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Galeria Progetti

Institution

Galleria Progetti is a relatively new gallery in Rio de Janeiro. The space opened in 2008 with a solo exhibition of Jannis Kounellis. This first exhibition was meant to demonstrate the international direction of the gallery’s exhibition program, although the gallery will also exhibit Brazilian artists.

The gallery in Rio is headed by Paola Calacurcio and Niccolò Sprovieri. Paola Colacurcio has had over twenty years of experience in art, working in Naples, as managing director of the noted projects of Lucio Amelio Gallery. Her partner, Niccolò Sprovieri, runs Sprovieri Progetti  in London.

Progetti is located in the Travessa do Comércio, next to the Praça XV square in the historic center, near some of Rio’s most important museums and cultural centers.  The space occupied by the gallery is a well preserved building dating back to 1889, that was redesigned in 2007 by architects Pedro Rivera and Daniela Brasil. The young architects integrated the different levels and focused on providing the space with ample natural lighting.

Report

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by Paola Colacurcio, the head of the gallery. She is from Naples, but has been living in Brazil for many years. Paola helped us throughout the study tour, arranging for new meetings, among which the Contemporanry art museum in Rio, and warmly  participated in our meetings.

During an exciting lunch meeting with Paola, we asked her about Brazilian culture, who, in her opinion, are the most important Brazilian artists, and whether they are still mirroring Brazilian culture. She mentioned Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Cildo Meireles and Ernesto Neto. Today, many resident artists often go abroad and thus are well informed on contemporary “first world” artistic practice. Paola explained that Brazilian culture is about recycling and about the senses. Brazil does not throw anything away. Brazilians do not delete their past, but reassemble and reinterpret it. According to Paola, Brazilian identity is still under construction because of the three roots characterizing Brazilian society: African – European – Indian.

In terms of the differences between the art scenes in Rio and Sao Paulo, Paola explained that Sao Paulo is more willing to free itself from Oiticica and artists of important movements of the past, whereas Rio continues to relate to the past in an autoreferential way.

Some of the artists that Galleria Progetti represents include Sandra Cinto (an artist from Sao Paulo, who the gallery represents in Rio de Janeiro), Alejandro Somaschini (a young Argentinian artist who in December 2009 opened his first international exhibition), Livia Flores and Chelpa Ferro.

Paola also mentioned that the last Biennale in Sao Paulo was a failure. She suggested that we visit Centro Inhotim, a contemporary art center with permanent pavilions dedicated to individual artists, located in Belo Horizonte.

by Kiki Sideris

Progetti website

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