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Nuno Pimenta – Art at the interface to architecture.

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The artist and architect Nuno Pimenta has specialized in temporary architecture, installations and public art in his hometown Porto.

Art and architecture: two disciplines, one common denominator.

Nuno Pimenta stands at the desk of his studio and concentrates on tightening a few screws on a fluorescent tube construction. Art and architecture go hand in hand in his work. That he has perfected the interaction of both disciplines in such a way is no coincidence, but a learned craft. The subject of construction has always had a certain attraction for him. It was therefore obvious that the native Portuguese finally embarked on a career in architecture. Soon, however, he realized that he could also use the methodology of design for more creative projects. Detached from classical architecture, he thus found access to contemporary art. The subsequent study of art allows the architect to incorporate the analysis of social and political issues into his work. “The relation between arts and architecture is really blowing up right now,” explains Pimenta. In his interdisciplinary works he skillfully combines his two passions. The question he keeps asking himself when creating his works: “How can you transform everyday elements into something with meaning?

  • Shopping trolleys are attached around a steel structure and some people are sitting in them or pushing them.
  • In the center of a room there is a rectangular construction with a megaphone attached in the center.
  • A gold-colored miniature house, which rises up into the sky on a scaffold
  • A gold-colored miniature house, which rises up into the sky on a scaffold

Temporary art that stays in your memory.

The architect usually works with conventional construction methods and materials. He was particularly interested in the temporary approach. The goal is not that a work of art should last a long time physically, but the feeling aroused in the viewer should remain. After all, his interest in this subject was sparked as a child: His father once gave him a handicraft kit made of cardboard, from which a model could be made by cutting it out and gluing it together – in his case a gas station.  Pimenta’s work still ties in with this approach today. Thus he always develops a kit with different parts, which together form the complete work of art. An important part of his work is transporting the individual parts to their final location and assembling them on site, he describes.

The Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport is driven through the center of Porto

With the Vito Sport Nuno Pimenta brings his works of art to their exhibition site.

Public Art – or rather “art for everyone”.

Based on his architectural background, he usually locates his work in public space. “Art should be public and available to everyone,” the artist explains. “It’s really special to see all the things you thought about becoming alive not only in your imagination, but part of everyone in the city.” This is also accompanied by the approach of contemporary museums. They are also expanding in the city to present their art to a wider audience and in different places.

“What I like about art in public space is that people can connect to it, it’s not limited to a certain number of people”
Nuno Pimenta works on a fluorescent tube

The works of the artist and architect are made from standard construction materials and require real craftsmanship.

Nuno Pimenta holds two fluorescent tubes behind his artwork

In his works, the artist combines objects of everyday life with art in public space.

Nuno Pimenta's artwork on some fluorescent tubes

His transdisciplinary approach combines the analytical approach of art with the tectonic aspect of architecture.

Nuno Pimenta poses in front of his work of art, which consists of three light columns of fluorescent tubes

Nuno Pimenta's basic idea: Art accessible to everyone - as in his work "Unless (Rhythm of Twenty)" in a multi-storey car park.

Away from baroque architecture and world cultural heritage: Porto’s creative scene is booming.

Nuno Pimenta has remained true to his hometown. “Porto is a very honest city,” he asserts, and is therefore ideal for art projects. Anyone who has so far only associated the coastal city – which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 – with its historic old town has missed something. In recent years, a young creative scene has established itself: Around Rua Miguel Bombarda there are galleries of contemporary art, close to local designer stores and hip bars. You get a lively insight into Porto’s art scene every second month when the galleries present their new exhibits together.

View over the rooftops of Porto

Porto captivates with its history and in addition is a hotspot for artists and creative people.

Contemporary art galleries in Porto

Porto’s art scene is becoming more and more important. For an authentic insight into the up-and-coming creative life of the city, a visit to these contemporary art galleries is a good idea:


The gallery is located in the middle of the famous Rua De Miguel Bombarda. The focus is on promoting contemporary artists from Portugal and abroad. These are presented at regular events as well as group and solo exhibitions.

Galeria Nuno Centeno

The gallery, founded by Nuno Centeno, supports up-and-coming and established artists with its program. It collaborates with Portuguese and international artists who have promoted the contemporary scene in Porto. This is one of the reasons why it is considered to be so important in the scene.

A Certain Lack of Coherence

By artists for artists: The gallery’s self-organized and non-commercial spaces serve as a platform to bring artists from various fields together in a creative environment. With a colorful program of discussions and exhibitions, the gallery plays an important role in the development of contemporary art in Porto.

Scaffolding connecting two levels of an art exhibition

The work "Beauty Knows No Pain" (2017) creates different perspectives on the exhibition "Them Or US!"

A construct of wooden panels and corrugated fiberglass plates on an old stone water tank, surrounded by trees

"Hangover" (2015) is a temporary bar for the Ignition Music Festival.

A person stands in the middle of a room, the head is covered by a red parametric construct

The work "The Decoy" (2017) was shown for the first time in the exhibition "The Medium is Not the Message" in Porto.

A room consisting of pallets, steel supports and transparent, corrugated fiberglass panels stands on a meadow by a river bank.

"The Hedonist" (2014) is a transformative space that adapts to the needs of the user.

A wooden building, consisting of two levels, sits enthroned on an old wall

"Untitled (The Unknown)" (2017) houses specific knowledge about the village of Torre de Moncorvo on two levels .

Construction made of concrete barriers, safety nets and LED floodlights on the roof of a building.

In "The Host" (2012), concrete barriers, safety nets and LED floodlights create a construction that gives spontaneous performances a stage.

More Links to explore: Nuno Pimenta, Nuno Pimenta @ Instagram, Nuno Pimenta @ Facebook


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