Tag Archives: Avenida Paulista

MASP Updates

28 Dec

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo, or MASP  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A3o_Paulo_Museum_of_Art  is “undergoing a process of … renewal” in which the architecture of the museum building will be partially restored, and less well-known work from the considerable collection displayed.

Staircase, first floor

Staircase and lift with red arch, first floor

The building is the work of Italian Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lina_Bo_Bardi Iconic red arches support the upper floors on legs or pilotis over an open plaza, with its Saturday antiques fair, its buskers and vendors, and its complement of Sao Paulo street life.


The rationale

The re-exhibition of the collection has already begun, in a public process of hanging by themes and types – head and shoulders portraits, full female portraits, landscapes and city-scapes, still life work, male portraits, and more. During January the on-line public can suggest works for exhibition from the Museum’s catalogue, also a three-volume work for sale in the excellent bookshop at a substantial discount.

" ... the emblem of the process ... of institutional renewal"

” … the emblem of the process … of institutional renewal”

The playful sculpture chosen to usher in this new phase is by the internationally active Brazilian artist Rubens Gerchman. Titled Ar – Cartilha do Superlativo or Air – Primer of the Superlative, it has an additional joke for English speakers: it appears to translate its theme when viewed from the side, as in the photo on the hand-out above. Only from the front does the ‘i’ of ‘air’ vanish.

Goddess restored

Goddess restored – Hellenic Hygiea

MASP’s current exhibitions are a credit to their curators and collections – the restored statue above is of the Greek goddess of health and cleanliness, for the exhibition Deuses e Madonas – A Arte do Sagrado. As in any restoration, they will face difficult questions.

Should the red arches be returned to their original concrete, as in the city-scape of Avenida Paulista to be hung on the first floor?

Are there enough funds for the conservation of the collection? (Ar – Cartilha do Superlativo is showing signs of wear.) Or indeed for better translations into English?

If the original open plan of the gallery is to be restored with all its light and air – and a striking view of the canopy of the remaining rainforest across the road in the Parque Trianon – where will the administrators currently occupying the panoramic windows go?

the museum abandoned this ... at the end of the 1990s, when it starts to be ... implemented by foreign institutions

MASP “abandoned this at the end of the 90s as it starts to be implemented by foreign institutions”

What will be the effect of raising prices and abolishing free entry for those 60 years of age and more, due in January?

One thing I dare suggest to mitigate its effect is an improvement in the catering – the café can become a destination and a paying proposition rather than the half-hearted attempt it is now. Here’s a reminder of why from the 1988 ad campaign of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

The V & A: an ace caff  with quite a nice museum attached

Another goddess, in a good café with quite a nice museum attached

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