Contemporary Art Brazil: More Than Just A Carnival In 2013

Carnival is is fast approaching and besides the traditional Brazilian party, the entire country will feature important established and emerging contemporary art exhibitions. ArtLyst’s Brazil corespondent Douglas Negrisolli reveals a lineup of work from André Feliciano to Ai Weiwei – Guide : part 1

The art scene in Brazil is very hot! The economy is booming and the museums and galleries, as never before are focusing on an abundance of important international exhibitions such as, Antony Gormley in CCBB (Cultural Center of Brazillian Bank). In 2012, during a 6 month period several art events between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro occured. Integrating these international productions, we had a unique Caravaggio and Modigliani exhibitions, and important reviews as Adriana Varejão in Museum of Modern Art São Paulo (mam-sp) and Lygia Clark at Itaú Cultural, also in São Paulo. Adriana Varejão is a singular artist, who connects brazillian patrimony, with art history, mythology, religion and engages the public with sensible discussions with these symbols, her exhibition is at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio until 10 March, and goes to MALBA (Argentina) 26-March at 10-June.

2012 was an exciting year for Visual Arts in Brazil, with several announcements, fairs and of course, the São Paulo Biennal. The Biennal brought many interesting artists and a conceptual project with aggregation by poets. The experience of that event was reborn from an institution that manages the Biennals. Last year was upbeat with many important international galleries participating in Fairs, including Gagosian and White Cube at the ArtRio Fair, for their third edition in September. Enjoying this new found success in the contemporary art market, the London based gallery White Cube choose São Paulo to open their second representation outside the UK followed by the opening of a gallery in Hong Kong.

Galleries and museums are working overtime to get the attention of the public and collectors this year. Most of the top galleries are located in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but not only that, the local art scene is coming into its own nationwide. International Curitiba’s Biennal complete 20 years and open their activities on 31 August, have a premise “As art works remain while themes/titles are forgotten, this edition of the Curitiba Biennial will focus on the selection of art works that could represent an aesthetic experience of significance to the city”.

Starting on February 7, Ai Weiwei will have his first exhibition in a Brazillian museum MIS-SP (Image and Sound Museum in São Paulo) showing hundred of photos, videos and texts from 1983 – 2011. This exhibition is very important given the influence of  Ai Weiwei and the growing Chinese contemporary art market.

For those who follow emerging art, many galleries are showing the new, and catering for a variety of tastes. In March: The sculptor Flávio Cerqueira is featured at Casa Triângulo. The paintings and drawings of Laura Gorsky at Estúdio Buck, objects and paintings of Maria Lynch at Anita Schwartz Gallery (Rio), street art with JACA at Choque Cultural, Lourival Cuquinha who lives between London and Olinda (Brazil) with exceptional/ controversial installations. The fresh and growing Lume Photos Gallery presents ­­­Rodrigo Kassab with photos about city and limits between public and private. It is very interesting to know more about Brazilian unaesthetic cities.

One of the most important galleries in São Paulo and the most hip – Zipper Gallery, will be the only Brazilian gallery exhibiting at ART13, in London with various young artists,  especially highlight Gardener André Feliciano and Ana Holk. Feliciano bring his flowers and gardens and invites people to see the image reborn, while Ana Holk works with the landscape and how it has changed over time  especially in context with Rio de Janeiro architecture.

There are many other exciting exhibitions in Brazil that we will feature in our next report, see you!

Douglas Negrisolli  Art Historian – independent curator  © ArtLyst 2013

Photos credits Adriana Varejão Mestiça, 2012 Oil on fiberglass and resin 80 ø x 9 cm

Histórias às Margens, 2012 Photo: Sergio Guerrini | Courtesy Galeria Fortes Vilaça, João Castilho, 02 Vade Retro Photography


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