SP–Arte 2017

The 13th edition of SP-Arte was held April 5-9 at the Bienal Pavilion, in São Paulo, with the participation of 134 renowned art galleries from Brazil and abroad, and 25 Brazilian design galleries. During the event’s five days, 30,000 people visited the Pavilion – an attendance 10% higher than last year. This year, the event debuted SP-Arte’s guided visits, offered to more than 1,000 people at no charge.

“There’s a lot to celebrate – we worked hard, focused on plurality and diversity, on the newest trends in art. It was a year targeted at multiple artistic manifestations, with record audience and even a great environment for doing business,” said Fernanda Feitosa, director and founder of SP-Arte.

new features

The new Repertório sector was one of the highlights of this year’s edition. Curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, the space introduced artists through a chronological period of time and gathered creators considered fundamental for understanding current artistic practices.

As such, the event sought to include Brazilian artists with a solid trajectory, but still relatively unknown to the public at large – like Rubem Valentim, Carlos Vergara and Niobe Xandó –, as well as international artists who, in spite of their importance, have not yet received sufficient visibility in Brazil. Such is the case of Lothar Baumgarten, Richard Long and Pino Pascali.

One of the top new features introduced in the 13 th edition of SP-Arte were the thematic guided tours. During the five days of the event, more than 1,000 people participated in the visits, offered free of charge, and addressed several topics, such as contemporary Brazilian and international art, modern and concrete, women in art, specific circuits of the Solo, Repertório and Design sectors, as well as a visit that looked to showcase young artists and burgeoning galleries.

SP-Arte and Associação Cultural Videobrasil renewed their partnership and introduced the public the exhibition Nada levarei quando morrer, aqueles que me devem cobrarei no inferno [I will take nothing when I die, those who owe me, I’ll collect in hell], which packed the Bienal Pavilion and continues through June 17 at Galpão VB. Inspired by the works of Italian movie director Pier Paolo Pasolini – an acute observer of the culture of his time who presents in his work a tough criticism about the extinction of cultural practices in detriment of development –, the exhibit presents works by key Brazilians like Claudia Andujar and Miguel Rio Branco.


The 13th edition of the event marked the first time for 24 galleries from Brazil and abroad at the Bienal Pavilion. In addition to the Brazilian galleries, names from all over the world, like Germany, Austria, Cuba, Spain, United States, France, England, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Portugal, also participated.

Cheim&Read, of New York, was one of the highlights among the new galleries. It brought three female artists central to the mid-20 th century: Louise Bourgeois, Lynda Benglis and Joan Mitchell. Taka Ishii, of Japan, specialized in Japanese art, showcased in its booth the country’s photography, with images signed by photographers such as Shoji Ueda and Kansuke Yamamoto. Thaddaeus Ropac, of Austria, exhibited a large sculpture by German-born Georg Baselitz; David Zwirner participated with works by Yayoi Kusama, Dan Flavin and Fred Sandback; Continua, exhibited works by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Ai Weiwei, Carlos Garaicoa and Shilpa Gupta.

Neugerriemschneider gallery brought works by Rirkrit Tiravanija who did a successful action with T-shirts, as well as by Pae White, Renata Lucas and Olafur Eliasson. Paulo Darzé did a solo with Mestre Didi, while Stephen Friedman presented a solo by Andreas Eriksson. At Vermelho, the artists showcased were Cinthia Marcelle, Gisela Motta & Leandro Lima, Jonathas de Andrade, Dora Longo Bahia and Chiara Banfi. In its debut, Cavalo, of Rio de Janeiro, brought Pedro Caetano, Thora Dolven Balke and Alvaro Seixas.

As usual, the event was also marked by a strong presence of modern and contemporary paintings, with works by Alfredo Volpi, Antonio Bandeira, Candido Portinari, Hélio Oiticica, Iberê Camargo, Lygia Clark, Tomie Ohtake, Tunga, Mira Schendel, Sergio Camargo, Adriana Varejão, Beatriz Milhazes and other names, with important works exhibited throughout the Pavilion.

One of the most awaited features in São Paulo’s cultural scene in 2017, Japan House, located on Avenida Paulista, provided a preview of what its new cultural space will be like. Under the curatorship of Marcello Dantas, heavyweight names were present, such as Hiroshi Sugimoto, Kasuko Miyamoto, Kishio Suga and Yoshitomo Nara.