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SP-Arte 15th edition welcomed 36,000 visitors
SP-Arte 15th edition welcomed 36,000 visitors and had a record number of artwork donations to museums and cultural institutions.

SAO PAULO.- SP-Arte closed its fifteenth edition on Sunday, 7 April, attracting 164 art and design exhibitors from 14 different countries to São Paulo’s Bienal Pavilion. With works by over 2,000 artists, SP-Arte hosted 36,000 visitors during the five days of the event – a record number during its 15 years of existence. SP-Arte is delighted to confirm its 16th edition for next year’s cultural calendar, which is set to take place from 1 to 5 April 2020.

“Celebrating our 15th anniversary, this edition was very special to us and SP-Arte surpassed all expectations. Many galleries exceeded their sales goals and the outcome was very positive. Additionally, our record number of visitors is a reflection of how the wider public sees SP-Arte as an essential platform for culture in Brazil,” comments Fernanda Feitosa, SP-Arte’s founder and director.

In its 15th edition, SP-Arte had a powerful donation programme, in which artists, galleries and private collectors acquired works and donated them to public arts institutions. Approximately 70 pieces were offered, a significant increase from 2018, when nearly 20 works were selected for donation.

“One of the donations was acquired by SP-Arte itself: the performance by Cristiano Lenhardt (Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel) was given to Pinacoteca de São Paulo collection. Other institutions that benefited from donations include the Masp, MAM and MAR,” notes Fernanda Feitosa. Works by further acclaimed artists include Claudia Andujar (Vermelho), José Bento (Galeria Millan), Melvin Edwards (Alexander Gray Associates), Artur Lescher (Nara Roesler), Waldemar Cordeiro (Luciana Brito Galeria) and Sônia Andrade (Athena Contemporânea) are among the donated pieces.

SP-Arte saw strong sales throughout the week. Among the Brazilian galleries celebrating its sales results is Bergamin & Gomide, which sold valuable works by artists such as León Ferrari, Celso Renato, Maria Leontina, Hélio Oiticica and Robert Rauschenberg. “We always get a great outcome during SP-Arte, but this year it went beyond our expectations,” says Antonia Bergamin, Bergamin & Gomide’s director.

Brazilian galleries Mendes Wood DM, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Galeria Millan and Almeida & Dale celebrate the search for acclaimed modern and contemporary artists, including Tarsila do Amaral, Tunga, Sonia Gomes, Ernesto Neto and Rubem Valentim. “SP-Arte has been fundamental in the development of the contemporary art scene in São Paulo for the last 15 years. We have participated since its early editions and it is interesting to see how galleries, fairs and institutions can come together to create a powerful artistic landscape,” says Alexandre Gabriel, partner-director of Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel.

Antônio Almeida, director of Almeida e Dale, commented “We were surprised by the presence of so many Latin American collectors, a clear increase in numbers from past editions. Collectors, experts and appreciators of Brazilian art came to see the exhibition.” The gallery sold three important works, among them a study of Abaporu, by Tarsila do Amaral, and a set of paintings by Wesley Duke Lee.

In addition to the most acclaimed national galleries, some of the most influential names in the international art market were at SP-Arte. David Zwirner (New York), Lisson Gallery (London), Galleria Franco Noero (Turin), Galleria Continua (San Gimignano), Elba Benitez (Madrid) and Alexander Gray Associates (New York) reinforced the event as the primary international arts and design platform in Latin America. Greg Lulay, partner at David Zwirner, notes that “We were pleased to have participated in SP-Arte for the seventh year in a row, and are always excited to meet and engage with new collectors from São Paulo and Latin America.” Works sold by the gallery include valuable pieces by Josef Albers and Carol Bove, whose work will be presented at the La Biennale Arte 2019 which opens in Venice in May.

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