Art gallery and collector Maria da Graça Carmona e Costa will today be awarded the Cultural Merit Medal by the Ministry of Culture, in a ceremony at 5:00 pm, at Palácio da Ajuda in Lisbon.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Culture’s office, Luís Filipe Castro Mendes, the award will be awarded “in recognition of the invaluable work of a life dedicated to the promotion of the visual arts, promotion and continuous dissemination of contemporary artists in Portugal and in foreigner, for more than thirty years. ”
“Maria da Graça Carmona e Costa is today an emblematic personality in the panorama of contemporary Portuguese art, with a long career in the art gallery and a constant philanthropic activity,” he notes in the note, adding that the gallery owner “played a decisive role in support and dissemination of several generations of national breeders, both in Portugal and abroad. ”
Born in Lisbon, Maria da Graça Carmona e Costa attended, in the 1970s, the first training course of Initiation to Modern Art promoted by the National Society of Fine Arts.
It was at that time that he contacted prominent personalities of Portuguese art such as Almada Negreiros, José Augusto-França, Rui Mário Gonçalves, among others.
Also in the 1970s he began his activity in the Quadrum Gallery, founded by Dulce D’Agro, one of the most important galleries of the visual arts during this period, exhibiting and promoting works by Portuguese artists such as Alberto Carneiro, Álvaro Lapa, Ana Hatherly, Ana Vieira , Ângelo de Sousa, Carlos Nogueira, Eduardo Nery, Ernesto de Sousa, Fernando Calhau, Helena Almeida, Joaquim Rodrigo, Julião Sarmento, Menez, Nadir Afonso, Noronha da Costa, among others.
In the late 1980s, he founded the Giefarte cabinet, a space where he divulged the work of artists and creators such as Ana Vieira, António Palolo, Cristina Ataíde, Helena Almeida, Hugo Canoilas, Ilda David, Jorge Martins, João Vieira, Nikias Skapinakis, Pedro Portugal , Pedro Proença.
Giefarte’s collection of art includes many works and creations of authors whose career has followed, such as Álvaro Lapa, Ana Jotta, António Júlio Duarte, Daniel Blaufuks, João Penalva, Jorge Molder, Jorge Queiroz, José Luís Neto and Pedro Cabrita Reis.
In 1997, she created the Carmona e Costa Foundation with her husband – Vítor Carmona e Costa, already dead – in order to stimulate initiatives of contemporary Portuguese art.
In 2005, it inaugurated a space dedicated to the decorative arts – where it exhibits works of porcelain and earthenware collected by Vítor Carmona and Costa over the years -, and another one destined to the contemporary art, realizing since regular expositions.
Her collection of art, begun in the context of the Carmona e Costa Foundation, continues to expand, especially in the area of ??design, which the gallery owner considers transversal to all artistic disciplines.