While Brazil’s market is heavily weighted toward São Paulo, the current 19th edition of the SP-Arte fair is showcasing some of the best contemporary art across the country. This is important, given Brazil’s vast scale and diversity, and the focus is only underlined by the fact that of the 100 art galleries participating, only 15 are international.
In addition to stunning contemporary art, sprinkled throughout the fair are modernist masterpieces from Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America, showing that it is still possible to build a first-rate collection of Latin American modernism.
A few hours into the VIP opening on Wednesday, SP-Arte director Fernanda Feitosa said that the fair had already welcomed 2,500 visitors. Indeed, the scene was buzzing right from 11 a.m.
Though the fair staged an edition last year, Feitosa said that the 2023 edition has given the fair a chance to “reconnect with international visitors,” particularly those that the fair had lured in over the course of the pandemic with its innovative, year-round digital programming. She said collectors from Peru, Argentina, and Uruguay, as well as the US, Brussels, and Germany, had flown in. Additionally, over the past several months, Feitosa has made it a point to connect with Brazilian collectors outside the hubs of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro; many were also in town for the day, from Minas Gerais to Recife.
Over the course of the first day, groups of about a dozen roamed the fair as part of guided tours, in keeping with Feitosa’s view that SP-Arte is a “community fair.” She added that she wants SP-Arte to not only be about “educating the public and welcoming them here. Still, people think ‘Art is not for me.’ No, it is for everybody.”
Below, a look at the best booths at the 2023 edition of SP-Arte, which runs through April 2.