The Novobanco Photography Collection (formerly known as BESart Collection) was initiated in 2004 with the acquisition of a light box by Jeff Wall, a self-portrait by Cindy Sherman, a view of Shanghai by Thomas Struth, and an image of a bookcase by Candida Höfer. From here, the Collection expanded quickly within the following 10 years: with these four works considered as a reference framework for the collection of photo-based artworks from living artists of the 21st century, it now contains over 1,000 works from 300 artists of various generations and 38 nationalities.
The highly differentiated Collection was curated from the very beginning by the art advisor Alexandra Fonseca Pinho, who has brought together photographic images offering a first-hand approach to the changes and advances that have taken place in contemporary art in the last twenty years: “To collect is to capture a particular vision of a time, and a Collection must accept that art is the result of a creative, social and historical context,” she says. The Collection springs from the Bank’s “desire to share with a broad cross-section of the public the need to speak of the present and imagine a hypothetical future through artworks, as well as to offer a panorama of the world that only artists can give us.”
The Collection, which was already considered one of the most important of its kind, only became publicly accessible in 2008. Since then, the Contemporary Photography Collection from Novo Banco has its own exhibition space and storage in the Marquês de Pombal building in Lisbon.
The NovoBanco Photography Collection is a founding member of IACCCA - International Association of Corporate Collections of Contemporary Art and a member of ICOM – International Council of Museums.
For Lisbon Design Week, a selection of Portuguese photographers’ works from the Collection (José Manuel Rodrigues, Nuno Cera, Samuel Rama, André Cepeda, Valter Vinagre, Edgard Martins, Gérard Castello Lopes, Gabriela Albergaria, António Ole, Paulo Nozolino) will be shown over three days in a special exhibition curated by Further Ther placing them in dialogue with objects made in Portugal by a group of artisans and designers. Participating designers include, among others, Mircea Anghel, Further Ther, Alan Louis, Saudade Design, Clara T. Rego, Persson & Miller, Julien Labrousse & Wesley Sacardi. There will be also an event at the Gallery where professionals will share their experiences on responsible design in line with the bank’s vision on the importance of sustainability and support of artisans and small enterprises.
Images courtesy of: Novobanco