press release

The Fundação Bienal de São Paulo is pleased to announce the dates for its 33rd edition. From September 7 to December 9, 2018, Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo (Bienal Pavilion) will host the exhibition curated by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro.

Before the public opening, a press preview is scheduled for September 4th and a press, professional and guest preview for September 5 and 6. Accreditation (required) starts on January 2018.

About the curator: Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro
Born in La Coruña, Spain, Pérez-Barreiro holds a PhD in Art History and Theory from the University of Essex (UK) and an MA in Art History and Latin American Studies from the University of Aberdeen (UK). With over 20 years experience, he was curator of Latin American Art at the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin (2002-2008), chief curator of the 6th Bienal do Mercosul in Porto Alegre (2007), and director of Visual Arts at The Americas Society in New York (2000-2002). He was an advisor to the Iberê Camargo Foundation and his curatorial projects in Brazil and abroad include exhibitions of Lygia Pape, Geraldo de Barros, Rivane Neuenschwander, Waltercio Caldas and Willys de Castro. Last April, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, in Madrid, has opened an exhibition dedicated to the critic Mario Pedrosa, co-curated by Pérez-Barreiro and Michelle Sommer. He is the current director and chief curator of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, with offices in New York and Caracas.


Appointed by the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo as curator of the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo — Affective affinities, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro proposes an alternative "operating system" that favors the artists’ gaze on their own creative contexts and avoids a large thematic exhibition in favor of a Bienal that invites multiple curatorial experiences.


As indicated by the title Affective Affinities—inspired by the novel Elective Affinities (1809), by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and by the thesis On the affective nature of form in the work of art (1949), by Mário Pedrosa—the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo, curated by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, aims to promote the individual and attentive interaction between the visitor and the artworks instead of a single thematic framework.

Against this backdrop, the curator Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro—appointed by the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo—has selected twelve individual projects to present at the 33rd Bienal, including commissioned artworks by eight artists: Alejandro Corujeira (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1961); Luiza Crosman (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1987); Nelson Felix (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1954); Tamar Guimarães (Viçosa, Brazil, 1967); Maria Laet (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1982); Vânia Mignone (Campinas, Brazil, 1967); Denise Milan (São Paulo, Brazil, 1954) and Bruno Moreschi (Maringá, Brazil, 1982). His selection also includes an iconic series produced by Siron Franco (Goiás Velho, Brazil, 1950) in response to a tragic radioactive accident in Brazil in 1987, and posthumous tributes to three key under-recognized artists of the 1990s: Feliciano Centurión (San Ignacio, Paraguay, 1962–Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1996), Aníbal López (Guatemala, Guatemala, 1964–2014), Lucia Nogueira (Goiânia, Brazil, 1950–London, England, 1998).

The 33rd Bienal will be completed by seven collective exhibitions conceived by the artist-curators previously announced: Mamma Andersson; Antonio Ballester Moreno; Sofia Borges; Waltercio Caldas; Alejandro Cesarco; Claudia Fontes and Wura-Natasha Ogunji. Details regarding their curatorial proposals will be provided shortly.


For her exhibition, Mamma Andersson (Sweden, 1962) selected a group of artists that have inspired and fueled her own production as a painter. The selection includes a wide range of references, such as 15th century Russian icons, the outsider artists Henry Darger (USA, 1892-1973) and Dick Bengtsson (Sweden, 1936-1989), and contemporary artists, such as filmmaker Guvnor Nelson (Sweden, 1931) and fighter pilot and sound artist Åke Hodell (Sweden, 1919-2000), among others. The exhibition also includes a selection of Andersson’s paintings.

Antonio Ballester Moreno (Spain, 1977) approaches his curatorial project as a way of contextualizing a world based on the intimate relationships that exist between biology and culture, with references to the history of abstraction and its dialogue with nature, pedagogy and spirituality. Among the participants, the show features the philosopher and educator Friedrich Fröbel (Germany, 1782-1852); Andrea Büttner (Germany, 1972); Mark Dion (USA, 1961); and Rafael Sánchez-Mateos Paniagua (Spain, 1979).

Sofia Borges’ (Brazil, 1984) curatorial project explores a collage of mythological references based on philosophical interpretations of Greek tragedy. The show—which includes works by Jennifer Tee (The Netherlands, 1973), Leda Catunda (Brazil, 1961), Sarah Lucas (UK, 1962) and Tal Isaac Hadad (France, 1976), amongst others—will be activated over three months through an experimental program in the exhibition space.

Waltercio Caldas (Brazil, 1946) proposes a reflection on poetics, as well as the nature of forms and ideas and its implication on the production of art since the late 19th century, including works by Victor Hugo (France, 1802-1885), Jorge Oteiza (Spain, 1908-2003) and Vicente do Rego Monteiro (Brazil, 1899-1970), among others.

Alejandro Cesarco’s (Uruguay/USA, 1975) proposal is based on his interest in issues such as repetition, narrative, and translation. He has selected artworks from artists that share some of his conceptual and aesthetic concerns. As well as the artist-curator himself, the show presents artists from three different generations, including Sturtevant (USA, 1924–France, 2014), Louise Lawler (USA, 1947) and Cameron Rowland (USA, 1988).

In her exhibition, Claudia Fontes (Argentina, 1964), and her invited artists present artworks that activate links between the visual arts, literature and translation, through experiences that propose expanded temporality as an alternative to the modern fetish of speed. Every participant, with the exception of Roderick Hietbrink (Holland, 1975), has produced commissioned works for the occasion: Ben Rivers (UK, 1972), Daniel Bozhkov (Bulgaria, 1959), Elba Bairon (Bolivia, 1947), Katrín Sigurdardóttir (Iceland/USA, 1967), Pablo Martín Ruiz (USA, 1964), Paola Sferco (Argentina, 1974), Sebastián Castagna (Argentina, 1965) and Žilvinas Landzbergas (Lithuania, 1979).

For her exhibition project, composed exclusively of commissioned artworks, Wura-Natasha Ogunji (USA/Nigeria, 1970) invited the artists Lhola Amira (South Africa, 1984), Mame-Diarra Niang (France, 1982), Nicole Vlado (USA, 1980), ruby onyinyechi amanze (Nigeria, 1982) and Youmna Chlala (Lebanon, 1974) to create, like herself, artworks through a horizontal curatorial project. The works of these six artists range from the intimate to the epic, and are impacted by their individual histories and by the complex relationship they have with their land, nations and territories.