Archive | June, 2014

Sylvio Perlstein Collection at MASP

29 Jun

The Sao Paulo gallery MASP (“maspee”) or Museu de Arte de São Paulo is hosting an extraordinary collection of twentieth-century art, assembled over many years by Sylvio Perlstein, a Brazilian-Belgian jeweler and diamond merchant. It is on show until August 10th.

An expertly hung show

An expertly hung show

First exhibited publicly seven years ago in Paris, this treasure trove of twentieth century art is an outstanding collection, including iconic works by leading artists – Duchamp, Man Ray, Dali, Magritte, Breton, Kandinsky, Klein, Twombly, Johns, Lichtenstein, Nauman, André, Kosuth, Long, Warhol, Kruger, Haring … and you recognise them from reproductions. They are not minor works.

(Part of) Obstruction by Man Ray

(Part of) Obstruction by Man Ray

From the first work, by Man Ray, which greets you at the entrance, the art canon jumps off the walls at you, propelled by its fame.

MASP takes its remit to educate seriously, and this exhibition serves that purpose admirably. It’s a lightning tour of most of the important art movements of the twentieth century, and an exciting collection. (And the antique and crafts market under the red MASP arches on Saturdays and Sundays is good too.) Go!

The MASP mission to educate is well served

The MASP mission to educate is well served

Murano glass?

26 Jun

Here is a piece from the famous firm of Seguso, based on the island of Murano in the lagoon of Venice since 1397.

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from the Ca d'Or line of Seguso glass

from the Ca d’Or line of Seguso glass

I bought it at the shop within the Instituto Cultural Tomie Ohtake in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Brazilians have admired good glass for many years. The antique markets have plenty of examples, from Lalique and from Murano makers.

This piece is from the product line named Cá d’Oro, after a palazzo in Venice which was once covered in gold leaf. There were a number of examples of the line in various colours in the shop – black, white, red, a bright blue. I found this the most successful.

The piece works by reflecting the colour in the base internally within its thickness, so that it shines through the rounded lip as well as the coin spot of vivid colour in the base. A little treasure in a well-stocked shop.

Colour reflected and transmitted

Colour reflected and transmitted

P.S.  As to the mystery of why a piece of Murano glass can be so cheap – R$80, about US$35, or GB£20 at today’s rates – it is because it’s Brazilian Seguso.

“Mario Seguso (and sons) was of the well known Seguso family of Murano but was working in Brazil … he took up residence in Brazil from 1954 … items made by Mario Seguso in Brazil are signed Seguso Brazil”, though this particular example is not signed like that.

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