Wall Project | Pintura de emergência [Emergency painting] current exhibition


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In the last decade, we have witnessed the destruction of a vast cultural and natural heritage. In 2013, the Latin American Memorial caught fire. Two years later in 2015, in São Paulo, it was the Portuguese Language Museum’s turn. In 2018, the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, housing around 20 million items, was ravaged by a fire. The most recent instance of this series of fires occurred in 2021 at the Cinemateca Brasileira [Brazilian Film Library] collection. Not to mention the several square kilometers that were burned down as an instrument of deforestation in the Amazon and the Pantanal.

Pintura de emergência [Emergency painting], 2021-2022, by Marcius Galan, made for MAM’s Projeto Parede [Wall Project], can be understood from the standpoint of this catastrophic panorama as well as from a rather indirect sense. We live in times of high temperatures due to climate change driven global warming, but the heated environment is also caused by the political debate.

Departing from the emergency signs used to reduce the risk of destruction and to contribute to the identification of safety equipment such as hydrants and fire extinguishers, the artist creates a painting that utilizes mundane geometry, the one found in everyday life, without any transcendent purpose. As a composition strategy, Marcius Galan employs the repetition of a basic module of red and yellow. The vertical and horizontal juxtaposition of the signage emphasizes the notion of urgency and creates a rhythm, a kind of expectation for the module up ahead.

The rectangular shapes used by the artist clearly refer to the tradition of geometric constructive painting, which had among its protagonists the concretist and neoconcretist artists of the 1950s and early 1960s. However, instead of pursuing the universal rationality of geometric shapes or trying to break with the representation of nature, the artist, not lacking any shade of irony, helps us comprehend the times we currently live in.

In the moment when MAM São Paulo presents in its exhibition program the second generation of modern art, which emphasized abstraction, Marcius Galan updates a consideration of this period from a contemporary point of view. If in the 1950s Brazil experienced a surge of industrial development, driven by Juscelino Kubitschek’s slogan “50 years in five”, which projected towards a modern and civilized country, today we face a dystopia – a dystopia made of fires and emergencies.


Cauê Alves




Wall Project – Emergency Painting, installation by Marcius Galan.
Curatorship: Cauê Alves
Exhibition period: January 22 to June 26, 2022
Place: Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo
Adress: Parque Ibirapuera (Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/nº – Portões 1 e 3)
Schedules: Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10h to 18h (with the last entry at 17h30)
Telephone: (11) 5085-1300
Tickets: R$25,00 entire. 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.