Number of galleries doubles in five years; building booked for another five
The fifth edition of SP Arte (Feira Internacional de Arte de São Paulo) – Brazil’s only art fair – took place in the Oscar Niemeyer Biennial Pavilion from 13-17 May. Sales were up 15%-20% from last year, reaching the R17m-R18m ($8.7m-$9.8m) mark. In five years, SP Arte has grown from showcasing 41 galleries in its first edition to 80 this year, of which 11 were international (from Portugal, Germany, Uruguay, Argentina and Peru). General director Fernanda Feitosa has pre-booked dates in the building for future editions through to 2015, banking on the pattern persisting.
Jay Jopling of White Cube scouted the fair for the first time this year, while curator for international art at the Tate, Tanya Barson, came on a return visit, as did father-and-son collectors Stuart and John Evans. Approximately 13,000 people visited the fair during the preview, which was the strongest day for sales. Works ranged in price from R300 to R2m, the latter for a stainless steel sculpture by Lygia Clark at Galeria Ipanema from Rio.
Local museums are tradition-ally strapped for cash but a hand-ful of works were part-donated to the Pinacoteca do Estado and the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art by Portuguese Banco Espirito Santo, local Iguatemi shopping centre and SP Arte. The museums contributed R10,000 ($5,110) towards each work. Galeria Nara Roesler sold Immolate Yourself, 2009, the only Rodolpho Parigi painting available, to Banco Espirito Santo who donated it to Pinacoteca do Estado, which also received a Chiara Banfi, collage and a work on paper by Felipe Cohen. São Paulo Museum of Modern Art added an untitled Mira Schendel drawing from 1975 to its collection, bought at R40,000 ($20,445) and donated by SP Arte. Galeria Fortes Vilaça made its prime sale during the preview, a Vik Muniz triptych photograph of Botticelli’s Venus rumoured to have sold at R280,000 ($143,200).
Publicado na edição de julho-agosto de 2009 do The Art Newspaper