"Claudius" by Gerard Richter

Aapprehended by the IRS in 2009, the work Claudius, 1986, by the German artist Gerard Richter, was transferred to the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (IPHAN) which, in April of the following year, granted the temporary custody of the piece by the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo (MAC USP ), just when I took over the direction of the Museum.

For some time, the museum requested that the work be donated to it or collected by IPHAN. A valuable work as Claudius, under the temporary custody of a public museum like MAC USP is always a great responsibility. IPHAN, however, ignored our demands, leading us to keep the painting in the Reserve, conserving it with due care, but without exhibiting it (such as exhibiting the work to which the museum had no rights, only obligations ?) After a few years, however, we came to the conclusion that the best way to continue preserving Claudius it was to exhibit it, to make it visible to the museum's public within a safe space and ideal conditions for lighting, temperature, etc.; and within an exhibition that made it clear to everyone how important it would be for that work to become part of the institution’s collection – especially at that moment when we were leaving Cidade Universitária for our new space, the old Detran building, in Ibirapuera Park.

For the opening, MAC USP organized a powerful series of exhibitions in which the institution's collection would be the main protagonist. Our idea (mine and the team I coordinated) was to show everyone the robustness of the collections that the museum housed (and still houses), whose pieces ranged from the end of the XNUMXth century, beginning of the XNUMXth century, to those produced in the early years of the second decade. of the XNUMXst century. Within this universe were also included the works under the temporary custody of the museum. Thats how Claudius could be integrated into one of the exhibitions that would inaugurate the new spaces at MAC USP in Ibirapuera and which I was responsible for: The Artist as Author / The Artist as Producer.

This exhibition – on view between June 15, 2013 and September 13, 2015 – brought into debate two typical artistic formulations of the XNUMXth and XNUMXst centuries and, within it, it was a great pleasure to review Claudius, by Gerard Richter, alongside pieces by Cesar Baldaccini, Mônica Nador, Waltercio Caldas and Carmela Gross, among others.

As my term ended in mid-2014, I left MAC USP with the exhibition on display. the show is over, Claudius returned to the museum's technical reserve. Only at the end of 2019 were new negotiations started between IPHAN and MAC, aiming at the possible donation of the work, which became real now, in 2020.

As can be seen, ten years passed, between the beginning of the provisional custody of Richter's work by MAC USP and its definitive donation. We are always surprised by the sluggishness of our public institutions, their ability to postpone what could be resolved more quickly. However, I'm sure in this case it was worth the wait. Instead of, who knows, decorating the house of someone who would only see it as a financial investment, Claudius it is now part of a public collection that will continue to conserve it, studying it in its relationship with the other works in the museum's collection and, mainly, exhibiting it to the public in São Paulo and Brazil.

Leave a comment

Please write a comment
Please write your name