When Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso returned to Portugal at the beginning of World War One, he was a painter known in the avant-garde milieu, having taken part in group shows in Paris, New York, Chicago, Boston, Berlin and London.
The solo art exhibitions he organised in Portugal in 1916 are a part of that eagerness to establish his career: the first one was held in Porto, at Jardim Passos Manuel, from the 1 st to the 12 th November; the second one took place in Lisbon, at Liga Naval Portuguesa, from the 4 th to the 18 th December. Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis evoked the exhibition in Porto and now Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea –Museu do Chiado evokes the exhibition in Lisbon.
Both exhibitions caused scandal and discussion. In Lisbon, Amadeo and Almada Negreiros, Amadeo’s most enthusiastic supporter, finally got to know each other in person. It was in this context that Almada presented Amadeo's solo exhibition at Liga Naval as “more important than the discovery of the sea route to India.”
What could be seen one hundred years ago and what can we see today in the works exhibited? What were the venues where Amadeo exhibited his works like? What was Amadeo’s role as a “curator” of his own work?
What may have generated the most violent reactions? What was written on the media? What kind of discussions about avant-garde painting did the exhibition stimulated? These are some of the fundamental questions of this exhibition.
Raquel Henriques da Silva