Tag Archives: Museu de Arte de São Paulo

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

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

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