Victor Brecheret,
Victor Brecheret, "Acalanto de Bartira" (1954), present at the exhibition "Victor Brecheret and the 2022 Modern Art Week", at Pinakotheke São Paulo. Photo: multiarte_pinakotheke

In the year in which it completes two decades of opening its space in São Paulo, Pinakotheke Cultural consolidates itself as one of the most diversified institutions in the Brazilian art scene, working in different aspects, from exhibitions, publications and educational activities, to the preservation and cataloging collections, currently a total of 25. One of its most recent initiatives is the exhibition Victor Brecheret and the Modern Art Week of 1922, which runs until October 1st in São Paulo and heads to its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro in October.

Conceived in partnership with the Victor Brecheret Institute, the exhibition, a cultural initiative by Orfeu Cafés Especiais, also celebrates 100 years of 1922 Modern Art Week. In all, there are 50 works, divided into four modules. In addition to Brecheret's sculptures – among them, Victory (1920), exhibited rarely -, creations by Anita Malfatti, Vicente do Rego Monteiro, Zina Aita, Helios Seelinger and Di Cavalcanti are on display. 12 of these works were part of the historic event, presented 100 years ago at the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo.

In July, also in São Paulo, Pinakotheke held the exhibition Reuben Valentine (1922-1991) – Sacred Geometry, with almost 100 works by the artist, curated by Max Perlingeiro, founder of the institution, and consulting by Bené Fonteles, a close friend of Valentim. At the end of the year, the headquarters in Rio will receive the launch of the book of the same name, bilingual (Portuguese and English), with text by Fonteles.

Until the 24th of September, the Pinakotheke in Rio will host the exhibition Luiz Carlos Ritter Collection, also curated by Perlingeiro, an offshoot of the book of the same name and also bilingual, with texts by Nélida Piñon and Vanda Klabin, among others. On display, 60 works by artists such as Tarsila do Amaral, Frans Post, Guignard, Portinari, Morandi, Renoir, Di Cavalcanti, Volpi, Pancetti, Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica.

In interview with arte!brasileiros, Perlingeiro says that Ritter's collection has been in development for about 30 years, and Pinakotheke started managing it eight years ago. According to him, the collection gained “a very great consistency”, with hundreds of works, becoming one of the main sources of loans for individual or collective exhibitions, from museums and cultural institutions, such as Masp, Sesc, Museu de Arte do Rio (Museu de Arte do Rio). MAR) and Casa Roberto Marinho, among others.

“Ritter had the desire to perpetuate, still alive and active, what he had built throughout all this time. The book has a very focused cut. There are about 190 reproduced. And I do an interview with him, which was the collector's way of presenting himself, instead of having a biography, a chronology”, says the gallery owner.

Pinakotheke Cultural was created in 1979, in Botafogo, a neighborhood where, in 1994, it opened a new headquarters, which it has maintained to this day. In the beginning, the institution had a gallery with the fancy name of Acervo, but the publishing arm – Pinakotheke Edições – already bore the name by which it would become known over more than four decades of activities. The first branch was created in 1987, in Fortaleza, and named Multiarte, a name that was so consolidated in the city that Perlingeiro preferred to keep it.

Pinakotheke São Paulo was created in November 2002, with a commemorative exhibition to commemorate Portinari's centenary. According to Perlingeiro, until the beginning of the following decade, some of the institution's emblematic productions were mounted in its gallery in Morumbi. For example, a series of monographic exhibitions, dedicated to Portinari (2003), Pancetti (2004) and Di Cavalcanti (2006) and Wesley Duke Lee (2010), among others, and collective exhibitions such as abstraction as language (2004). For all of them, illustrated catalogs were launched, sold at cost price, which are now out of print.

In 2019, Perlingeiro presented at the São Paulo branch two exhibitions for which he has a special appreciation: aesthetics of a friendship, which proposed a dialogue between the works of Alfredo Volpi and Bruno Giorgi, and then, in the same vein, he mounted the exhibition in São Paulo Leonilson by Antonio Dias – Profile of a CollectionThe initiatives ended up earning him an invitation from the Casa Roberto Marinho Institute, which gave rise to the assembly of Calder + Miró, with more than 150 works, in addition to a catalog, still in production. On view until November 20, in Rio, the exhibition proposes a conversation between the work of the two artists, in addition to investigating the influence of both in the production of names such as Arthur Piza, Luiz Sacilotto, Franz Weissmann and Milton Dacosta, among others.

Carioca, Max Perlingeiro has a degree in chemical engineering and safety engineering. At the same time that he studied, he taught physics, mathematics and chemistry to students preparing for the entrance exam. His first steps in the visual arts were at Petite Galerie, one of the pioneers in the national market, where he worked from 1966 to 1978. “I needed a part-time job, and instead of going to a shopping mall clothing store, I had this opportunity to go to a gallery, which was my great training”, says the gallery owner.

A year after leaving the Petite Galerie, Perlingeiro set up his own gallery. More than four decades later, it has a fixed multidisciplinary team, with approximately 50 people, including assemblers, illuminators, carpenters, forgers, museologists, research groups and the administrative sector. In addition to the exhibitions, Pinakotheke has an editorial arm (Edições Pinakotheke), Pinakotheke Tecnologia, which produces shows for its three galleries and for third parties, and an educational activity, consolidated in 1994, with the exhibition Illustrated Art, at Fundação Maria Luisa and Oscar Americano, in São Paulo, and the launch of a dictionary of artistic terms.

