View of the exhibition "Brasilidade Post-Modernismo" at CCBB Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Jaime Acioli

EBetween the 8th and 12th of September, Rio de Janeiro receives the ArtRio. Considered one of the great contemporary art events in Latin America, the fair reaches its 11th edition, bringing together gallerists, artists, collectors and art lovers from different corners of the country. Following the hybrid model carried out last year, the fair will take place virtually, within the platform, and also in person, at Marina da Glória. In order to ensure everyone's safety, proof of vaccination against Covid-19 will be required for entry to the event and, at the time of ticket purchase, the visit date and time must be scheduled.

Exhibitors will be divided into three programs: “PANORAMA”, in which houses with established operations in the art market participate; “VISTA”, dedicated to young galleries, with up to 10 years of existence; and “SOLO”, dedicated to stands by a single artist. The program also includes lectures, conversations between artists and curators and guided tours of collections and studios, to be broadcast on ArtRio's online platform. 

Thinking about those who choose to visit the fair in person, we put together a visitation itinerary with the main exhibitions on display in the capital of Rio de Janeiro during the week of the event. 

on the way downtown

A few minutes from ArtRio, in the city center, Paço Imperial hosts what may be the last in-person exhibition of the PIPA Award. Opening on September 9, the show presents works by four winners of the annual award. Ge Viana, Maxwell Alexander, Randolpho Lamonier and Renata Felinto, selected by the jury committee, are the focus of the collective, which also includes recent acquisitions by the institute. For curator Luiz Camillo Osório, the choice of more than one winner in the last year is linked to PIPA's role as a thermometer of what is most powerful in current artistic production. “More than pointing out a single path for contemporary art, it is our role to reveal the various forks that are constantly being opened in hegemonic routes and narratives.” As of 2021, it is intended that the on-site exhibitions will only be from the PIPA collection and the exhibition of the year's awardees will take place in a virtual environment. “The idea is to strengthen the institute, give it more visibility and thus be able to develop other curatorial projects together with the artists who are part of the collection”, explains the curator. 

In turn, the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, about a 10-minute walk from ArtRio, opens Volcano, a large-scale installation created by artist Carmela Gross especially for the facade of the museum. “A work that comes to provoke eruptions, responding to the desire to reflect on a world in upheaval, which rebels and manifests itself with the force of the cataclysms of Brazilian history”, analyzes curator Beatriz Lemos. The new exhibition on display focuses on the construction of this Brazilian history based on heritage. memory is an invention brings together more than 300 works from the collection of MAM Rio itself and two other institutions: the Museu de Arte Negra/IPEAFRO and the Acervo Laje. With paintings, engravings, sculptures, photographs and tiles, the show proposes reflections on the processes of building heritage, legacy and common culture. When presented in the same exhibition space, the collections show repetitions and similarities in the choices of categories and formats, in the understanding of what makes a work preserved as part of a legacy and in the methods of sharing the works as part of a collective memory.

The revision of the legitimized and invisible narratives in our past continues until the Museum of Art of Rio (MAR) with Images that don't conform. By gathering around 200 items from the collection of the Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro (IHGB), the collective interrogates views on the country's history and deals with the historical reparation associated with identity discourses. Already in YORÙBAIAN, a solo show by Ayrson Heráclito at MAR, the resumption of memory takes on a sense of purging, of dispatch. In several of the works presented, the artist remakes his memory to dry colonial wounds, opened by the exploration of bodies in search of riches in the sugarcane culture.. With works in different media, Heráclito highlights the Yoruba culture and seeks to represent the great poetic and political reinvention of a Yoruba Brazil. Those who visit the Rio Art Museum also enjoy Paulo Werneck – murals for Rio, which sheds light on the work of one of the pioneers of mural activity in the country.

Following the historical motto, but keeping an eye on the present, Post-Modernism Brazilianity, on display at Banco do Brasil Cultural Center celebrates the centenary of the 1922 Modern Art Week, focusing not on the past itself, but shedding light on the traits, remnants and achievements that the modernist movement brought, over the last 100 years, to the plastic arts in Brazil. Curated by Tereza de Arruda, the show seeks to draw attention to the various characteristics of contemporary Brazilian art whose existence is due, in part, to the legacy of cultural artistic daring proposed by Modernism. The public will be able to see works by 51 artists from different generations, including Adriana Varejão, Anna Bella Geiger, Arnaldo Antunes, Cildo Meireles, Daniel Lie, Jaider Esbell, rosana paulino and Tunga. “It is not an exhibition designed as an end point, but as a starting point – as was the Modern Art Week of 1922 – for an innovative discussion to meet the demand of our time, aware of the future path guided by creative protagonists ”, explains the curator. 

Going to the South Zone

Centennial celebrations also permeate the South Zone. It is the case of Cultural Pinakotheke than with Lygia Clark (1920-1988) 100 years, celebrates and honors the one considered by Brazilian and international art critics as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. On display at the house in Botafogo until October 9, the exhibition features around 100 works, most of which have never been seen before. Brazilian public. With paintings, drawings, prints, animals, climbing, soft work, cocoon, relational objects, photographs and documents, Pinakotheke organizes the show into 17 conceptual orders that make up Lygia's trajectory as an artist, and complements them with wall texts by the critic Paul Herkenhoff. The gallery also presents a photo essay made by Alécio de Andrade (1938-2003) of the performance Biological Architectures II, created by the artist in 1969 at the Hôtel d'Aumont, in Paris.

In contrast to the 100 years of the already renowned Lygia Clark, the Nara Roesler Gallery, in Ipanema, presents the first solo show by young Elian Almeida, Before - now - what's to come. The artist focuses on the experience and performativity of the black body in contemporary Brazilian society and builds an archeology of memory, recovering elements of the past, images, narratives and characters, in order to contribute to the strengthening and dissemination of Afro-Brazilian historiography. In this exhibition, Almeida presents 16 portraits of black women from different periods and importance to the country's culture. However, the absence of a face in the works can point us both to the erasure of these individuals by the official narrative, and to represent a collective body, a myriad of possible faces, of all who suffered and still suffer the effects of structural racism. For curator Luís Pérez-Oramas: “The portraits that Elian Almeida presents to us are, strictly speaking, funereal images, necro-portraits, emerging: they look at us, without eyes, from their hiding place, and from there they return to the melancholy certainty. that what does not forget us cannot, in turn, return fully, in the fullness of the presence from which it was amputated”.

Meanwhile, at Jardim Botânico, Ernesto Neto occupies the Carpentry – Fortes D'Aloia and Gabriel's space in the city – with two new bodies of work that deal with the interrelationship between heaven and earth, ceramics and crochet, sculpture and space. Together, these new works intertwine with the architecture of the house, where the floor, wall and ceiling have been transformed, offering an immersive experience. Other works exhibited in The kiss Vi de Só e Té Água e Fô and other weaving, made of dry branches wrapped in string, explore the relationship of tension and balance between different everyday materials and forms of nature.

Remember to check which exhibitions require prior appointment for the visit and, if you choose to visit them later this month, do not forget to register online to have your Covid-19 vaccination passport. As of September 15, Rio de Janeiro will require proof of immunization to enter public spaces in the state – which includes cultural institutions.

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