Projeto Parede | MAM 70 Sep 05th, 2018 - Apr 14th, 2019

The Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM) [Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo] celebrates its seventieth anniversary with an exhibition which highlights the institution’s fundamental values. Since the beginning, MAM has sought to form a collection through prospective shows, to develop a pedagogical practice, expand the field of photography as art and to pave the way for artistic trends. Now, from an already consolidated history in Brazil and abroad, we revisit these four principles to look ahead.

MAM’s history also demonstrates the fertility of its bases, which have given rise to institutions such as the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo [Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo]. MAC USP, founded in 1963, received the collection formed at MAM and has preserved its seminal values. Thus, we bring together both museums in this commemorative exhibition, celebrating their common origin and the fraternal relationship between the institutions.

The show is organized into two parts. In the Sala Paulo Figueiredo [Paulo Figueiredo Room] are works collected during MAM’s initial period, between 1949 and 1963. In the Sala Milú Villela [Milú Villela Room], are found works from the collections of MAM and MAC USP acquired after this date. Connecting both rooms, a timeline describes this history.

In each of the rooms, the same four values orient the expositive sections:

  • Formation of the Collection Based on Prospective Shows

The Paulo Figueiredo Room exhibits works acquired at the time of the Bienal de São Paulo [São Paulo Biennial], an event created by MAM in 1951; in the Milú Villela Room are the works originating from MAM’s Panoramas da Arte Brasileira [Panoramas of Brazilian Art]; and, from MAC USP, works originating from the Jovem Gravura Nacional [Young National Printing], Jovem Desenho Nacional [Young National Drawing], Jovem Arte Contemporânea [Young Contemporary Art] and from the recent acquisition programs.

  • Pedagogical Mission

In the Paulo Figueiredo Room we find color reproductions used in educational shows organized at the Biblioteca Municipal de São Paulo [Municipal Library of São Paulo] in collaboration with MAM, between the end of the 1940s and the 1950s; on MAM’s facade is exhibited the work O museu é uma escola [The Museum Is a School], by Luis Camnitzer, acquired at the time of the commemorative show to mark the twentieth anniversary of the museum’s educational department, in 2016.

  • Expansion of Photography as Art

The Paulo Figueiredo Room shows records of the exhibition by Thomaz Farkas, of 1949, the first devoted to modern photography at a Brazilian museum, while in the Milú Villela Room are assembled photographic works from both museums, with special emphasis on the Clube de Colecionadores de Fotografia [Photography Collectors’ Club] of MAM.

  • Contemporary Challenge

The Paulo Figueiredo Room presents works that formed part of MAM’s inaugural show, Do figurativismo ao abstracionismo [From Figurativism to Abstractionism], which proposed a diagnosis of the development of modern art as it moved towards abstraction; in the Milú Villela Room are works from the Multimedia exhibitions, staged by MAC USP in 1976, which played a pioneering role in the acceptance of experimental productions at Brazilian museums, followed by works from the show Ecológica [Ecological], held by MAM in 2010, which explains the approach the museum has been developing over the last ten years to address the challenges concerning the relationship between art and ecology, as we consider this to be a frontier area that poses urgent global challenges to contemporary culture.

So bring on the next seventy years!


Ana Magalhães (MAC USP)
Felipe Chaimovich (MAM)
Helouise Costa (MAC USP)



Curatorship: Ana Magalhães, Helouise Costa and Felipe Chaimovich
Visit: Sep 05th, 2018 – Apr 14th, 2019
Entrance: free admission
Local: Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo
Address: Pedro Álvares Cabral Ave, s/nº – Parque Ibirapuera (gates 2 and 3)
Schedules: tuesdays to sundays, 10 am 17:30 pm (with stay until 18pm)
Phone number: +55 11 5085-1318
For more information, click here.