Working in the light of popular aesthetics channelled through politics and ideas from philosophy and poetry, Canoilas’ practice intertwines itself with art history and the evolution of art during the first period of Modernism. Drawing upon the thought of 20th century philosophers and writers including Derrida, Heidegger and Fernando Pessoa, the art and painting of Hugo Canoilas maintains a nuanced dialogue between abstraction and social realism. By focusing on painting as a material and metaphor Canoilas has found an intimate and visually seductive way to register the ‘signals of the world’, and a powerful means to sensitize ourselves to this world.


text from Someone a long time ago, now. Cooper Gallery,  Dundee


Hugo Canoilas was born in 1977, in Lisbon, Portugal. He studied Fine Art at ESAD, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal and received his MA in Painting from Royal College of Art, UK in 2006.

Canoilas has exhibited his work widely internationally,  most recently at: Under the Volcano, MNAC, Lisbon, Portugal; I’ll devour your eyes, Galerie Andreas Hueber, Vienna; Someone a long time ago now, curated by Sophia Hao. Cooper Gallery, Dundee, UK; Pássaros do Paraíso, 30th São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil; Endless Killing, Huarte - Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Huarte, Spain. Vota Octávio Pato - Ten reasons to be a member, Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany.