South AmericaBrazilArt tour in São Paulo
Exhibition of Daniel Mullen, at the Zipper Gallery

Art tour in São Paulo

The São Paulo International Art Festival (SP-ARTE), which this year will be held from April 3 to 7, may be the great reason to get to know this other side of São Paulo as the great megalopolis of art and culture.

By Marcia Cárdenas Viveiros

Photos: Courtesy

After a rather dark period of crisis and pandemic, a time of losing spaces and financial support, art is shining again in Brazil and the country is playing a prominent role in global art events.

One example is the renowned São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand Museum of Art (MASP), which is opening a new annex this year that will connect to the main building via an underground tunnel. The new building’s 14 floors expand the museum’s area by nearly 75,348 square feet, space that will be used for more galleries, classrooms, a test kitchen, a restaurant, a store, and event areas.

Museo de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP), vista Avenida Paulista
MASP - Photo: Eduardo Ortega

The MASP is home to one of the most important collections of European art in the southern hemisphere. Its more than 11,000 works include paintings, sculptures, artifacts, photographs, and costumes, as well as pieces produced in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

São Paulo’s other iconic museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), have also endured, managing to maintain their prestige through many inclusive collections and activities.

And there are other large institutions in the city, such as the Moreira Salles Institute, which grew into its avant-garde building on Paulista Avenue, and the Pinacoteca––with the Pina Estação and Pina Contemporâneathat opened last year––which has become São Paulo’s most important art complex. The Pinacoteca has the second largest exhibition area in Latin America, second only to Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology.

Art, artists and gallery owners in one place

Festival Sao Paulo Arte

In addition to the increase in exhibition spaces, art events have multiplied.

The São Paulo International Art Festival (SP-Arte), which takes place April 3-7 this year, is a traditional meeting point for artists, collectors, curators, critics, opinion makers, and other audiences.

Over the last two decades, SP-Arte has brought together galleries, publishers, magazines, museums, and art and design institutions. This year, more than 5,000 works and 2,000 artists from Brazil and abroad are expected to come together in the historic Biennial Pavilion in Ibirapuera Park.


The MASP is home to one of the most important collections of European art in the southern hemisphere. Its more than 11,000 works include paintings, sculptures, artifacts, photographs, and costumes.

Gallery tours

If it’s art that brings you to the city, you won’t want to miss the elegant and timeless Jardins District, which includes four of São Paulo’s most beautiful neighborhoods and a large number of galleries.

Start with Mayer Mizrahi’s Espacio Arte MM, at 1757 Rua Peixoto Gomide, where you’ll find paintings, engravings, sculpture, and photography by established Brazilian artists. Next, head for Alameda Lorena, famous for its culinary and commercial offerings.

The Luisa Strina Gallery, at 755 Rua Padre João Manuel, is famous for supporting the careers of conceptual artists such as Antonio Dias, Cildo Meireles, Tunga, and Waltercio Caldas. It was the first gallery in Latin America to participate in Art Basel, in 1992.

Galería Galatea
Galatea Gallery
Anna Maria Maiolino en la Galería Luisa Strina.
Exhibition of Anna Maria Maiolino at Luisa Strina Gallery. Maiolino won the Golden Lion for his work as a whole at the current 60th edition of the Venice Biennale. @ Edouard Fraipont

At 400 Rua Melo Alves you’ll find the Frente Gallery, with historical works by famous Brazilians, such as Candido Portinari, Iberê Camargo, and Mira Schendel.

Then, head down the colorful and vibrant Rua Oscar Freire, considered the most elegant street in the country. There, you’ll find the concept stores of major Brazilian brands, like Melissa, which always has a work of art in its monumental entrance. Heading south, look for Number 379, across from Hotel Emiliano, where the Galatea Gallery hosts an interesting selection of modern and contemporary art.

Then look for 1494 Rua Unidos and the cheerful Zipper Gallery, where works by established artists from the 80s and 90s coexist with new developments on the art scene.

Camille Kachani
Exhibition of Camille Kachani, at the Zipper Gallery

If you still have time and energy, walk a mile or so west along Rua Colombia, which becomes Avenida Europa, to visit some galleries in the Jardim Europa neighborhood. A taxi or Uber can take you there in five minutes.

Starting from the Nara Roesler Gallery, at 655 Europa, continue on foot to the diverse and contemporary Lume Gallery, at 54 Rua Gumercindo Saraiva, just a quarter mile away. And if you love art photography, also visit the Mario Cohen Gallery, a six-minute walk away, at 69 Rua Capitão Francisco Padilha.

A little further on, although still within the Jardins District, at 152 Rua Caconde, is Almeida & Dale Art Gallery, a legend in the preservation and restoration of transcendent works, like those of Hélio Melo. Since 1970, Melo’s paintings have denounced the impact of outsiders occupying the Amazon and the effects this has on the people of the jungle.

Art Districts

AD Gallery

Further away, but no less important, are long-established galleries such as Raquel Arnaud and Millan Art, in the bohemian Vila Madalena, and large-scale galleries like Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel and Mendes Wood DM, in Barra Funda; Gomide&Co. and Vermelho, in Higienópolis; and the democratic and inclusive Central Galería, in República.

Visit the Frente Gallery to see historical works by famous Brazilians, such as Candido Portinari, Iberê Camargo, and Mira Schendel.

Lume Gallery

Banksy: exhibition of his work

“Banksy: Genius or Vandal?” is an exhibition produced by Sold Out, IQ Art Management, presented in Buenos Aires by S2BN, DGE and DF Group. It will be available until the end of November at La Rural, Predio Ferial de Buenos Aires. Frers Pavilion. (4363 Santa Fe Ave.).


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