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São Paulo Art Biennial (Pg. Bienal Internacional de Arte de São Paulo) founded in 1951, second oldest art biennial in the world after the Venice Biennale.1 Sign in to edit São Paulo Art Biennial
The interior of Oscar Niemeyer’s Pavilion Photo: Andres Otero / Sotheby’s
The Biennial was founded in São Paulo by the Italian-Brazilian industrialist Ciccillo Matarazzo, since 1957, the Biennial has been held in the Ciccillo Matarazzo pavilion in the Parque do Ibirapuera. The three-story pavilion was designed by a team led by architects Oscar Niemeyer and Hélio Uchôa. The São Paulo Bienal features both Brazilian and international contemporary art and is considered to be one of the most important large-scale art exhibitions in Brazil and South America.
After completing the 6th Bienal, the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo was created to take the exhibition forward, which until then had been organized by the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo. The 1998 edition cost almost $12 million and drew nearly 400,000 visitors during a two-month run.The 25th Biennial was originally scheduled for 2000 but was delayed to 2002 after a gigantic exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of Brazil’s discovery by the Portuguese was organized by former biennial president Edemar Cid Ferreira and booked into the Ciccillo Matarazzo pavilion. That year, for the first time, the chief curator of the biennial was a foreigner, Alfons Hug from Germany. Closer to foreign guests
The biennial’s initial aim was to make contemporary art known in Brazil, push the country’s access to the current art scene in other metropolises, and establish São Paulo itself as an international art center. Naturally, the biennial always serves to bring Brazilian art closer to foreign guests.
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