Project: PIM – Modernismos ibéricos
Full title: Iberian Modernisms and the Primitivist imaginary

Reference: PTDC/ART-HIS/29837/2017
Starting date: 01 September, 2018
Ending date: 31 August, 2022
Website: iberianmodernisms.weebly.com



This projects aims to explore the expressions of primitivism in Iberian modernisms and their political, historical and aesthetic implications. The manifold and contradictory manifestations of primitivism in modern art and visual culture in the Iberian countries are observed considering both their protagonism in the anti-illusionistic quest of modern art, and the means by which this “primitivist fantasy” incorporated preconceptions on race, gender and class, either confirming or transforming them. The investigation comprises: the ties Spain and Portugal kept with their imperial past; the promotion of nationalist and folk aesthetics by conservative state cultural policies, and the avant-garde manifestations that opposed them; local, material and everyday life worlds of reference; nationalist ideologies and other political determinants; transnational artistic circulations; main ideas about modern art in the production of primitivist imagery, and the modernist artworks associated to it.


Main scientific domain: Humanities – Arts
Scientific sub-domain: Art History


Key-words: Iberian modernisms; Primitivism; Art history; Visual culture


Funding: 216 279,76


Main research Unit: Instituto de História da Arte (IHA/NOVA FCSH)
Main contractor: Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (NOVA FCSH)


Joana Cunha Leal IR (IHA/NOVA FCSH)
Mariana Pinto dos Santos Co-IR (IHA/NOVA FCSH)
Begoña Farré Torras (IHA/NOVA FCSH)
Antonio Saez Delgado (Universidade de Évora)
Joana Brites (Universidade de Coimbra)
Carlos Bártholo (Universidade Lusíada deLisboa)
Maria Lluïsa Faxedas (Universitat de Girona)
Paulo Henrique Duarte Feitoza (Universitat de Girona)
Mariana Viterbo Brandão (CIEBA-FBAUL)
Marta Loução Soares (IHA/NOVA FCSH)


Margarida Moura (BI Licenciado/a)
João Barriga Martins (BI Doutorando/a)



António Areal, O Fantasma de Avignon 5, 1967. 100 x 170 cm, tinta de esmalte s/ platex. Col. CAM – Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. Fotografia: Paulo Costa (uso da imagem gentilmente autorizado por Sofia Areal e CAM-FCG)

PIM final conference
The trouble with “primitivism”. Uses of the past in iberian and transatlantic modernisms
26-28 May 2022

Seminar “Art and cultural diplomacy: the Catalan art exhibition in Lisbon in 1921”
8 Oct. 2021

c. 1964, Ernesto de Sousa e escultura de Franklin © Isabel Alves

Congress on the Centenary of Ernesto de Sousa
co-organized by IHA/NOVA FCSH within the scope of the PIM project
2 June 2021

Midway workshop of the project
12-13 Oct. 2020

John Mateer © Daniel Terkl

Invisible Genres: Making an Indian Ocean Exhibition
Open lecture with John Mateer, independent curator
07 March 2019
See publications here