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A painting by Agostinho Batista de Freitas | © MASP
A painting by Agostinho Batista de Freitas | © MASP
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Must-See Art Exhibitions in São Paulo This Summer

Picture of Lise Alves
Updated: 13 January 2017
The long, hot days of summer are an invitation for reflection, cool drinks and art. In São Paulo, amid the bustling traffic, art is everywhere. Among the hundreds of galleries and museums in the city, some art exhibitions are just too good to miss. But hurry, because once summer is over, so are many of these great expositions.
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Antoni Gaudí at Instituto Tomie Ohtake

Perhaps the single exhibition not miss in São Paulo this summer is the exhibition of 46 models of Antoni Gaudí’s surreal buildings at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, four of which are in very large scale. Barcelona’s favorite son was known for his meticulousness and his attention to detail. Texts explain the context of the city in the early 20th century, and the works on the first floor display designs with elaborate details of vaults, capitals, doors and buildings such as the houses Batló and Milà. The exhibition is complemented by 40 works of other artists and craftsmen also living in Barcelona in the early 1900s, such as Santiago Rusiñol. The exhibition can be seen Tuesday–Sunday from 11AM–8PM until February 5.

Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima 201 (entrance through Rua Coropés 88), Pinheiros, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 2245 1900

Gaudi © Instituto Tomie Ohtake

Models of 46 of Antoni Gaudí’s distinctive buildings are on display at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake | © Instituto Tomie Ohtake

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American Beauty at Museu da Imagem e do Som

There is still time to visit the exhibition American Beauty at the Museu da Imagem e do Som (MIS), which runs until January 29. Local photographer Paula Clerman seeks to discuss the standards of beauty and behavior in American society, but under a Brazilian look. She chose the beach as the location of the photo essay. The exhibition runs from Tuesday–Friday, from 12PM–10PM, and from 11AM–9PM on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

Museu da Imagem e do Som, Avenida Europa 158, Jardim Europa, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 2117 4777

Paula Clerman © Paula Clerman

Paula Clerman examines beauty standards in American society from a Brazilian point of view | © Paula Clerman

Salao dos Artistas Sem Galeria at Zipper Galeria and Galeria Sancovsky

Two galleries in São Paulo receive the 8th edition of the Salao dos Artistas Sem Galeria – the Sancovsky Gallery (from January 12) and the Zipper Gallery (from January 19) will exhibit, works by 10 selected artists who currently have no formal representation in any art galleries in the city of São Paulo. The works include paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos and installations. Both exhibitions close on March 4. The event traditionally opens the arts calendar in São Paulo and is a gateway for selected artists into the arts world.

Zipper Galeria, Rua Estados Unidos 1494, Jardim America, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 4306 4306

Galeria Sancovsky, Praça Benedito Calixto 103, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 3086 0784

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Erwin Wurm at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB)

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB) will house some of the witty and comical pieces of contemporary Austrian artist Erwin Wurm. With his pieces, Wurm turns everyday elements to the field of art, reconfiguring familiar objects such as houses, cars, clothes and food into an unexpected, funny, and at the same time critical context of contemporary society. In the exhibition, he shows a series of works that discuss the human body, not only from the physical but also from its psychological and spiritual layers. The exhibition opens on January 25 from Wednesday–Monday from 9AM–9PM and will run through until April 3.

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB), Rua Álvares Penteado 112, Centro, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 3113 3651

Erwin Wurm © Erwin Wurm

Erwin Wurm offers a comical take on everyday subjects | © Erwin Wurm

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Agostinho Batista de Freitas at Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP)

At the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), paintings of skyscrapers are nestled right next to circus goers and large highways that cut through the city. Agostinho Batista de Freitas (1927-1997) was 25 years old in 1952, when he was discovered by MASP director and founder Pietro Maria Bardi, painting and selling his artwork in the center of São Paulo. Impressed by the talent of the street painter, Bardi bought paints and brushes and asked him to paint the city’s tallest skyscraper, the Banespa building. That same year Freitas held his first exhibition in the museum. Now the museum has brought Freitas back, displaying 74 of the artworks he painted between 1950 and 1990, including five that were recently donated to the MASP. The exhibition can be seen until March 9, Tuesday–Sunday from 10AM–6PM. The museum will also be open on Mondays throughout January.

MASP, Avenida Paulista 1578, Bela Vista, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 3251 5644

Agostinho Batista de Freitas © MASP

The MASP is exhibiting artworks painted by Agostinho Batista de Freitas between 1950 and 1990 | © MASP

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Pop Nova Figuração e Após at Ricardo Camargo Galeria

For those looking for something more modern, the Ricardo Camargo Galeria invites visitors to reminisce the 1960s and 70s world of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein in Pop, Nova Figuração e Após. The exhibition features 58 works, from 25 leading Brazilian artists who journeyed between Pop Art and the New Figuration, or went beyond. Artists like Cláudio Tozzi, Antonio Dias and Rubens Gerchman were inspired to produce works critical to politics and culture using comical and advertising language. The exhibition can be visited Monday–Friday from 10AM–7PM, and Saturdays from 10AM to 2PM until January 31.

Ricardo Camargo Galeria, Rua Frei Galvão 121, Jardim Paulistano, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 3031 3879