P33 – Unique Forms of Continuity in Space

Six years after MAM São Paulo’s founder Ciccillo Matarazzo donated all the works of its collection to the Universidade de São Paulo, the museum created the Panorama da Arte Brasileira with the aim of assembling a new collection.

From 1969 until today, Panorama has surpassed this initial goal. The collection has grown so large (to around 5,400 artworks) that MAM has not been able to permanently display it, due to the limitations of the pavilion that houses the institution beneath the marquee designed by Oscar Niemeyer.

The theme of this edition of the event responds to the lack of a building suitable for the needs of MAM São Paulo; artists as well as architects were invited to think about where such a building could be located (either within or outside the park) and what its functions would be.

The title of this Panorama, Formas únicas da continuidade no espaço [Unique Forms of Continuity in Space] has been borrowed from the sculpture by futurist artist Umberto Boccioni, a piece that once belonged to the museum and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. This work, currently in the collection of MAC USP, underscores the speculative character of the current show.

Together with historical documents that elucidate MAM’s history – like those that refer to the exhibition Bahia no Ibirapuera by Lina Bo Bardi and Martim Gonçalves, in 1959 – Panorama is highlighting other contexts of modernity throughout Brazil (in Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Pernambuco, Belo Horizonte and Brasília) and the world.

The exhibition layout has reinstated Lina’s circulation design (with the main entrance facing the Bienal Pavilion), as well as the original colours of the door and walls, also eliminating the presence of the upright panels that divide the space into small rooms.

The reality is now another, as indicated by the designs of the architectural firms: the city of São Paulo received Ibirapuera Park for its IV Centennial in 1954; what sort of gift would be in keeping with the spirit of a V Centennial?

Lisette Lagnado (curator) and Ana Maria Maia (adjunct curator)