Jorge Molder

Jorge Molder was born in Lisbon, where he lives and works. He studied Philosophy at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon, having initially planned to follow an academic career as a professor and researcher, which he soon decided not to embark upon. He assumed his interest for photography, cultivated since he was about 17 years old, more methodically only after he completed his degree in 1965. That year he started his artistic career, presenting his work individually for the first time in an exhibition entitled Vilarinho das Furnas (Uma Encenação), Paisagens com Água, Casas e Um Trailer [Vilarinho das Furnas (A Staging), Landscapes with Water, House and a Trailer], in 1971.

The unfolding in series stands out as the first premise of his photographic work, in which the titles assume an especially evocative role, defining and organizing these universes of inquiry. He began to use self-representation, understood as a process, in the 80’s, with the series Autoportraits from 1979-87 showcased in the Journées de la Photographie et de l´Audovisuel in Montpellier. In the 90’s, the problem and ambivalence of auto-representation achieved new heights in the series The Secret Agent (1991), in which the artist began to explore the creation of different characters and creatures which he immersed in fictional episodes. Authors such as Samuel Beckett, Joseph Conrad, Lucian Freud, Magritte, Francis Bacon and Pistoletto are some of the most significant influences in these works.


During his long and widespread photographic production, Molder has amply explored the potential of black and white photography, without however completely disregarding color, engaged through specific supports such as Polaroid, digital photography and video.


Jorge Molder represented Portugal at the Sao Paolo Biennial of 1994 and the Venice Biennial of 1999, a moment which marked his international recognition. In 2006, the Spanish Telephonic Foundation showcased a retrospective exhibition of his work, awarded the following year by the International Association of Art Critics/Ministry of Culture.


Since 1990 Jorge Molder has been directly linked to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, being, from 1993 till 2005, the director of the Modern Art Centre. To this institution he donated two series of works, O Pequeno Mundo [The Little World], from 2000, and Não tem que me contar seja o que for [You don’t need to tell me anything at all], from 2006-2007.




May 2010




See the website of the artist here.