By Raiza Cavalcanti

SP-Arte 2018 opens its doors with novelties and optimism, in spite of the economical and political crisis that has struck the country over the past few years

The 160 exhibitors kicked off the week with positive expectations of the exchanges and business possibilities that might take place during the 14th edition of this Fair. More experienced galleries, such as Emma Thomas, are optimistic about the number of participants and collectors, and foresee plenty of dialogues and networking opportunities. But the most positive assessments come from the exhibitors who are participating in the Fair for the first time.
Galeria Emma Thomas, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti - SP-Arte 2018

Galeria Emma Thomas, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti

Licenciado (Mexico) is one of these galleries. It is participating in the Solo section, curated this year by Luísa Teixeira. For its debut, the gallery is presenting the work of Cuban artist Ariel Orozco. The Solo section is one of the Fair’s most interesting areas. It’s located in the pavilion’s underground floor, and gathers a series of excellent galleries in smaller stands, presenting powerful pieces by the artists they represent.
Solo section, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti - SP-Arte 2018

Solo section, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti

Several works of art stand out in this section, but one in particular attracts particular interest: the piece Brasília, by the artist Bruno Faria, an important name in the Brazilian scene who is recognized for his strong and critical artwork, at the stand belonging to Periscópio (Belo Horizonte).
Bruno Faria, Brasilia, Galeria Periscopio, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti - SP-Arte 2018

Bruno Faria, Brasilia, Galeria Periscopio, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti

Another participation worth noting is that of Galería Isabel Aninat, which is presenting works by renowned Chilean artist Lotty Rosenfeld.
Javiera Aninat, Lotty Rosenfeld work, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti - SP-Arte 2018

Javiera Aninat, Lotty Rosenfeld work, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti

We continue exploring the Repertorio section, curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti. Here, the artwork on exhibition is by artists who produced their works during the 1980s, powerful pieces from both aesthetic and historical points of view.
Cristian Boltansky, Marian Goodman Gallery, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcantijpg - SP-Arte 2018

Cristian Boltansky, Marian Goodman Gallery, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcantijpg

In addition to internationally renowned names such as Chinese artist Chen Zen (galería Continua – Beijing/Habana) and French artist Cristian Boltansky (Marian Goodman Gallery – Londres), the section also includes the work of Brazilian artists such as Ione Saldanha (Galeria Almeida e Dale) and José Cláudio (Galería Base). The first is a referent of Brazilian modernism, well known for her bamboo sculptures. The latter is a modernism icon from northeastern Brazil, a creator of artistic experiments that drew him closer to visual poetry.
Repertorio section, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti - SP-Arte 2018

Repertorio section, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti

A section worth visiting is the Performance section, curated by Paula García (a collaborator of Marina Abramović’s), who has generated a true performance space in the middle of the Fair. The highlighted piece for this section is Paul Setúbal, who in his performance holds a sculpture by modernist artist Franz Weissman from 1970. The risk of the sculpture falling on the artist or on the audience puts the spectator in a constantly tense state, as he or she observes the conflict between the artist’s body and the piece. Other participants for this section include the artists’ collective Brechó Replay, the duo Rafael Abdala and Jessica Goes, the artist Karla Girott, and the artist and cook Gabriel Vidolin.
Paul Setubal, Performance section, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti - SP-Arte 2018

Paul Setubal, Performance section, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti

Meanwhile, the Design section was expanded to occupy the entire third floor at the Sao Paulo Biennial pavilion. This year, in addition to galleries, independent designers shall also participate in the fair. Among these independent designers, Gustavo Bittencourt’s stand attracts special attention, presenting furniture with a peculiar and elegant style.
Design Section, Atelier Gustavo Bittencourt, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti - SP-Arte 2018

Design Section, Atelier Gustavo Bittencourt, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti

Ana Neute’s stand also jumps out for its lamps and the creation of singular objects in round formats. The galleries present a whole different show of their own: we’ve selected Mi Casa and Ete.
Design Section, Atelier Ana Neute, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti - SP-Arte 2018

Design Section, Atelier Ana Neute, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti

At the first, one can find works by Antonio Gaudi, and at the second, works by Oscar Niemayer, two important names in the history of architecture.
Projetos de Arquitetos, Ruy Othake, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti - SP-Arte 2018

Projetos de Arquitetos, Ruy Othake, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti

Another interesting section is Projetos de Arquitetos, which for the second time is exhibiting pieces of furniture created by renowned Brazilian architects, such as Bel Lobo and Ruy Othake.
Design Section, Galeria Etel, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti - SP-Arte 2018

Design Section, Galeria Etel, SP-Arte 2018, courtesy Raiza Cavalcanti

In addition to all of the opening night activities and visits to galleries, old and new, one should still save energy for an extensive programming. Starting from April 12th, there shall also be Talks, guided visits offered by the Fair, artist’s books releases, and studio visits. SP-Arte 2018 Festival is only getting started. For more information: www.sp-arte.com