Art market Magazine April 2016

 
FOCUS 
 
Rio de Janeiro 
 
W 
 
ith the summer Olympic…
FOCUS

Rio de Janeiro

W

ith the summer Olympic Games, the "marvellous city" looks set to welcome a record influx of sportmad tourists. And they won't be alone, as
art lovers will also gain from the dynamic energy that has pervaded Rio de Janeiro for the past few years. There are worksites all over the city, the most sizeable being the new tramway. While the art scene itself is affected by all this constructive turmoil, spectacular progress is sometimes victim to sudden and violent setbacks, or even failure. For example, the huge, magnificent Casa Daros, opened in the Centro de Rio by the eponymous Zurich foundation in March 2013, had to close in December 2015. In Brazil, as long as a project isn't finished or established as a long-term affair, nothing can ever be taken for granted. A new factor is that Rio is now a firm cultural challenger to São Paulo, the country's uncontested economic capital and long-standing rival. In Brazil's national imagination, the roles used to be clear-cut. São Paulo had the main museums (including the

modern art museum with its large Impressionist collection), one of the most influential biennials, created in 1951, and the art market, with top-class galleries and a fair (SP Arte) created in 2005. Rio de Janeiro's main attractions were an outstanding environment and landscapes, and the presence of nature within the city: all distinct assets for creativity. Although the market was undeniably located in São Paulo, famous Brazilian artists were divided more equally between the two major cities. Everything started to change with the creation of a new contemporary art fair, Art Rio, in 2011. While the São Paulo galleries assumed that there was no real market in Rio, and that Rio's collectors would in any event seek them out in São Paulo, their participation in the new fair rapidly convinced them otherwise. After a few changes, mainly to do with a now more reasonable size, the Rio affair carved itself a niche: one that was all the more effective since the art market in Brazil seemed to be largely autocentric, essentially organised around Brazilian artists sold by Brazilian galleries to Brazilian collectors.

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© Cesar-Barreto

Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Catalan architect Santiago Calatrava.

Art Market Magazine April 2016
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