Norberto Nunes

Born in May 1942 in Beira Litoral, Portugal. Attended the painting course in Escola de Artes Decorativas António Arroio, in Lisbon, and simultaneously takes painting classes from the painter Roberto de Araújo in Sociedade de Belas Artes.

After graduating, he starts working on animated cartoons and children book illustration, both areas where he develops a series of work.

In the 70’s Norberto goes to Brazil, where he spent 2 years working in the advertising film industry. He returns to Portugal in 1977 and launches his own film producing company, Nova Imagem, in which he wins innumerous national and international awards for advertising film making – a Silver Cannes Lion and a Silver Award in the New York Festival are some of the many.


From 1998 on Norberto dedicates his full time to painting. Since then he had exhibitions in Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Cantanhede, Porto, Santarém, Amadora, Lagoa e Cosntância. His works were also exhibited in Paris, Madrid, New York, Ro de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília, Recife and Fortaleza.


From 2001 on Norberto spends most of his time in Rio de Janeiro, where he starts a series of paintings based in the poetry of Fernando Pessoa. Recently he is developing a similar concept based in the stories of Hans Christian Andersen.



Norberto Nunes


  • José Sommer Ribeiro

    “Some of his libraries reflect his formation as a film director, others are more structured, like the ones in which appear the image of the painter or just his palette. The libraries I consider to be fully accomplished are the ones reflecting an almost architectonical organization, full of light. The canvas where he shows city dwelling perspectives or crowds in motion are more sober compositions, that don’t lag behind of any of his other themes, by the contrary, they emboss a truly meaningful contention.” José Sommer Ribeiro Ex. Director at Vieira da Silva Museum

  • Philippe Nusdaumer

    "From its formation as a movie director Norberto Nunes retained the art of framing and above all the masterly art of tilt and movement. He evolves from a plain space and his ground vision turns tangible an eminently elusive thing such as time. Not that time that runs like a calm river, but that thundered time, with the velocity of the modern city. Norberto Nunes is a southern man and he retained the teachings of the Italian futurists. His perspectives owe a lot to his film “travelling” and “aerial views” techniques." Philippe Nusdaumer chavalier des arts et des lettres


    “Norberto Nunes’s coherence has always been present in his works, in a variety of moods. This coherence is also present in the paintings under the “Library” theme, when he frames a moving universe searching for the answer – what is the light? What is movement? Even in the 70’s, in a movie he made about the works of the novelist Alexandre Herculano, Norberto expressed these concerns: in a long and bright take, shot by helicopter, along the bridge over river Tagus, entering Lisbon, the artist identified this image as the representation of reality in motion.” Maria Nobre Franco Former Conservator at Museu Berard

  • Francisco Moita Flores

    “The paintings of Norberto Nunes had long ceased to be a craftsman work from idle hours. It has reached the maturation of caressed, loved and worked fruits and it is today one of our authors that, exhibition upon exhibition, slowly comes to revelation as one of our great impressers of memory. He brought to his canvas the restlessness of his movies, the firm hand of a film director. It’s a normal thing. No one can escape from the past, especially when the past was rich in creativity and good taste. The restlessness is still there. Some of his paintings had caused me that strange feeling that touches my body when I’m upon a great painting. I stumble, like in some form of drunkenness, flooded with images and sounds, stunned. And if this exaltation touches me, a mere mortal that loves paintings with the fervor that through it we can speak to world, it doesn’t come as a surprise to me that his works are touching a higher number of people. Norberto Nunes is, in fact, a contemporary Portuguese artist that leaped from the banality and the frailty of our days to the perennial of our emotions. A Master.” Francisco Moita Flores Writter and University Professor

  • “Maria Nobre Franco”

    The artist's eye The coherence of Norberto Nunes has always been present in his work, in a variety of registers. It is maintained in his presentation of A Livraria (The Bookshop), in his portrayal of an area undergoing change and in his search for an answer to the question - what is light? What is movement? Already in the 1970s, a film directed by him about the work of Alexandre Herculano gave voice to those concerns. In a wide-angled luminous shot filmed from a helicopter, flying over the bridge over the River Tagus and opening out onto the entrance to Lisbon, the artist identified the image as a representation of a reality in flux. An animation artist, Nunes in his youth made big inroads into creating advertising concepts and images. He brought together categories such as drawing, video, cinema and painting, in a sequence which, by not following a chronological order, intertwines in a description of the memory of things and people. The same notion of time. Of space. In his paintings, where an underlying narrative is apparent, he questions light, form and colour. The elements he use in cinema have been transported to his pictorial "travels", which have absolutely cinematographical outlines. As Jose Sommer Ribeiro said in the Pinturas catalogue, "he has the vision of a filmmaker". In this new series of works for the first time, overlaid words make an appearance. Are they the pieces of a puzzle or simulations of a dynamic image? Vestiges of aesthetic crossings, perhaps pop, in an act of subjective impulse.. By setting rhythms for the meaning searched for on multiple flights, the past and the present remain alive as signs of crossways that lead the artist to unity, to the whole. This is the unity that comes from the bringing together of opposites. It is impossible not to be reminded of the marvellous poem by Al Berto: "It lives there and sings - knowing that life will not have been an abyss, if it can make its song, or splinters of it, unite it again with the Universe". Maria Nobre Franco Former Conservator at Museu Berard

  • “Olivier Meslay”

    “It is maybe in his drawings that you can grasp the fundamental spirit of Norberto Nunes’s art. Underneath the black line, when the brightness of color fades and give way to the multiplied lines. The artist is more present there, as if his warmth replaced the absence of reds and browns. His strength comes from blues and blacks. Apparently he is in a corner of all his painted libraries like a puppet, but in reality he occupies all its greatness. An exclamation of everything you can read on Norberto Nunes’s work – space and infinity, all is built from Men.”

  • Norberto Nunes