Brazil’s SP-Arte fair will focus on the design and digital art sectors

The 18th edition of the Brazilian art fair SP-Arte opens this week at the São Paulo Biennale pavilion in Ibirapuera Park. This iteration of the fair brings together 100 art galleries, including eight international galleries, and more than 30 design galleries, a sector introduced in the last edition that provided a significant new revenue stream, accounting for around 30% of sales.

There are several new initiatives coming to the fair this year, including a partnership with South South, an online platform for artists, galleries, curators, collectors, museums and non-profits. focusing on digital media from the southern regions of Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Alongside an in-person and virtual sales exhibition titled Veza 02– which features video works by SP-Arte, including work by Letícia Ramos, represented by Mendes Wood DM – South South has launched a $40,000 new media fund, awarding its first grant to the El Museo del Barrio in New York. The museum has purchased a film by Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco, whose work Your eyes will be an empty word (2021) is a highlight of the 2022 Whitney Biennial, and a work by Dominican-American artist Joiri Minaya.

Installation view of Coco Fusco, The Empty Square / La Plaza Vacia at the Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (2013). Courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates, New York © 2022 Coco Fusco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The second floor of the fair will feature a presentation of the aforementioned acquisitions, as well as galleries from the main market and Brazilian institutional participants such as Casa do Povo, based in São Paulo, and Solar dos Abacaxis, based in Rio de Janeiro.

The ground floor of the vast pavilion will be dedicated to the design and publishing sectors as well as commercial art galleries. There is a newly created focus called Radar SP-Arte which will highlight autonomous art spaces representing artists who have no formal representation; their work will be featured in an exhibition titled Hora Grande (Highligths) curated by art critic Felipe Molitor.

The first floor will also host an exhibition entitled Arte Natureza: Ressignificar Para Viver (Arts and nature: resignifying oneself to love) curated by Brazilian curator Ana Carolina Ralston. The exhibition examines the role of art in raising awareness of environmental concerns and features works by artists like Amelia Toledo, Ernesto Neto and Sonia Gomes, among others.

  • SpartaSão Paulo Biennial Pavilion, April 6-10
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