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to Jan 25 | SCULPTURE EXHIBIT | Infinite Sculpture: From the Antique Cast to the 3D Scan | Praça da Espanha | FREE

September 29, 2020 - January 25, 2021

free with museum admission

“This exhibition brings together works by 18 contemporary artists and casts from the collection of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon. It takes a close look at casting, and the role it plays not only in sculpture, but also in many aspects of the everyday world.

Casting has been a way to make copies from other artworks, from life, from nature, from buildings, in the past and in the present. Casting in plaster still happens, but the exhibition has many more modern technologies on show, including 3D printing.

These various methods, and materials, all remind us that sculpture is rarely unique, and more often multiple. Casts are used to preserve special things and catch special moments that are about to change – children growing up, the face of the deceased, an important building – but are also used for everyday forms, such as domestic objects and homes.

Casts have long had an important documentary and especially medical function, and here the anatomy studio lies in between medicine and art as a space of learning

Alongside the historic casts, we show works by David Bestué, Christine Borland, Marie José Burki, Steven Claydon, Michael Dean, Aleksandra Domanović, Asta Gröting, Simon Fujiwara, Oliver Laric, Jumana Manna, Jean-Luc Moulène, Charlotte Moth, Rogério Taveira, Francisco Tropa, Xavier Veilhan, Marion Verboom, Daphne Wright and Heimo Zobernig.

These artists have been chosen because they are fascinated by casting, and what it allows them to do. The exhibition is multi-layered, with no fixed narrative. Instead, viewers will find endless links between old and new, centering above all on the concepts of reproduction, variation, seriality, scale, and commemoration.

Before traveling to Lisbon, this exhibition is on display at the Beaux-Arts de Paris until 16 February 2020, bringing together the contemporary works with the French historic plasters, in a setting that is redolent of the role of the plaster cast and its place in artistic learning.

This project is an opportunity to make available to the public collections from art schools that have aroused growing interest among researchers and contemporary artists, but have until now been almost entirely hidden from the public gaze.”

Head curator: Penelope Curtis
Curatorial team: Penelope Curtis, Rita Fabiana, Thierry Leviez, Armelle Pradalier
Exhibition organised and co-produced by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Beaux-Arts de Paris, in collaboration with the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon.

18 Sep – 25 Jan 2021, 1

Learn more here.




The scenario of this exhibition evokes the fascinating disorder of the art school which, unlike a museum, is not constrained by standard categorization, allowing us to discover surprising combinations: art next to science, architecture next to nature, small next to large, old next to new. In contemporary art schools, artists still work with and surrounded by casts.

This exhibition aims to throw light on a source of inspiration which is often invisible to the general public.


‘The artists’ points of view’
With Penelope Curtis e Francisco Tropa, Belén Uriel and Rogério Taveira
Conversation in Portuguese without simultaneous interpretation
Thursday, 17 September, 15:00
Find out more


Get the Gulbenkian Museum App to access the free audio guide for this exhibition (in Portuguese and English).


September 29, 2020
January 25, 2021
free with museum admission
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Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Av. de Berna 45 A, 1067-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Lisboa, Lisboa 1067-001 Portugal
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