From 1 to 5 April, the 16th edition of SP-Arte will take place at São Paulo’s iconic Bienal Pavilion, at Ibirapuera Park, featuring over 2000 artists represented by the most renowned Brazilian and international art galleries, as well as design exhibitors. Having welcomed over 35,000 visitors to its last edition, SP-Arte offers an extensive programme including free guided tours, panel discussions with specialists and editorial launches, not to mention the well-established Opens Studios and Gallery Night, which build anticipation for the fair and help stimulate São Paulo’s art scene throughout the month. Among this year’s new additions are the new curator of the Masters sector, Maria do Carmo M. P. Pontes, and debut international participants, including Carpenters Workshop Gallery and Garth Greenan Gallery.
“Over the past sixteen editions, SP-Arte has prided itself in offering an enriching experience of engagement with the best art and design - from Brazil and abroad. This...is confirmed year after year with the growing art-hungry public, ” says Fernanda Feitosa, founder and director of SP-Arte. “ At a time when capturing the attention of collectors and art followers is increasingly more challenging, we prioritise working carefully with our curated sectors, offering a relevant programme and making the navigation of the fair more fluid”.
While SP-Arte’s Main sector continues to gather local and international galleries showing modern and contemporary art ranging from the early 20th century to the present day, other sectors bring a range of news, from debut participation to new curators and themes.
A highlight of the last edition, the Solo sector is once again led by Chilean curator Alexia Tala, who is also chief curator of this year’s Bienal de Arte Paiz, in Guatemala (opening in late May). In 2020, Alexia Tala deepens her Latin America-focused research and presents the new project Camadas de tempo [ Layers of Time ].
Amidst the region’s current political turbulence, the Solo project seeks to reflect on how events of the mid-20th century have affected the stability and autonomy of the Global South, looking into the Latin American continent and how modern forms of domination have affected the region’s nations. By presenting contemporary artists who explore temporal and geographical fractures of varying kinds, the curator attempts to demystify the historiography of classical art and reflect on how identity is constructed and contemporary history is written.
The project comprises twelve solo presentations, by artists from eight different countries. Highlights include Peruvian artist Ximena Garrido-Lecca (80m2 Livia Benavides, Peru) and Ecuadorian artist Adrián Balseca (Ginsberg, Chile), both also participants of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo. Garrido-Lecca solo show, the first event of the 34th’s Bienal de São Paulo programme, opens in February 2020, while Balseca is one of the artists confirmed for the biennial main group show, opening in September 2020. Balseca is also taking part in osloBIENNALEN First Edition, exhibiting in Oslo, Norway throughout the year. The participation of the artists in a curated sector of SP-Arte offers the public an opportunity to deeply engage with artists of such prominence in this year’s arts calendar.
Further participants in the sectors include Paraguayan artist Joaquín Sánchez (Patricia Ready, Chile), who has also participated in international shows, bringing themes related to the Latin-American conflicts and traditional indigenous communities to cities like Valencia, Spain and Venice, Italy. Brazilian artists Daniel Jablonski (Janaina Torres, Brazil), Zé Carlos Garcia (Pasto Galería, Argentina) and Paul Setúbal (C.galeria, Brazil) are also part of Solo. Setúbal returns to SP-Arte a year after winning the 7th SP-Arte Residency Award, which granted the artist a three-month residency at Delfina Foundation, UK institution with a leading programme for international exchange between artists.
Solo also includes productions by Argentine artists Cristina Piffer (Rolf Art, Argentina) and Guillermo Daghero (El Gran Vidrio, Argentina), Guatemalan artists Esvin Alarcón Lam (Henrique Faria, Brazil) and Manuel Chavajay (IK Projects, Peru) and Colombian artist Leyla Cárdenas (Portas Vilaseca, Brazil).
This year’s Masters sector builds dialogues between works by artists whose careers ended far too soon with those by artists that passed away at an old age and had further control of their narratives. Under the curatorship of Maria do Carmo M. P. de Pontes, the sector reunites names whose connections are given by their trajectories and artistic aesthetics, rather than by theme, technique or generation.
