Museu Berardo
Associação de Colecções
Associação Colecção Berardo

Ernesto de Sousa Poster Collection

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Ernesto de Sousa saw life as art and not art as a part of life. He encouraged others to break barriers and explore new languages​​, and became the crossover to the development of avant-garde ideas in Portugal, promoting the art within the country and promoting national artists in a global context.

It is with this relentless pursuit, plurality and initiative that he organized the exhibition Alternative Zero, in 1977, with the participation of important artists. Some of the posters shown in this exhibition are part of this collection and represent the influence of international art within Portuguese art in the late 1960s and throughout the 70s, and marks the turning point of the national art scene abroad.

It is also within this context of sharing that we find the importance of the Poster collection of Ernesto de Sousa in the context of the twentieth century: the poster as a tool of communication and of the reproduction of Portuguese and international art. The collection includes works by the most significant artists of the time, as well as designers and graphic art collectives. Crossing several decades, it begins in 1948 with "Réseau Aerien Mondial”, one of the renowned advertising maps drawn by Lucien Boucher for the airline company Air France. There are around 1500 works in the collection that the artists wife, Isabel Alves, continued into the present century, even after the collectors death. Posters with photographs, texts and new languages where used to promote exhibitions and cultural or political events, allowing an historical and sociological analysis of the events of the period and at the same time showing an evolution of the technical approach used by designers since the second half of the 20th century until the present day.

The dedication of Ernesto de Sousa to this collection allows you to analyze the poster as a historical document and recognize the talents of Portuguese artists to convey ideas through a new mindset, more free and sensitive.

Joe Berardo

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