The 18th edition of the Brazilian art fair SP-Arte opens this week at the São Paulo Bienal 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 focused on digital media from the global South regions of Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Along with an in-person and virtual selling exhibition titled Veza 02—which features video works from SP-Arte, including a work by Letícia Ramos, who is represented by Mendes Wood DM—South South has launched a $40,000 fund for new media, awarding its first grant to the El Museo del Barrio in New York. The museum has purchased a film by the Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco, whose work Your Eyes Will Be an Empty Word (2021) is a major highlight of the 2022 Whitney Biennial, and a work by the Dominican-American artist Joiri Minaya.
The second floor of the fair will feature a presentation of the aforementioned acquisitions, and also highlight primary market galleries and Brazilian institutional participants such as the São Paulo-based Casa do Povo and the Rio de Janeiro-based Solar dos Abacaxis.
The ground floor of the expansive 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 that will highlight autonomous art spaces representing artists who do not have formal representation; their work will be presented in an exhibition titled Hora Grande (Big Time) that has been organised by the art critic Felipe Molitor.
The first floor will also feature an exhibition titled Arte Natureza: Ressignificar Para Viver (Arts and Nature: Resignifying to Love) organised by the Brazilian curator Ana Carolina Ralston. The show considers the role of art in raising awareness for environmental concerns, and features works by artists like Amelia Toledo, Ernesto Neto and Sonia Gomes, among others.
- SP-Arte, São Paulo Bienal Pavilion, 6-10 April