Dialogues with Color and Light

Exhibition period: March 03 - May 28, 2023
Opening times: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.


tickets here


Dialogues with Color and Light (Diálogos com cor e luz) is aimed at disseminating thecollection of the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo, presenting exclusively works from this collection. The exhibition brings together a small selection of works focusing on the relationship between color and light in Brazilian art in the second half of the 20th century. We shall mention that, in the last century, MAM São Paulo played an important role in introducing and spreading abstract art in Brazil. Two examples are of particular interest: the museum’s inaugural exhibition in March 1949, Do Figurativismo ao Abstracionismo [From Figurativism to Abstractionism], curated by Léon Degand (1907-1958), and Ruptura [Rupture], which opened in December 1952 and marked the start of the Brazilian Concrete art movement with the publication of its manifesto.

We bring together in this spacedifferent generations of artists with no bias toward particular trends nor reference to a chronological order. We mix time periods and languages in order to encourage our sight toward the perception of similarities and differences in the varied ways light and color are treated among the many visual poetics. The exhibition design allocated radial panels around the space, making reference to the color wheel – that is, the optical experiments of Isaac Newton (1643-1727) first published in his book Opticks in 1707. In this book, theEnglish physicist demonstrates, by means of a disk divided into seven colors (red, violet, indigo, cyan, green, yellow, and orange),his theory that white sunlight is composed of the rainbow hues. When we rapidly spin the disk, the colors overlap on our retina and make us see white.

In emphasizing the dialogues with color and light in various mediums, the selection of artworks in this exhibition draws attention to light as a founding element of our perception. Engaging with light means that we must also deal with shadow, darkness, or the absence of light. And our interest lies precisely in the first contact we have with color, prior to the theorizations and meanings we add to it. Color is inseparable from what it expresses. It is an expression in itself, not just the translation of a preconceived idea or meaning.

It is fundamental that we free ourselves from the meanings already established and sedimented in the field of culture, from concepts that precede what is lived through, so that we can realize the experience with the duration of color. Instead of thinking of color and light as idealized elements, our direct contact with art helps us restore our original connection with the world. The dialogues between light and color in art show us that the world can be surprising and that our relationship with it may be inexhaustible.

Fábio Magalhães
Cauê Alves



Dialogues with Color and Light
[collective with Abraham Palatnik, Alfredo Volpi, Almir Mavignier, Amelia Toledo, Arthur Luiz Piza, Cássio Michalany, Hermelindo Fiaminghi, Lothar Charoux, Luiz Aquila, Lygia Clark, Manabu Mabe, Marco Giannotti, Maria Leontina, Maurício Nogueira Lima, Mira Schendel, Paulo Pasta, Rubem Valentim, Sérgio Sister, Takashi Fukushima, Thomaz Ianelli, Tomie Ohtake, Wega Nery e Yolanda Mohalyi]
Exhibition period: March 3 (from 7 pm) to May 28, 2023
Location: Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo
Address: Parque Ibirapuera (Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/nº – Gates 1 and 3)
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm (last entry at 5:30 pm)
Phone: (11) 5085-1300
Admission: R$25.00 in full and R$12.00 half-price. Free on Sundays. Prior appointment required.

Half-price for students, with identification; low-income youth and the elderly (+60). Free for children under 10 years old; people with disabilities and accompanying persons; teachers and directors of the state and municipal public network of SP, with identification; MAM members and students; employees of partner companies and museums; members of ICOM, AICA and ABCA, with identification; employees of SPTuris and employees of the Municipal Department of Culture.