Rui Chafes’ artistic journey hasn’t been confined to just Portugal as he’s also made a significant impact internationally. His work has been exhibited in various countries, and he has been part of several collaborative projects that have further enriched his artistic portfolio.

One such notable collaboration was with the Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti. Although the two artists never met—Chafes was born in 1966, the year of Giacometti’s death—their works were brought together in an exhibition titled ‘Gris, Vide, Cris.’ This exhibition, held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, was not based on any formal analogies or affinities but rather on the differences between the two artists’ work and the potential for their works to resonate.

Both artists sought to achieve a state of incorporeality and transcendence and to represent the invisible, albeit in different ways: Giacometti through a process of exasperated dematerialization; Rui Chafes by challenging the limits of iron and imponderability.

What shall I do when you are not here? 2004 Coll. Museum Folkwang Essen, Germany

In this exhibition, nineteen works by Alberto Giacometti were exhibited alongside several new sculptures by Rui Chafes, specially made for this project. The first edition of this project was held in 2018 at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s delegation in France, now with a developed and updated concept, including a new exhibition design project and a new catalogue.

For one of Giacometti’s sculptures (the first study in plaster for Le Nez, dated 1947-1950), the Fondation Giacometti in Paris invited Rui Chafes to devise a structure from which to suspend it, thus forming a sculptural work of dual authorship, also shown in Lisbon.

Chafes’ work is not only confined to the realm of sculpture. He also dedicates part of his time to writing and translating, as well as organizing and publishing the books that accompany his sculptural work. His multifaceted approach to art and his commitment to his craft continue to inspire and provoke thought in viewers worldwide. His work, which is part of many European collections, is a testament to his significant contribution to the world of art.

For more information, visit the artists website,


YearExhibition TypeLocationCollaborators
1995Venice BiennialVenice, ItalyJosé Pedro Croft, Pedro Cabrita Reis
2004São Paulo BiennialSão Paulo, BrazilVera Mantero
2013Venice BiennialVenice, ItalyRepublic of Cuba’s pavilion
VariousSolo ExhibitionsVarious Key Institutions in PortugalPedro Costa, Orla Barry
VariousSolo ExhibitionsInternational InstitutionsPedro Costa, Orla Barry
2011Solo ExhibitionSassi di Matera, Italy
2018Large-Scale Sculptures ExhibitionBamberg, Germany
2018Dialogue-ExhibitionFondation Gulbenkian, Paris, FranceAlberto Giacometti
2020Large-Scale Permanent SculptureFondazione Centro Giacometti, Stampa, Switzerland
2022ExhibitionCentre Pompidou, ParisPedro Costa, Paulo Nozolino
2022Solo ExhibitionMuseu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto
2023Dialogue-ExhibitionFundação Calouste Gulbenkian, LisbonAlberto Giacometti