Sarmento studied painting and architecture at the Lisbon School of Fine Arts. He began exhibiting film, video, sound, painting, sculpture, installation and multimedia in the early seventies, but also developed several site-specific projects.
He has exhibited his work extensively around the world in solo and group shows. Sarmento represented Portugal at the Venice Biennial in 1997. His work is represented in several museums and private collections, including an artist room showing at London's Tate Modern in 2010.
In his video installation Leporello (2010) he featured Jerusa Franco, Amira Casar, Sasha Grey, and Pamela Butt. A recent demonstration of his work was showcased as part of the Desert X exhibit in the Coachella Valley from February 25 - April 30 2017.
- Johnson, Ken (2005-04-15). "JULIÃO SARMENTO: 'SOME LIMITS OF REASON'". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- Giorgio Persano (November 10, 2012). "Julião Sarmento". artmap.com. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
- "Julião Sarmento in mostra a Porto e a Torino". La Stampa (in Italian). January 18, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
- Christopher Grimes (April 8, 2010). "Destricted: Film Shoot with Juliao Sarmento and Sasha Grey". Christopher Grimes Gallery. Retrieved March 12, 2019.