Museu de Serralves shows until October the first comprehensive exhibition of the BPP Collection


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The exhibition “A Quem Possa Interessar: A Collection, A Letter” will open today at Serralves Museum in Porto, featuring 111 works by national and international artists from the collection of the former Banco Privado Português (BPP).

Of these 111 works by artists considered unavoidable in the art scene between the 1960s and the present, 76 came from the collection of the former BPP and 35 were on deposit in Serralves, revealed Isabel Braga, one of the curators of this show, which is “the first comprehensive exhibition of the BPP Collection in Serralves,” during a press tour.

As Serralves recalled, “the exhibition also bears witness to the common history between the BPP Collection and the Serralves Collection, since the first artistic direction of the Museu de Serralves (Vicente Todolí and João Fernandes) had a close relationship with the BPP Collection’s buying committee, suggesting the incorporation of certain works and ensuring their deposit in Serralves”.

“The challenge was to make an exhibition of the BPP collection that we decided to call ‘To Whom It May Concern’, which is the expression normally used when we want to write a letter to someone we don’t know exactly who it is,” explained Ricardo Nicolau, the other curator of the exhibition.

Nicolau added: “An exhibition, any exhibition, is exactly that, that is, a kind of letter that is addressed to everyone and to no one in particular.”

Ricardo Nicolau said that the layout of this exhibition was inspired by the ‘salons’ of 19th century paintings in which several paintings are displayed on colored and not white walls that usually characterize contemporary museums.

For this reason, the walls were painted purple and green.

However, the curator pointed out that the inspiration in the ‘salons’ was not only based on the color of the walls and the large number of works on display, but also on the “dialogue created between the different works.”

“There are certain artists or themes that refer to artists who are elsewhere in the museum where the exhibition is extended,” he said.

According to Ricardo Nicolau, the exhibition script “A Quem Possa Interessar: A Collection, A Letter,” on display until October 9, proves fundamental given that it is through this that visitors will have access to the identification of the works.

The various artists include Helena Almeida, A.R Penck, Marlene Dumas, Sol LeWitt, Rosemarie Trockel, Mike Kelley, Alex Katz, William Kentridge, and Lawrence Weiner.

In November, the Minister of Culture, Pedro Adão e Silva, told Lusa that the BPP art collection would become state property to prevent it from leaving the Serralves Foundation, where it is housed.

On the same day, Prime Minister António Costa announced that the Ellipse Collection and the BPP Collection would be handed over to the public, through an exchange of claims, worth 34.86 million euros, with the liquidation commission of the BPP, owned by banker João Rendeiro (1952-2022), which had gone bankrupt.

The BPP Collection was created between 1996 and 2008 and includes 385 works by 153 authors.

The collection includes works by, among others, Helena Almeida, Lourdes Castro, Pedro Calapez, and Julião Sarmento.

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