One of Pontes’ choices for the sector is a pioneering figure in Op Art, the Cuban artist Ernesto Briel (Arevalo Fine Art Miami, US). Born in 1943, the Cuban artist passed away in 1992 from AIDS-related complications, aged 49. Between 2016 and 2017, his work was exhibited at El Museo del Barrio in New York, at Arevalo Fine Art Miami and at the S|2 Gallery in London.
In contrast with Briel, works by Brazilian Amelia Toledo (Galeria Marcelo Guarnieri, Brazil) reflect different moments of the artist’s long career. Her Brazilian Constructivist style with geometric elements from the 1960s transformed itself, a decade later, into Experimental works, inspired by natural forms.
OpenSpace and Performance
Both sectors, OpenSpace and Performance, break through the limits of traditional booths and occupy public spaces. “A iming to diversify the environment created by SP-Arte, we decided to create the OpenSpace sector, taking artworks outside the Pavilion and exhibiting them at Ibirapuera Park,” says Fernanda Feitosa.
The OpenSpace sector this year is curated by Julia Rebouças, whose most recent works include the 36th Panorama of Brazilian Art (2019) and the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016).
For the second time, the curatorship of Marcos Gallon, artistic director of Verbo - Performance Art Show, sets the tone of the Performance sector. A highlight of SP-Arte’s last edition, the performances will once again spread out beyond the Pavilion. “ We want to show the plurality of dynamics that shape up the field of performance art, shedding light on discussions around the inclusion of performance in public spaces and private collections, ” says the curator.
In collaboration with the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, SP-Arte continues to support the artistic circuit by encouraging the collection of performance art. Through the SP-Arte Acquisition Award, the curators of Pinacoteca will select one performance from the programme to be acquired and included in its collection.
A place for the acclaimed Brazilian mid-century modern design as well as for an exciting new generation of designers, the 5th edition of SP-Arte’s Design section is divided into Modern, Contemporary, Architects, Independent Designers and Antiques sectors. In addition to the Brazilian highlights, the 2020 edition will see the debut participation of British Carpenters Workshop Gallery (based in London, Paris, New York and San Francisco) - a major international addition to the fair.
In the past, Carpenters Workshop Gallery has participated in Design Miami/Basel, PAD, Tefaf and Maison et Objet. Known for designs that go beyond traditional form, the gallery had projects in institutional spaces, such as Dysfunctional at Galleria Giorgio Franchetti, Venice, during the 58th Art Biennial, with work by 21 artists that questioned the line between art and design.
This line is a central topic of discussion at the 16th edition of SP-Arte. The fair, which was originally dedicated exclusively to art, today embraces design in its most diverse forms.
The Architects sector will include launches of furniture designed by architects Patrícia Anastassiadis as well as Fernanda Marques. Amongst the Independent Designers, newcomers include Mel Kawahara, Lattoog and Mobu, joining veterans Ana Neute, Noemi Saga, F.Studio and Alva Design, to name a few.
In the Contemporary sector Ovo and Jacqueline Terpins return alongside the first participation of Zanini de Zanine, as well as Hermann Miller, exhibiting lamps designed in partnership with George Nelson. Exhibitors of Modern sector Passado Composto Século XX, Herança Cultural and Apartamento 61 will present their rarest pieces, whilst ETEL brings special reissues by seminal names in design, such as Zanini Caldas and Jorge Zalszupin. Traditional Antique dealers Sandra e Márcio, Resplendor and Cristiane Musse also continue exhibiting.
Talks, Tours, Gallery Night and Open Studios
The programme of SP-Arte’s 16th edition proposes to debate the understanding of contemporary art, including discussions with specialists, curators and collectors in a series of Talks, as well as free Guided Tours. SP-Arte’s week-long programme takes over the city, expanding beyond the Biennial Pavilion with the Gallery Night and the Open Studio Circuit.
In the Open Studio Circuit, independent and gallery-represented artists open their studios’ doors and share their inspirations, techniques and most recent creations in a series of open-studio sessions taking place the weekend before the fair. The Gallery Night engages several galleries open through late hours across the city, with the artists’ talks and guided tours led by curators. On this occasion, many spaces open new shows and present their most prominent exhibitions of the year.
Further information on the 16th edition of SP-Arte – International Art Festival of São Paulo, including the exhibitors list, to follow soon.