On September 5th (or the 4th for all special collectors), the ArtRio fair opens the doors of its third edition at its now traditional warehouses within Rio's port zone. Despite being a commercial fair, for 2013 ArtRio has invested heavily in its exhibitions, thus becoming an unmissable cultural activity within Rio's calendar. In other words: even if you lack the capital to buy a piece of art (works start at around $5000 Reais and go up to almost $20 million bucks), it is worth visiting ArtRio for its finely-curated exhibitions.
Here are 10 tips regarding attractions, works, artists, or galleries on which to keep an eye (in the midst of so many striking options):
1. Starting Off Well
Right off the bat, at warehouse 2, you will encounter Vista, a space dedicated to young galleries (i.e. less than 6 years old), many of which rely on experimental curatorial projects. Offering the best of emerging contemporary art, galleries at Vista develop artistic proposals especially for the fait (attention, attention collectors in search of new talent and future promises).
Be sure to spend time at La Central, a gallery from Bogotá that represents very interesting names, such as Nicolás Consuegra and Otto Berchem - a recommendation of John Paul Lopes Siqueira, ArtRio's director of gallery relations. Be sure to visit Curro & Poncho from Mexico (the highlight there is Alejandro Almanza) and Emma Thomas from São Paulo as well.
2. Thinking Big
Annex 4 houses the monumental or large scale works of ArtRio. An entirely new concept for the fair, the space known as Lupa - which focuses on the importance and connection of architecture with art - features never-seen-before art or works that were developed especially for the fair. According to João Paulo, "70% of the works are site-specific." Names like Amalia Giacomini, José Bechara, and James Turrell are some of the authors of must-see works.
Highlights also include Julio Le Parc who, as a celebration of his 60 years as an artist, will be represented at ArtRio by one of the works of his recent exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo. I promise that you will not be disappointed by one of the fathers of Op Art.
3. Hélio, We <3 You
It's so good that it deserves to have its own place on the list: "Cosmococas Programa in Progress" by Hélio Oiticica. An attraction reassembled especially for the the booth of the traditional gallery from Rio, A Gentil Carioca, the work was created in 1973, during Hélio's visit to New York. At the time, the artist's goal was to build a sensory experience through installations and, in the case of "Cosmococas" - the first of six installation of the series - he mixed experiments inspired by the world of drugs as well as by music from the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Luiz Gonzaga . Lovers of the 70s, join in! There is really no way to miss the chance to live like our parents did 40 years ago.
4. Show Me the $$$
Spread across warehouses 3 and 4, Panorama is the so-called "VIP area" of the event, where you will find participating domestic and international galleries renown for Modern and Contemporary Art. Speaking of big names, the biggest artists within Brazilian Contemporary Art can (mostly) be seen in one place: the stand of São Paulo-based gallery Fortes Vilaça. There you will find: Adriana Varejão, Ernesto Neto, Luiz Zerbini, and Os Gêmeos.
The national galleries are also bring some big names from abroad. Representing the Argentinean Adrián Villar Rojas (keep an eye on him!), the gallery Luisa Strina will exhibit the video that the artist made for the exhibit "The Insides are Outside" at the Casa de Vidro Lina Bo Bardi, in São Paulo.
5. From Across the Seas
Both Gagosian and Gladstone will represent some of the heavyweights (when it comes to galleries) at ArtRio. You definitely will not want to miss the meeting of a classic symbol of international Modern Art with a contemporary global icon: a bust of Giacometti (at the Gagosian) vs. a sculpture by Anish Kapoor (at Gladstone).
6. In the Streets
ArtRio is a definite supporter of Urban Art. In addition to declaring the Street Art festival ART RUA as the fair's official parallel, pieces of the streets can certainly be found on the walls of galleries, such as Logo and Choque Cultural. Check out the works of Talita Hoffmann and Rimon Guimarães.
7. It's a Jungle Out There
If all visual and sensory stimuli was not enough, ArtRio will also bring its own "Vision of Paradise" - the title of the exhibition located at Warehouse 2, as well as that of the 1959 work by the sociologist Sérgio Buarque de Hollanda, which comments on the exploration and colonization of America. The curators Julieta Gonzalez and Pablo Leon de la Barra chose nature as an expression of the theme. As a result, the warehouse's scenography makes reference to the forest. Among the 13 invited artists for the exhibition are Adriana Minoliti, Laercio Redondo, and Eduardo Kac.
8. A Little Pop Can do No Harm
Lost for 30 years, the images of the exhibition "Lost Then Found" reveal the artist Andy Warhol in an intimate way; they show the artist photographed by Steve Woods while at a hotel in France. The show has never been seen on Terra Brasilis and was only shown in New York and Munich. The public will have access to a pop-up store that will sell posters of the exhibition - and sandals by Ipanema, one of the fair's sponsors, which will donate all proceeds to the NGO Spectaculu School of Art and Technology, which is under the direction of Gringo Cardia.
9. Art Class
For those who want to dive deeper into the world of art, lectures will be offered Thursday through Sunday. On Saturday, at 3pm, that old question about Contemporary Art - "is this art?" - will be discussed. If you're a fan of Calder, check out the artist's granddaughter and Roberta Saraiva Coutinho, the author of "Calder in Brazil," as they discuss Calder's life on the same day, at 6pm.
10. Go Outside and Play
In 2013, the show will go beyond the Pier Mauá. The "Interventions at MAM" is a tribute to the 65th anniversary of the museum, bringing together an exhibition of sculptures. The three-dimensional geometry of Bechara and Raul Mourão (from the Gallery Lurixs), as well as the work of Ana Holck (Anita Schwartz) will not fail to impress. A Gentil Carioca Gallery will be represented in human form by the urban collective OPAVIVARÁ! Their performance is worth checking out.
One last tip: take a taxi! Due to the most recent constructions within Rio's port zone, there is a very high probability that there will be nowhere to park and/or that you will get lost (no, not even the semi-god GoogleMaps can help one find their way in the midst of so many detours.) Deal?