10 Brazilian Artists to Collect at SP Arte 2015

As the Brazilian market continues to grow exponentially, there's no time like the present to start collecting the country's future art stars.
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SP Arte 2014. Courtesy SP Arte. Photo: Pangeia de dois/SP-Arte.

Now in its 11th year, Brazil's leading international contemporary art fair, SP Arte, brings the world of contemporary art to the ever-growing market of Brazilian collectors, from April 9 - 12, 2015. With over 140 galleries from 17 countries, SP Arte features prominent international galleries like David Zwirner, Marian Goodman and Lisson Gallery, but with 80 participating galleries hailing from Brazil--from stalwarts like Mendes Wood DM, Vermelho, and A Gentil Carioca, to up-and-coming galleries like Blau Projects and Galeria Inox--it also offers a concise view of the Brazilian contemporary art scene. Here we've profiled 10 exciting Brazilian artists you'll find at SP Arte this year, working in diverse media, from painting to installation to video. And as the Brazilian market continues to grow exponentially, there's no time like the present to start collecting the country's future art stars.

Marcone Moreira, Untitled, 2006-2012. Courtesy Blau Projects. Photo: Everton Ballardin

Marcone Moreira - Blau Projects, São Paulo

Marcone Moreira (b. 1982) works in painting, sculpture, photography, and installation, but his work is united thematically in its investigation of the economic cycles and social landscape of the city of Marabá in the Amazon, where he lives. His work makes use of materials culled from the vehicles, vessels and containers used to transport goods up the Amazon river: wooden boat frames, nylon bags, plastic boxes. At SP Arte, Blau Projects will present Moreira's work in the Showcase section, which is dedicated to emerging galleries showing concise, curated booths.

Amalia Giacomini, Memória superficial #3, 2014. Courtesy Galeria Mercedes Viegas.

Amalia Giacomini - Galeria Mercedes Viegas, Rio de Janeiro

Amalia Giacomini (b. 1974) studied urban planning and architecture and uses the language of spatial mapping and perception in her sculptural and installation works, which often utilize grids, lines, and arrows to manipulate the viewer's sense of space. In addition to her installation works, Giacomini also makes smaller two-dimensional works, such as the piece picture here, constructed from acrylic and vinyl. Giacomini has shown in some of Brazil's most prominent institutions, such as Espaço Pivô in São Paulo and Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, as well as internationally, including a 2012 solo exhibition organized by the National Gallery in Prague.

Tonico Lemos Auad, Cavalo Marinho, 2012. Courtesy Galeria Luisa Strina. Photo: Edouard Fraipont.

Tonico Lemos Auad - Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo

Another architecture student-turned-visual artist, Tonico Lemos Auad (b. 1968) was born in Belem Para in northern Brazil, and moved to London in 1998 to study art at Goldsmiths College. Shortlisted for the Becks Future Prize in 2004, Auad is known for his clever, sometimes humorous, manipulation of everyday materials, from bricks and linen to burnt bread and bananas. While in São Paulo, you can also see Auad's work in his first solo exhibition at a Brazilian institution, "That Which Cannot Be Repaired," at Espaço Pivô (until May 30).

Ana Luiza Dias Batista, Eva, 2014. Courtesy and © Galeria Marilia Razuk.

Ana Luiza Dias Batista - Galeria Marilia Razuk, São Paulo

Attendees of last year's Art Basel in Miami Beach might remember the strange recumbent figure in the sculpture park in front of the Bass Museum. The sculpture, Eva, by Ana Luiza Dias Batista (b. 1978) is a scale model of a São Paulo amusement park attraction, reduced to life-size. Dias Batista's work, which encompasses almost every medium imaginable, often involves experiments with everyday objects, subjected to radical shifts in shape, size, mirroring, mimicry, and reversal.

Henrique Oliveira, Untitled, 2014. Courtesy and © Galeria Millan. Photo: Everton Ballardin.

