Julião Sarmento is a Portuguese artist and painter. Born in Lisbon, studied painting and architecture at the Lisbon School of Fine Arts. Sarmento has developed a multi-media visual language, combining film, video, sound, painting, sculpture and installations. Sarmento‘s work often deals with issues of complex interpersonal relationships; he has consistently utilized themes such as psychological interaction, sensuality, voyeurism and transgression.
Sarmento is well known for his thickly impastoed, textured paintings where the paint field forms a ground from which he teases out his imagery in graphite, reversing the traditional basis of painting. His imagery is often partially or fully erased. He then draws on top of the erasure, creating fragmented and layered forms, which evoke disconcerting, mysterious gestures and relationships. Recent paintings no longer focus on line as a representation of female form, but utilize monochrome silhouettes to represent the figures.
He has exhibited his work extensively in one-man and group shows. Julião Sarmento represented Portugal at the Venice Biennial in 1997. He has been included in two Documenta. His work is represented in public and private collections worldwide such as: The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Holland; and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.