Maxwell Alexandre, Untitled, 2019

The public announcement that two ArtRio partners would leave the fair took many people by surprise and could cause some concern about the direction of the Rio de Janeiro event.  Institutional change, however, did not affect relationships with the galleries or cause uncertainty in new exhibitors.  The fair features rookie galleries such as Verve (Sao Paulo), Steiner (Sao Paulo) and Simone Cadinelli (Rio de Janeiro).  Now, ahead of the fair is only the businesswoman Brenda Valansi, who has the support of partner companies to hold the ninth edition, scheduled to take place between 18 and 22 September.  It will be the third time ArtRio has been held at Marina da Glória, something that was consolidated in the previous edition of the fair.  If at the first time there were still doubts as to whether the new place would be welcomed by both the exhibitors and the public, the second the satisfaction of all who passed by made this issue resolved.

In the main program, Verve's newcomers make a point of participating in all the fairs that exist in the country, says Ian Duarte Lucas, managing partner of the gallery.  “We already have very good relationships with collectors and critics in Rio. It made a lot of sense for us to tighten these ties.”  For the fair, Verve intends to curate, designing the booth around something, as it did at SP–Arte by associating the entire booth with a work by Leonilson.  This time, the bookshelf will be built accordingly to works that address “the relationships that occur in the consumer society and how affectionate is a response to that,” says Ian.  In this tune, works by artists such as Giselle Beiguelman, Dudu Garcia, Luiz Martins and Marco Paulo Rolla will be exhibited.  “We live in such troubled times that this relationship of affection is necessary.  Art has the ability to communicate this position very forcefully,” he points out.  For over half a century in operation, the Ipanema Art Gallery has in this ArtRio a special task: to honor the Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz–Diez, who died last July 27.  Having a great relationship, working together for over 20 years, the gallery's director, Luiz Sève, says that he should bring important works by the artist.  The Carbono and MUL.TI.PLO Art Space galleries will also exhibit works by the Venezuelan.  In addition to him, the usual names of prestige, such as Alfredo Volpi, Tomie Ohtake and Cicero Dias, should appear on the Ipanema stand: “We will try to take mainly works of great importance,” says Luiz.

Filipe Massini, from Galeria Athena, comments that the intention this year “is to take a little of the latest production of artists when it comes to the contemporary part.”  According to him, there will be some highlights, such as André Griffo, which will be on display at the gallery simultaneously at the fair, and Raquel Versieux, one of the artists participating in the 36th Panorama of Brazilian Art.  Matheus Rocha Pitta, participating artist of Conversas ArtRio held in August, is another name of the booth, presenting more current works.  The artist has two international exhibitions scheduled for early 2020. Athena's secondary market cutout for ArtRio will be Frank Stella, Di Cavalcanti, Hélio Oiticica and Wifredo Lam, among others.

In turn, the gallery A Gentil Carioca should arrive at ArtRio with a majority of – or even all – unpublished works produced by the artists they represent, says Márcio Botner, founding partner of the gallery.  Arjan Martins, Laura Lima, OPAVIVARÁ!, Jarbas Lopes and Maxwell Alexandre are some of the artists who have confirmed works at the booth.  “The idea is to bring freshness,” points out Botner.  The highlight is a set of works by Maxwell Alexandre discussing the Most Beautiful Thing series, which debuted on Netflix streaming in March.  The artist works the possibilities of women who could star in the production, where three of the four protagonists are white women.


A section of the fair that emphasizes video art productions, MIRA will be guided by the title New Horizons.  The curatorship will be done by Victor Gorgulho, independent curator, journalist and researcher.  His chosen films will have a cut between the 2000s and the present day, being already part of the list of works RISE (2018), by Barbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, and ZERO (2019), by Luiz Roque.  It is the third year that ArtRio has run a program focused on video art.

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