Brazil, beyond soccer and samba
Miami’s newest fair shows off the country’s cultural output—despite opening day delays
By Rachel Corbett. From Art Basel Miami Beach daily edition
Published online: 04 December 2013
Miami’s new Brazil Art Fair was meant to open to the press for a preview at 3pm on Tuesday but, in true laid-back Latin American form, the guard was around 45 minutes late opening the gate. (Apparently the organisers were still showering, we were told.)
Once inside, the fair featured work from 15 Brazilian galleries, about half as many as were originally slated to participate, including a curated section devoted to furniture, “Orchestra Brasil”, a collaboration between the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) and the furniture industry association Sindmóveis.
Still, it is perhaps just as well that not everything went according to plan. Beneath a vast, sunlit tent on NE Midtown Boulevard and 36th Street, the wide-open halls and unfinished plywood floors lent the fair a spare, elegant feel.
The art on show also seems to owe more to Brazil’s Minimalist and geometric traditions than it does to the somewhat flashier artists often associated with contemporary Brazilian art, such as Vik Muniz. A few exceptions to that rule can be found among a number of brightly-coloured works by street artists like Toz and Sesper, who contributed framed, gallery-ready paintings and prints.
“We wanted to show the world not just the Brazil of samba or the Brazil of soccer,” says the fair co-founder Ester Krivkin, “but the Brazil of culture.”
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