The Artsy Guide to ArtRio

As host of the FIFA World Cup this summer and now gearing up for the fourth edition of ArtRio, the coastal Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro has been in quite the cultural spotlight this year. A major international art fair, ArtRio attracted 52,000 visitors last year and annually gathers more than 100 galleries to showcase modern and contemporary art by artists from across the globe. With an extensive program that includes talks about goings-on in the art world, an emerging gallery section, and site-specific installations, the fair is sure to capture the attention of the Brazilian art world for the week to come. 

1. When? Where? How?

ArtRio will be held from September 10th to the 14th, 2014, between 1 pm and 9pm in Rio de Janeiro’s Pier Mauá (access the main entrance at Rua Rodrigues Alves, 10, Centro, Rio de Janeiro). Tickets may be purchased in person at the fair.

2. Why visit?

As one of Brazil’s largest art fairs, ArtRio presents works by some 2,000 artists, spread out among five spacious warehouses. Due to the sheer size of the fair, works included fall under a remarkably wide range of eras and mediums, from artists both emerging and long-cemented in the art historical canon. Through a unique, thematic layout ArtRio simultaneously embraces Brazilian cultural history and a variety of international galleries, allowing for an experience that represents both local and global perspectives. 

3. Sections

The fair is divided into four thematic programs. The PANORAMA section is the most traditional of these and includes established galleries from both Brazil and around the world. VISTA is the emerging gallery program, fostering a spirit of experimentation among the curators involved, much of which is site-specific. The LUPA program is a large space for installations and sculptures, also site-specific with some works commissioned exclusively for the fair. Finally, SOLO is a section of fair with a different conceptual basis each year; it features individual artists directly invited by the curators rather than galleries. This year’s SOLO section is under the direction of Guggenheim curator and Latin American art scholar Pablo Leon de la Barra and senior curator at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City, Julieta Gonzalez.

4. Selection Committee

The selection committee that assembled the galleries participating in ArtRio 2014 consists of a team of major gallerists and dealers, most of whom are Brazilian. The committee includes: Alexandre Gabriel (Galeria Fortes Vilaça / SP); Anita Schwartz (Anita Schwartz Galeria de Arte / RJ); Cecília Tanure (A Gentil Carioca / RJ); Greg Lulay (David Zwirner / New York - USA); and Matthew Wood (Mendes Wood DM / SP). 

5. Talks

ArtRio Talks, which are offered in collaboration with Casa do Saber, consists of a variety of discussions between important Brazilian and international figures in the global art market. Some highlights from this year’s fair include:

“The status of the art object”: Patrick Charpenel (Curator and director of Fundación Jumex); mediated by Lisette Lagnado (Writer, art critic and independent curator). Sept. 11th, 4–5pm.

“To share, to educate (Social Interaction)”: Rodrigo Moura (Curator, editor and art critic. Director of art and cultural programs at Instituo Inhotim); mediated by Pablo León de la Barra (Curator of the Guggenheim UBS MAP and SOLO curator at ArtRio 2014). Sept. 11th, 5–6pm.

“Constructing histories”: Bartomeu Mari (Director of MACBA: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, and President of CIMAN); mediated by Kaira Cabañas (art historian and critic, and guest professor at PUC-Rio). Sept. 13th, 4–5pm.

6. The ArtRio FOCO / Bradesco Award

The second edition of the ArtRio FOCO / Bradesco Award will be held this year. The award seeks to highlight emerging Brazilian artists who have been working for 15 years or less; recipients will be offered a residency, as well as exhibitions at three important Brazilian institutions—Largo das Artes in Rio de Janeiro, Espaço Phosphorus in São Paulo, and Sens’artLab in Paris. They will also be presented in a special exhibition area at this year’s fair. 

7. New This Year: CIGA

The CIGA project (Integrated Circuit of Art Galleries) was introduced this year as a venue for galleries to prepare for the fair; from May 17 to 19, galleries, museums, and other art institutions invite the public to see their offerings in art in preparation for the fair.

8. Tours

ArtRio’s curators have each pulled together individual itineraries of things to see during the fair. These vary according to each curator’s sensibility, so the offerings are diverse given the magnitude of the fair. You can check out Claudia Hersz “Accessible Pleasures” itinerary showcasing the best of the city for those on a budget, for instance, or, Daniela Name’s “Weissmann’s Rio” itinerary, which highlights the sculptures of Neo-concrete artist Franz Weissmann

9. Nearby Exhibitions

Bradesco and ArtRio are preparing to stage an urban intervention project in the month of September to coincide with the fair, exhibiting large sculptural installations. Last year, in honor of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro’s 65th birthday, ArtRio curated an exhibition of sculptures around the museum. 

Museu de Arte do Rio presents “Some schools are cages and some schools are wings,” an exhibition about the role of art in education and includes works by Brazilian artists including Anna Bella Geiger and Oscar Niemeyer. 

10. EAV+Mul.ti.plo

On the occasion of ArtRio, local art school Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (EAV) has partnered with Galeria Mul.ti.plo to present EAV+Mul.ti.plo, a project to promote printmaking, which has a custom studio space at the fair. This partnership has resulted in the creation and sale of five new prints, by five artists—Angelo Venosa, Barrão, Celia Euvaldo, Luiz Zerbini, and Marcos Chaves. Each day of the fair a new print will launch and visitors can visit the studio to watch demonstrations and learn about printmaking techniques from EAV artists and professors.

Explore ArtRio 2014 on Artsy.