By Georgia Grimond, Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Latin America’s leading art fair, SP-Arte, is happening this weekend in the Oscar Niemeyer-designed Bienal Pavilion in São Paulo’s Ibirapuera park. The event hosts over 140 modern and contemporary art galleries from around the world, with eighty from Brazil alone. Open to the public, SP-Arte runs until 7PM today, Sunday, April 12th.
Since it began in 2005 SP-Arte has grown to be the main event in the South American art scene’s calendar, attracting artists, gallerists, buyers, curators and the public over the five-day event. It is divided into different areas, with galleries setting up stands in the Main section, up-and-coming galleries featuring three works in the Show Case along with the curated Solo section with a focus on Latin American art.
An entire floor is given over to the Open Plan floor with large-scale, site-specific art. A number of talks run simultaneously, as well as a host of events, book launches and openings across the city.
Alongside well-known names such as Gagosian and White Cube are many South America galleries, as well as some of Rio’s bigger ones. A Gentil Carioca, a Centro-based outfit that was started in 2003 by Marcio Botner, Laura Lima and Ernesto Neto is present, as well as Athena which represents respected Brazilian artist Adriana Varejão, Galaria da Gávea and Luciana Caravello from Ipanema.
Of the smaller galleries, Inox, from Copacabana, won the SP-Arte round of the EFG ArtNexus Latin America Art Award with an installation piece by Carioca artist Celina Portella. The work will go on to compete against finalists from other Latin American art fairs with the eventual winning piece being bought and displayed by EFG Bank in Miami.
Many of Rio’s galleries have ongoing exhibitions at the moment. “Obrigada Volte Sempre” (Thank You, Come Again) by Cabelo at the Gentil Carioca is a silent light and color show about rhythm; Jose Pedro Croft’s “Um Outra Lugar” (Another Place), a series of paintings and photos, is on show at Mul-Ti-Plo in Leblon and renowned Rio-based photographer Miguel Rio Branco has an exhibition of his work, “Mécanique des Femmes La Suíte” at Silvia Cintra + Box 4 in Gávea.