The Pinacoteca of São Paulo, a museum of the São Paulo State Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy, for the first time will exhibit to the museum’s visitors, from February 16 to June 17, 2019, four works that have been recently added to its collection. With sponsorship by Água Ama, works by Marcius Galan, Débora Bolsoni, Regina Parra and Matheus Rocha Pitta occupy four rooms (A, B, C and D) adjacent to the long-term exhibition on display on the second floor of Pina Luz. Curated by the Núcleo de Pesquisa e Curadoria da Pinacoteca [Research and Curatorship Department of the Pinacoteca], and taking as a starting point the institution’s own collection, the selection proposes to establish a counterpoint between the historical and the contemporary.
In room A, the work Seção (prisma fumê) [Section (Smoked Prism)], 2012, by Marcius Galan, which is part of a series of works in which the artist creates optical illusions through interventions in the physical environment with lines drawn in the space, combined in a chromatic interplay with the use of light as a pictorial element. The work, which was acquired by the Patronos da Arte Contemporânea [Contemporary Art Patrons] Program of Acquisions of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, carries a certain visual complexity, establishing an ambiguous and unstable space that prompts the spectator to perform a careful inspection. Born in 1972 in the United States and based in Brazil, Galan works in a variety of different media, including sculpture, installation art, photography, collage and drawing. He has participated in major national and international exhibitions such as Art and Space, Guggenheim (Bilbao) in 2017 and the 30th Bienal de São Paulo. In 2011 he was awarded the Cisneros Fontanals Comission Prize, and won Prêmio PIPA in 2012, which led him to participate in a renowned artistic residency at Gasworks, in London.
On display in room B, Lição de mímese [A Lesson in Mimesis] (2004-2006), by the Rio de Janeiro-born artist Débora Bolsoni, donated to the museum by Iguatemi in the context of the 2017 SP-Arte art fair. Regarded as a crucial work in the artist’s trajectory, it is comprised of various chalkboards in different shapes with wooden frames, resembling mirrors. These mirrors reflect nothing, but can, however, receive chalk drawings, which prompts a discussion about the mimetic effect of art and its capacity for duplicating reality. Born in 1975 in Rio de Janeiro, Bolsoni holds an MA in Visual Poetics from the Escola de Comunicações e Artes – USP [School of Communication and Arts of the University of São Paulo] (2014). She also studied at the EAV Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro (1991-1993) and at Saint Martin’s School of Art, in London (1933).
In its turn, Chance (2015-2017), by the São Paulo-born artist Regina Parra, also acquired through the Patronos da Arte Contemporânea program, was previously displayed in Parque Lage, set up amidst the park’s Atlantic rainforest, in Rio de Janeiro, and also in Parque Ibirapuera in São Paulo, and is now being exhibited in room C. The work sports the phrase “The Great Chance” in red neon, and presents itself as an ambiguous portal that can be interpreted both as a promise and as a threat. Born in São Paulo in 1981, Parra holds an MA in Art Theory and Criticism from Faculdade Santa Marcelina and a BA in Fine Arts from FAAP. The artist has participated in numerous exhibitions, including Sights and Sounds, at The Jewish Museum, New York; cães sem plumas [featherless dogs], at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Recife and in the 17th edition of the Festival Internacional Sesc Videobrasil [Sesc Videobrasil International Festival].
And finally, in room D, artist Matheus Rocha Pitta, born in Minas Gerais, presents the interactive installation Primeira pedra [First Stone] (2015-2016), offered as a donation to the museum by the artist himself and by the art gallery that represents him. The work is composed of concrete cubes that can easily be picked up and held in the palm of a hand, which have been placed on top of pages of the previous day’s issue of the local newspaper. The cubes are offered to the public in exchange not for money, but for another stone: to possess one, the visitor must exit the museum and bring back the first stone they find out in the street. The work radicalizes the concept of multiples to its extreme, whereby each piece can be taken home by the visitor as a work of art, thus affirming the link between the museum and the city through the gesture of each individual.
Also on view in room D, are four works from the series Acordo [Agreement], composed of floor/roof slabs that show an archive of photographs taken from newspapers, portraying people as they perform agreements – gestures such as handshakes, hugs and kisses. Throughout his artistic trajectory, Rocha Pitta (Tiradentes, 1980) has sedimented interests and strategies that allow one to identify, in a practice that gains density and grows increasingly consistent at every new presentation, a critical articulation on the exchange mechanisms that govern common life. In 2014, the artist participated in the Taipei Biennial and in the group show Blind Field at Kunst IM Tunnel in Dusseldorf, and in 2013 he held the solo exhibition Acordo [Agreement] at Fondazione Morra Greco, in Naples, Italy.