Amuse-Bouche, at Galeria Foco

Galeria Foco has opened a new space at Rua Antero de Quental with the group show Amuse-Bouche, which can be visited until May 29. The show features 13 national and international artists: Clara Imbert, Francisco Osório, Hugo Cantegrel, Luísa Salvador, Manuel Tainha, Márcio Vilela, Mia Dudek, Nádia Duvall, Pauline Guerrier, Rudolfo Quintas and Sarah Valente, artists who maintain a relationship with this gallery through individual, collective exhibitions or presences in fairs; but there are also two premieres: Bence Magyarlaki and Maria Appleton.

After four years of activity and creativity, Galeria Foco continues to create and resize itself in this old car dealership with two floors and a window to the street that, being 10 meters long, is a visiting card to those who pass by. The space in Rua da Alegria will not cease to exist, but it will become a project space dedicated to a freer and more experimental expression.

The will of expansion and the potential of this space allow the creation of a singular base for the gallery’s programme, which we can now be tasted in appetizer mode, as the name of the presentation exhibition suggests. Amuse-Bouche introduces us to this space’s programming future: it is a trailer of the work of the artists who, until 2024, will be able to explore and perform in this new house.

Although there is no global theme, as each artist expresses their own universe, the exhibition is understood as a whole about the venue, especially the scenography and the dialogue between the pieces, which relate to and stand out from each other – the juxtaposition of Francisco Osório’s work, which hides and unhides Hugo Cantegrel’s three poetic and theatrical pieces; or the stand-alone work by Clara Imbert, which, through the three-dimensionality and architecture of the pendulum sculpture, allows the contrasting opacity of the illuminated pastels by Nádia Duvall to be seen.

The converging point of this exhibition is related to the fact that all the artists work, in a more or less evident way, on their relationship with the venue. This is the curatorial line that, starting from a natural and organic selection of the emerging artists that orbit the Galeria Foco, focuses on the different media used and the several explorations of the physical space. It does so in a simple and accessible way and, in the words of gallerist Benjamin Gonthier, in a fresh way.

The show invites us to think about the space we occupy, the containment of the physical body, spatiality and the duration of time. Bence Magyarlaki presents two sculptures that contest space and revolve in dancing curves, in an opposition to the material in which they are conceived, showing that we are destined to occupy a wider space than any architectural rule. Mia Dudek’s works also respond to the architecture and promise to spill beyond the bodily and spatial limits of the gallery, as they occupy a space between the two floors. Sarah Valente uses the structural strength of marble and Luísa Salvador resorts to the fragility of paper to reflect on our position in relation to the natural elements, exhibited side by side. The 13 artists show the variations and freedom with which each one thinks about the space and, above all, how each one will think about it when it is their turn to occupy it.

Maria Appleton will be the first to whet our appetites, in June, with a more complete menu, inspired by the piece she presents in Amuse-Bouche. Non, je n’ai rien oublié is a wall textile that plays with the idea of transparencies and the approach to the venue, although it does not yet focus on the site-specific character of what is to come. At the end of the year, we will be able to see the solo exhibitions of Clara Imbert (September-October 2021) and Nádia Duvall (November-December 2021).

As stated in the exhibition text, this group show “should awaken your palate, arouse your senses and feed your imagination. Through each artist’s unique sampling, we stand on tiptoe to taste the rest of the meal”.

Amuse-Bouche, at Galeria Foco, can be visited until May 29.

Concluded the Bachelors in International Relations with a minor in Communication Sciences at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and an MA in Art Markets Management at ISCTE. Has been involved with varied cultural projects such as AZAN, ProjetoMAP and REDE art agency. Assisted the production of the exhibition ProjetoMAP 2010-2020 Map or Exhibition at Museu Coleção Berardo and produced the exhibition I WILL TAKE THE RISK at AZAN. Was involved in the publication of the book ProjetoMAP Map of Portugal’s Artists and contributes for publications such as GQ Portugal.

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