Henrique Oliveira - Galeria Millan, São Paulo

Henrique Oliveira (b. 1973), recipient of the prestigious Marcantonio Vilaça prize for the arts, gained international renown for his immense site-specific installations composed of weathered wood fencing, wrought into organic forms that resemble the roots and branches of huge trees spreading through the white box of the gallery. The wood surfaces of his installations--the largest of which was exhibited in 2014 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, University of São Paulo (MAC USP)--evoke individual brush strokes or folds of flesh. The facture of Oliveira's abstract paintings similarly echo the folds and textures of organic materials but in vivid color.

Eder Santos, Low Pressure Box (Revezamento 3x1), 2015. Courtesy the artist, © Celma Albuquerque Galeria de Arte.

Eder Santos - Celma Albuquerque Galeria de Arte, Belo Horizonte

Eder Santos (b. 1960) is one of Brazil's foremost video artists, with works in collections such as MoMA in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Technology, nature, history, and cultural motifs drawn from Brazil's African, European, and indigenous heritages merge in Santos's vibrant and captivating video works. His oeuvre spans from feature films (his visually stunning sci-fi feature Deserto Azul was released in 2014) to video installations (most recently at the Museu de Arte da Pampulha, in Belo Horizonte).

Lucia Koch, Dupla basculante {LA206 + FM1058 + AB1107 + FM1012AD}, 2014. Courtesy and © Galeria Nara Roesler. Photo: Everton Ballardin.

Lucia Koch - Galeria Nara Roesler, Rio de Janeiro

Lucia Koch (b. 1966) works with light, color, and space, using the conventions of functional architectural objects, such as windows, doors, and skylights, to draw attention to issues of perception and optics. Koch's work has appeared in numerous international biennials, including Sharjah, Lyon, São Paulo, and Istanbul. The two works Nara Roesler will show at SP Arte are drawn from Koch's most recent body of work, exploring pairings of color and their perceptual effects, "Duplas," which was showcased at the gallery in December 2014.

Julia Kater, Untitled, 2014. Courtesy and © SIM Galeria.

Julia Kater - SIM Galeria, Curitiba

The young French-Brazilian artist Julia Kater (b. 1980), born in Paris, lives and works in São Paulo. Her elegant photographic collages subvert and deconstruct notions of the image, dimensionality, and framing, echoing and obstructing our view of the visual elements of the picture. Each collage is handmade, never digitally altered, with the sky figuring prominently as a transitory, impermanent element. In 2011, Kater was the recipient of the Funarte Prize of Contemporary Art, and her work was recently included in the Trienal das Artes de Sorocaba in São Paulo (including the piece pictured here, which will be on offer at SP Arte) and the subject of a solo exhibition at the Cultural Center CAIXA Brasília.

Rodrigo Braga, Evento Biogeoquímico, 2014. Courtesy Amparo 60.

Rodrigo Braga - Amparo 60, Recife

The video and performance works by Rodrigo Braga (b. 1976) conjure fear, pain, struggle, violence, and awe. Born in the Amazonian jungle and raised in Recife, Braga's relationship with the enormity of nature figures prominently in his work, which largely constitutes photography these days. Braga has exhibited nationally and internationally, and in 2012 received the Pipa Prize from the Modern Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro and, in 2013, the Emerging Talent Prize of the Art Museum of São Paulo (MASP).

Lais Myrrha, Geometria do acidente, 2014. Courtesy and © Galeria Jaqueline Martins.

Lais Myrrha - Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo

Video and installation artist Lais Myrrha (b. 1974) made a big impact last year with her exhibition at Pivô, "Projeto Gameleira 1971," an installation view of which is pictured here. The project investigated the circumstances surrounding the deadliest civil construction accident in Brazil's history, the involvement of Brazil's celebrated modernist architect Oscar Niemayer, and the subsequent gap in history that occurred due to the suppression of media coverage of the accident. Myrrha's socially engaged work turns a critical eye to history, to profound effect.

--Natalie Hegert

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