The 2nd Edition of PINTA London
At Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London
6–9 June 2011
Rivane Neuenschwander “Prosopopeia” (2010) Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery/Tanya Bonakdar
Gallery/Galeria Fortes Vilaca. Photo by Helene Toresdotter. via PINTA
While it might be overshadowed by all the hype of The 54th Venice Biennale, The 2nd edition of PINTA London – Latin American Art Fair, kicks off at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London on Monday 6th June. PINTA originally started in New York in 2007 then expanded to London last year, showcasing 60 galleries from Latin America, USA and Europe. But the London debut had a rather shaky start. Galleries including Haunch of Venison and White Cube decided not to renew their presence for this year, although good numbers of new galleries are making their debut this year and showing a strong portfolio, most based in Brazil and Spain. Mario Palencia of Maddox Arts in London is one of those who have returned to the fair again this year, seeing many “good collectors” in the previous edition. Brazilian art dealer Frederico Sève who is a founder of Federico Sève Gallery in New York (formerly latincollector) is also part of this year’s exhibitors. He is a leading authority in the art world for promoting Latin American art for the last 45 years and is credited with having discovered Cuban artist Carmen Herrera, the pioneer of Latin American Modernism.
Carmen Herrera in her Manhattan loft, surrounded by her art in 2009. Courtesy of The New York Times. Photo: Todd Heisler
Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander is featured as the highlight of the ‘Art Projects’ section, curated by Pablo Leon de la Barra, a London based independent curator of Mexican origin. Neuenschwander will be showing ‘Prosopopeia’ (2010), a piece recently exhibited within her solo exhibition at Malmo Konsthall in 2010 and also presented as a joint project by Stephen Freidman Gallery (UK), Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (USA) and Galeria Fortes Vilaca (BR). Other artists in this section include: Pablo Vargas Lugo (MX) presented by Galería Fúcares, Madrid; Fabián Marcaccio (AR) by Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin; Dario Escobar (GT) by Josée Bienvenu, New York, for a total of 11 such projects.
Dario Escobar “Obverse & Reverse” (2010) Leather, string, and steel Courtesy of Josée Bienvenu
The art market in Latin American is not yet expanding at exponential rates as other emerging market like China, but this slower build up is helping them develop a strong infrastruture. New York gallerist Edward Winkleman commented at last year’s Frieze Art Fair that the energetic scene in Latin America is “charming the pants off the international art world”. The second edition of Armory Focus continued this trend by turning its attention to Latin America in March this year. Recent Latin American auction sale are showing strong results, with Christie’s pulling US$16.6m last week, echoed by Sotherby’s recent totals of US$21.7m, nearly as twice as much as a year ago. Increasing interest towards Latin American Art, expressed by private collectors and museums, are coming from both the artists’ own countries and worldwide. Collectors such as Eugenio López Alonso, a Mexican juice-tycoon, set up the Jumex Foundation which now owns over 1,400 works by Mexican and international artists, showing in a 1,400 m² exhibition space in Ecatepec, Mexico. Another example is Bernardo Paz, the Brazilian mining magnate who owns the Instituto Cultural Inhotim, both a museum and a bothanical garden in a jungle 37 miles away from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, with a collection featuring more than 450 works by both Brazilian and international artists.
Cildo Meireles “Inmensa” (1982-2002) steel Courtesy of Instituto Cultural Inhotim. Photo: Tibério França
Since its first edition in New York in 2007, PINTA set up the Museum Acquisition program, where a group of museums committed to modern and contemporary Latin American art are given the opportunity to expand their collections by incorporating new artworks. Up to now US$250,000 have been donated by PINTA to initiate this match-funds program. The selected museums match or overmatch the contributions made by PINTA, and the funds are used to purchase Latin American artworks exhibited at the fair. Museums selected in this edition’s scheme include Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León and University of Essex. (To find out which works were purchased from last year’s this scheme, click here.)
Andre Komatsu “Modus Operandi” (2010) synthetic enamel, epoxi painting, empty tin. Courtesy of Velmelho, São Paulo, via PINTA
Worth a mention is the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art (UECLAA), the only public collection in Europe exclusively dedicated to modern and contemporary art from Latin America. Officially accredited by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), the collection was founded by the University in 1993 with the support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It flourished from being the object of many teaching and research projects within the Department of Art History and Theory, led by Professors Dawn Ades and Valerie Fraser and a vibrant group of postgraduate students. Today it holds more than 700 artworks by more than 350 artists from 18 countries, including: Rufino Tamayo (Mexico), León Ferrari (Argentine), Carlos Cruz-Díez (Venezuela), Oswaldo Viteri (Ecuador) and Cildo Meireles (Bazil) and many more. UCCLAA set up an online database for their collection accessible to the public, and organizes a series of lectures and debates on Latin American Art, in collaboration with PINTA, including a film screening by David Lamelas’ “Study of Relationships between Inner and Outer Space” (1969) during the fair.
Marlon de Azambuja “Tate Modern” (2009) stainless steel. Courtesy of Max Estrella, Madrid
PINTA is a great opportunity to experience and learn about modern and contemporary art from Latin America, which offers a reflection on alternative socio-political backgrounds, geo-cultural contexts as well as rhythm of lifestyles.
For more information: www.pintaart.com