“The publication is something unique until today, it has 3300 entries, with their equivalents in English, French and Spanish”, says Perlingeiro. “We hired mediators, guided tours, and since then we have never left this segment. Because it gives great pleasure, we increase the number of visitors tenfold. Then we worked with an institution called Amigos da Escola, for which we created content and hosted schools in Rio and São Paulo. It is an institutional mission.”

Still in the educational area, Perlingeiro launched in 2014 the Multiart Study Groups, in Fortaleza, a project with paid courses, conceived by his wife, Bia, who died in 2020, a victim of covid-19. Perlingeiro emphasizes that this is not a training school. Currently, there are more than ten groups, with 80 participants, which meet weekly and discuss certain topics, under the guidance of masters and doctors. There are also short courses, such as Italian Baroque.

The family, by the way, is very active in the institution: the son Victor takes care of the branch in Fortaleza; Max, from Pinakotheke São Paulo; the daughters, Camila and Mariana, work alongside their father in Rio de Janeiro. The first, as publisher of the publisher; the second is in charge of the administrative and financial sectors. Finally, Perlingeiro has the collaboration of his brother, Ivan, responsible, for about 40 years, for all production logistics, in Brazil and abroad.

By the way, consulting and assembly for other institutions, in Brazil or abroad, began in the 1980s. In 1985, Pinakotheke held an exhibition of the Roberto Marinho Collection, at Paço Imperial, in Rio. In 1987, another at the National Museum of Fine Arts, in Buenos Aires, and, in 1989, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in Lisbon. More recently, in 2018, Perlingeiro held in Madrid, at Santander Art Gallery, a “giant exhibition, which occupied 4 thousand square meters”, with works from the Luís Paulo Montenegro Collection and curated by Rodrigo Moura.

In these more than 40 years of activity, Perlingeiro highlights some initiatives that he considers “herculean works”: in 1983, he set up, in five different spaces in the Rio de Janeiro capital, the exhibition History of Brazilian Painting in the 19th Century, a partnership with the Roberto Marinho Foundation, which included production on national soil since 1816, with the arrival of the French Artistic Mission, until the Republic. On the occasion, a book was released, authored by the artist, critic and professor Quirino Campofiorito, and an art book sold “at the price of a weekly magazine”, he recalls. “At the time, we made 50 copies, and to this day they are adopted by schools, in partnership with the federal government”.

In 2007, Pinakotheke held an exhibition in partnership with the National Meeting of Museums of France, in a popular shopping mall in Barra da Tijuca, on the eve of Christmas, when the flow of people is even greater. For the show, which brought together reproductions of classics from French museum collections, a square was created “with great refinement and lighting by Peter Gasper”, in which products from R$1 to R$1 were also sold, including posters, cards and replicas. According to Perlingeiro, “tens of thousands of visitors” passed through the place.

The most recent undertaking was the exhibition Lygia Clark (1920-1988) 100 years, assembled last year, in São Paulo and Rio. Perlingeiro considers that the book conceived for the exhibition was perhaps “one of the biggest challenges” of his life. He also highlights that the montage had a large number of unpublished works, never exhibited in Brazil, in addition to “fantastic texts”, by the Algerian art historian Yve-Alain Bois, and a partially unpublished interview by journalist Matinas Suzuki and artist Luciano Figueiredo, for the FSP, from which it was possible to recover part of the audios, present in the show.

From the editorial branch, Perlingeiro highlights that, between the 1980s and 1990s, they produced a historical review of Brazilian art in the last century. And they started to study modernism in the 2000s. According to him, there are four productions being dreamed up, “one of them with two wonderful collaborators, Pablo Diener and Maria de Fátima Costa, for an exhibition and a publication called Art in scientific missions”, account.

Among the most recent initiatives are two created during the height of the pandemic: the viewing room gallery and Pinakotheke TV, on YouTube, which contains about 20 lives. Initially biweekly, they became monthly and have been carried out with less regularity. The program is divided into three: commented art, commented book e legacy of an artist. There, heirs of Tunga, Rubens Gerchman, Waldemar Cordeiro, as well as some collectors, among other guests, have already passed by.

Longevo, Pinakotheke's work has already received awards from the National Book Institute, the Brazilian Book Chamber (three tortoises in all), the Brazilian Association of Art Critics, the São Paulo Association of Art Critics, the National Children's Book Foundation -Youth and the Brazilian committee of the International Council of Museums (Icom).

“When you have recognition in life, it's a sign that you produce something of good quality”, says Perlingeiro, who already has plans for 2023, an exhibition dedicated to the painter and draftsman Pedro Luiz Correia de Araújo. And, for 2024, a project is being produced, in partnership with the Francisco Rebolo Institute, to review the history of Santa Helena, a group of painters created in the 1930s.

Tireless, Perlingeiro says that he made seven “giant productions” in the last 60 days, which also included the exhibition Frans Krajcberg (1921-2017) – Nature in black and white, which has already passed through Pinakotheke in Rio and is now showing in Fortaleza. He claims, however, that he is always on the lookout for something that hasn't been done yet. “Every day new challenges arise and I'm jumping off an abyss. People even hold me back a little,” he concludes.

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