The EDP Foundation Portuguese Art Collection was started in 2000 with the aim of encompassing several generations of contemporary Portuguese artists, as well as assorted expressions of artistic creation such as painting, photography, video and installation. Continuously evolving with yearly acquisitions, the collection comprises approximately 2,400 works by more than 330 artists.
Chronologically, the collection was set to begin with the 1960s, a decade of revolutionary change not only in society, with the emergence of civil rights movements, the sexual revolution and counterculture protests, but also in art, with the rise of Pop Art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art, among many other movements. This was also the time when the Portuguese Electricity Company, the precursor of EDP (Energias de Portugal), was created.
Starting in the sixties with works by artists such as Jorge Pinheiro, Ângelo de Sousa and Lourdes de Castro, and continuing to the following decades with Jorge Martins, Alberto Carneiro, Helena Almeida, Eduardo Gageiro and Luísa Correia Pereira, but also João Louro, Joana Vasconcelos, Leonor Antunes, Rui Toscano, among many others, the collection maps Portuguese art up to the present day by including contemporary artists such as André Romão, Mariana Silva or Horácio Frutuoso.
With the acquisition of the Pedro Cabrita Reis Collection in 2015 consisting of 388 works by 74 artists, the EDP Foundation holds one of the most significant collections of contemporary Portuguese art from the turn of the 20th century.
From the autumn of 2020, the EDP Foundation Portuguese Art Collection is regularly presented within the spaces of Central through a series of invited curatorial projects by diverse experts, researchers and thinkers that are intended to engage with this reservoir of knowledge from multiple intellectual vantage points. Through alternative conceptual and scholarly interpretations, the programme aims to bring forward new readings to enlighten historical, social and technological narratives that go beyond those of the collection itself.