Francisco Tropa – Paesine

December 2024 - April 2025 / Villa Paloma

Francisco Tropa
Agate, 2023
Light projection
© Francisco Tropa

The NMNM presents a monographic exhibition by Portuguese artist Francisco Tropa, specially conceived for the Villa Paloma and featuring a previously unseen selection of sculptures, drawings, films and light projections.

The exhibition takes its names from pietre paesine (imaged stones), whose geological designs are evocative of painted landscapes, on the boundary of figuration and abstraction. This idea of an analogy between nature and technique is at the heart of Francisco Tropa’s work, which focuses on the conditions of appearance and perception of an image.

At Villa Paloma, just a few yards from the famous “Observatory cave” that was occupied in the Palaeolithic period, Tropa seeks with humour and delicacy to reinterpret the origins of sculpture and its formal vocabulary, borrowing from prehistoric Venuses and classical Pietà, all the way up to minimalist works from the last century. Through a form of “anarchaeology”, it obliterates any attempt to create a historical account and deconstructs  the very space of the museum itself, turning it (back) into a platonic cave.  

Presented with ambiguous materials and images of unfathomable depth, the spectator is invited to a total experience of sculpture, from its material forms to its symbolic projections.

This monographic exhibition is organised in collaboration with the Serralves Foundation in Porto, which will simultaneously present another aspect of Francisco Tropa’s work.
A publication accompanying both exhibitions will be released in autumn 2024.

Curated by Célia Bernasconi

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