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2012 Sao Paulo Bienal organizer Luis Perez-Orama
2012 Sao Paulo Bienal organizer Luis Perez-Orama


Apr. 17, 2012

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After the Venice Biennale, established in 1895, the Sao Paulo Bienal, which celebrates its 30th birthday this year, Sept. 7-Dec. 9, 2012, is the oldest state-sponsored global art survey around. If you haven’t visited by now, 2012 may be a good year. The local art scene is on fire, thanks to a new class of wealthy Brazilian collectors, last year’s launch of the BRIC nation’s first art investment fund, worth $24 million, and a growing number of galleries -- a figure that has more than doubled since 2005, according to no less an authority than the travel section of the New York Times.

And this installment of the bienal sees a connection between with its sister show in Venice. The Museum of Modern Art’s Latin American curator, Luis Perez-Oramas, is both organizing the Sao Paulo exhibition and choosing an artist to represent Brazil in the 2013 Venice Biennale.

For Sao Paulo, Perez-Oramas, along with Andre Severo, Tobi Maier and Isabella Villanuevo, chose 110 artists from around the world whose work will be clustered into thematic “constellations” at the Ciccillo Matarazzo pavilion. The premise of the show is “The Imminence of Poetics,” an exploration of “the discursive strategies or platforms that enable expressive acts of artistic nature.”  

Brazilian artists once again are at the heart of the exhibition, including Rodrigo Braga, Ricardo Basbaum, Helio Fervenza and Fernanda Gomes. Yet there’s no shortage of international names either, with works from the likes of Ali Kazma (Turkey), Bas Jan Ader (Netherlands), Guy Maddin (Canada), Fernando Ortega (Mexico), Moyra Davey (Canada), Xu Bing (China), and Simone Forti, Sheila Hicks, Allan Kaprow, Mark Morrisroe, Elaine Reichek and Robert Smithson (all USA).

And while you’re in Brazil, jet over to Rio de Janeiro for ArtRio, Sept. 12-16, 2012, now in its second edition. Almost 70 galleries are slated to take part, including Leon Tovar and Magnan Metz from New York.

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