Polyps Repaired by the Eye of the Observer, curated by Ricardo Nicolau and Marta Almeida, Serralves Museum, Porto. Canoilas has been contributing with his work in institutional exhibitions at Kunstverein in Hamburg, De Appel in Amsterdam, Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Salzburguer Kunstverein in Salzburg, 30th São Paulo Biennial in São Paulo, the 4th Ural Industrial Biennial in Yekaterinburg, and Vienna Biennale For Change in Vienna.

His work has received critical reviews in the magazines Mousse, ArtReview, Observer, Frieze, Metropolis M, FlashArt, Kunstforum, Contemporanea and in the newspapers The Guardian, Público and Expresso. Canoilas was co-editor of OEI #80–81: The Zero Alternative: Ernesto de Sousa and some other aesthetic operators in Portuguese art and poetry from the 1960s onwards. He’s developing The Grotto, a collective project at Quadrado Azul Gallery in Lisbon. Canoilas was the 2020 recipient of Kapsch Contemporary Art Award.


Photo: Nikolai Nekh