Porto’s best art galleries
Occupying a restored former warehouse near Campanhã rail station, in one of the city’s most authentically gritty neighbourhoods, this gallery has a carefully put together programme of shows featuring emerging or little-known Portuguese artists. Alongside it, there are two more warehouses with changing art displays.
Galeria Fernando Santos’s been going for 25 years and was the first to open in Rua Miguel Bombarda, which today is the site of Porto’s main cluster of galleries. It mainly works with established artists, such as Portugal’s own Nikias Skapinakis, Gerardo Burmester and Pedro Cabrita Reis, as well as foreign names such as Antoni Tàpies, Julian Schnabel and Santiago Ydáñez. But there’s room for up-and-coming artists, too.
This spacious gallery has an exceptional view over the River Douro, but the most important thing is its packed agenda of exhibitions of works by both known and emerging artists.
This may be one of the city’s oldest galleries, but it still has new blood pumping through it. Over the years it has provided a platform for many artists at the start of their careers and has helped to establish many well-known ones.
Despite being relatively new, this gallery has already made its mark in Porto. It stands out for its support for the careers of a range of promising artists, and the chances it has taken have paid off. The space also includes the Kubikulo, a small showcase facing on to the street that houses daring interventions by different artists.
Sismógrafo is on a first floor, and can be easily missed by passers by, but is worth climbing the stairs to check out. Your reward is a series of exhibitions of a more experimental nature than is usual in Porto’s galleries, with works by leading Portuguese and foreign artists.
Run by a young team, one of this gallery’s owners, Nuno Centeno, was recently chosen as one of Europe’s ten most respected gallerists. It also works with artists from various countries who are making a name internationally, such as Daniel Steegman Mangrané, Secundino Hernandéz and Max Ruf.
Ó! Galeria specialises in illustration, and its walls are filled with drawings by different artists. There is also a separate exhibition area with regularly changing shows, always by leading artists in illustration, currently one of the most dynamic areas of the art world.