Salvador’s Top Contemporary Art Galleries And Museums

Photo of A. J. Samuels
29 December 2016

Salvador is a vibrant port town and the capital of the state of Bahia in north-eastern Brazil. The beautiful promenade of Salvador with its capoeira dancers and street musicians gives a perfect example of the colourful and cheerful disposition of the Brazilian people and their immense artistic achievement. These qualities are evident in the city’s flourishing art scene. Here is a selection of some of the most interesting contemporary art galleries and museums to be discovered while walking the sunny streets of Salvador da Bahia.

© A. Júnior/Flickr

Fabio Pena Cal

For more than 13 years, Fabio Pena Cal has been a point of reference for contemporary art in Salvador de Bahia. Thanks to the continuing contacts established with both artists and collectors and a deeply rooted knowledge of the market, Fabio Pena Cal is able to present only the very best of what Brazilian art has to offer. The gallery showcases the works of established artists as well as those of emerging talents such asAdrianne Gallinari, José Patrício and Florian Raiss to name but a few. Thanks to the brilliant direction of its owner, Galeria Fabio Pena Cal is always up to date on the latest trends in the world of national and international contemporary art.

Fabio Pena Cal, Alameda das Espatódeas, 479, Caminho das Árvores, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, +55 71 3272 4271

Paulo Darzé

Paulo Darzé is a beautiful exhibition space with more that 25 years of uninterrupted activity. The gallery’s mission is that of promoting Bahia and Brazilian artists through solo and collective exhibitions and through active participation in national and international art fairs. A yearly appointment for Salvador’s art aficionados is the gallery’s collective exhibition typically held from January until the end of February. During these months, the 600 square meters of the gallery are filled with the works of the most prominent local artists allowing the public to admire the finest examples of contemporary painting, sculpture and photography. Mario Cravo Neto, Daniel Senise and Monica Milan are only a few names that represent the excellence showcased by Paulo Darzé.

Paulo Darzé, Rua Dr. Chrysippo de Aguiar 8, Corredor da Vitória, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, +55 71 3267 0930

Image courtesy of RV Cultura e Arte

Image courtesy of RV Cultura e Arte

RV Cultura e Arte

Art Gallery
Map View
Marker on paper, from the series 'Mata', by Pedro Marighella
Marker on paper, from the series 'Mata', by Pedro Marighella | Image courtesy of RV Cultura e Arte
When it first opened in 2008, RV Cultura e Arte was a one-of-a-kind experiment on the artistic landscape of Salvador de Bahia. RV Cultura e Arte has a dual nature, as it is both an exhibition space for contemporary arts and the city’s only bookstore specialized in graphic arts, comic books and manga. Some of the most interesting exhibitions that have taken place here were born from a fusion of these two facets of contemporary culture. On average, the gallery organizes four exhibitions per year but its calendar is full of events, lectures, and workshops. RV Cultura e Arte has also recently opened its own publishing house that promotes comic books and graphic novels.

Palacete das Artes

This small yet fascinating museum is the ideal retreat from the bustling activity of the streets of Salvador. The villa that hosts the Palacete das Artes was designed by Rossi Baptista and was completed in 1912 in a style symbolic of the wealth and power of Bahian families; the villa remains one of the city’s most beautiful architectural masterpieces. Nowadays, the Palacete Catharino serves as a museum of modern and contemporary art with a solid permanent collection, which includes four sculptures created by French artist Auguste Rodin. Thanks to the cooperation with the Musée Rodin of Paris, the Palacete das Artes is periodically able to borrow other works from the Rodin collection for its exhibitions.

Palacete das Artes, Rua da Graça 289, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, +55 71 3117 6987

Luiz Fernando Landeiro Contemporary Art

Art Gallery
Map View
Luiz Fernando Landeiro, Bahia
Luiz Fernando Landeiro, Bahia | Image courtesy of Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia
Luiz Fernando Landeiro Contemporary Art is the youngest and trendiest art gallery in Salvador de Bahia. The gallery can be found within a newly renovated building overlooking the gorgeous Praia da Paciência. The renovation of the building was carried out by Dolores Landeiro who was able to turn a dismissed site into a stunning exhibition space with 400 square meters of space spread over three floors, each with a beautiful view of the ocean. During the opening, owner Luiz Fernando Landeiro showcased various examples of the art that will set his gallery aside from the others, among which were installations, sculptures, paintings, photography, video art and performances.

Bahia MAM

Museum, Park
Map View
Image courtesy of Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia
If there were a contest for the most picturesque view of the city The Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia would surely win the first prize. Surrounded by towering mango trees and washed by the waves of the sea, the MAM-BA is the most important museum of contemporary art of the state of Bahia and one of the leading museums in South America. The five galleries exhibit the best local and international visual artists while the Sculpture Park, the museum’s outdoor gallery, offers a pleasant alternative to the traditional museum experience. MAM-BA’s calendar is full of activities ranging from exhibitions to cultural events and even educational activities.

Bel Borba

The streets, buildings, public squares and even the beaches of Salvador de Bahia have been Bel Borba’s canvas for the past 30 years. Borba is one of Brazil’s most beloved street artists and has been described as the Latin American Banksy. For his artworks, Borba uses mainly discarded items such as metal, bottles, broken tiles and driftwood and proudly says that he’ll never run out of materials as long as he keeps living in Salvador. But it’s the relationship with the people of Salvador de Bahia that inspires most of Bel Borba’s works of street art; his activity has even inspired a documentary film titled Bel Borba Aqui: A Man and a City