Pedro Cabritas Reis
Pedro Cabritas Reis © Juan Rodriguez
Visual arts

Pedro Cabrita Reis

It is not about entertainment or making something beautiful. Art should stimulate our intelligence and expand our capacity to understand the world better.

As part of the France-Portugal Season 2022, implemented by the Institut français for the French portion, Pedro Cabrita Reis is invited by the Musée du Louvre to exhibit a sculpture in the Tuileries gardens. Called The Three Graces, the installation can be seen from 13 February to 7 June 2022. 

Active since the 1980s, Pedro Cabrita Reis is one of the most influential Portuguese artists of his generation. His work, both poetic and philosophical, covers a range of media. 

Updated on 14/03/2022

10 min

Pedro Cabrita Reis was born in Lisbon in 1956, where he studied Fine Arts and edited the influential magazine Arte Opinião until 1982. Even then, his work was characterised by its great formal diversity and highly conceptual anchoring. From 1992, he exhibited at the Documenta in Kassel, before multiplying his exhibitions on the international circuit, notably in Venice, where he participated several times in the Biennale, and represented his country in 2003. 

At the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale in 2009, his two installations in the Bichat warehouse combining neon lights and young tree shoots were very well received. A member of the Collège international de Philosophie de Paris and the London Architecture Foundation, his demanding work is characterised by great intellectual rigour. Highly recognisable, with his impeccable suits and eternal cigar in his mouth, he is also a collector, and has appeared in many Portuguese films. 

Pedro Cabrita Reis' work is characterised by a constant dialogue between modern architecture and nature. Drawing inspiration from everyday objects, his earliest pieces are on the borderline between a ready-made and a very minimalist approach. Working with industrial building materials (bricks, cement, planks, etc.), or with found objects, his sculptures tend to deconstruct and simplify spaces in an attempt to recover their original principles. He thus questions the way in which the memory of past actions is inscribed in places, creating site-specific proposals, as during his first travelling retrospective, from 2009 to 2011, which saw his work exhibited successively at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the M-Museum in Louvain, and the Carré d'Art in Nîmes. 

In 2018, commissioned by the MUCEM (Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée), he erected several hundred concrete, iron and wood structures on the Place d'Armes of Fort Saint-Jean, facing the sea, in Marseille. The ensemble evokes a petrified forest, or a mineral crowd, in dialogue with the urban space and the surrounding landscape. As is often the case, with The Forest (Marseille), Pedro Cabrita Reis strips down the structures, experiments with light effects and deconstructs the notions of building and city in order to achieve a purity, halfway between autobiography and a more self-reflexive approach to museum practice. The exhibition also gave rise to the publication of a catalogue in which the artist talks to patients from the psychiatric hospital in Lisbon, where he presented Foresta, the counterpart to his installation in Marseille. 

Pedro Cabrita Reis : "Les Trois Grâces" au Jardin des Tuileries // Saison France-Portugal 2022
Pedro Cabrita Reis : "Les Trois Grâces" au Jardin des Tuileries // Saison France-Portugal 2022
  • 1956


    Born in Lisbon.

  • 1992


    Participates in Documenta 9, in Kassel.

  • 2003


    Represents Portugal at the Venice Biennale.

  • 2009


    Subject of a major travelling retrospective by the Hamburger Kunsthalle.

  • 2018


    His monumental installation The Forest (Marseille) is inaugurated in the city of Marseille.

  • 2022


    "The Three Graces", sculptures in white cork, are exhibited in the Jardin des Tuileries to mark the launch of the France-Portugal Season.

The Institut français and the artist

The Three Graces, by  Pedro Cabrita Reis, can be seen at the Jardin des Tuileries from 13 February to 7 June 2022 as part of the France-Portugal Season 2022. 

In a decision by the French President and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa during Emmanuel Macron's official visit to Lisbon in July 2018, the France-Portugal Season will be held simultaneously in the two countries between mid-February 2022 and October 2022. 

The France-Portugal Season is implemented by the Institut français, responsible for French cultural actions abroad under the aegis of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture. 

Learn more about the Season 


France-Portugal Season is part of the Portuguese and French presidencies of the European Union. 

Learn more about the French presidency of the Council of the European Union 


L'institut français, LAB