*By Fábio Magalhães

the MASP today

in this month of november the MASP building, designed by Lina Bo Bardi, is 50 years old. Today it is an icon of the city of São Paulo, surpassing other symbols, such as: the building of the old Banespa, the Monument to the Flags of Victor  Brecheret and the Ipiranga Museum building. But Lina has nothing to do with that, with icons or other symbolic attributes of the São Paulo metropolis. Lina created a rational building, with a huge floating space – seventy meters of light! – supported by four pillars on the ground where the Trianon once stood.

The red color came later. It came to protect the beam and pillars from infiltration. There was controversy at the time of the painting, however, today we cannot imagine it without this color. At MASP not only does the building float, the paintings arranged on glass easels seem to levitate. Certainly the building is, in itself, a relevant work of art among the works of its magnificent collection.

Structure of the building under construction in 1968 on Avenida Paulista

When John Cage visited São Paulo and, upon seeing MASP, shouted – “It is the architecture of freedom!”  Lina Bo Bardi agreed with Cage's definition: “… when I designed Masp: the museum was a 'nothing', a search for freedom, the elimination of obstacles, the ability to be free in the face of things.”

It is not by chance that the free span of the MASP is home to the city's major popular events. A meeting place, for art and culture, but also for protest and a libertarian dream.

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