“Women’s histories, feminist histories” will guide the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP)’s 2019 exhibition program. Six monographic exhibitions of female artists are confirmed, along with a large collective named after the thematic axis. The exhibitions follow a series of shows and talks held over the last few years to discuss the notion of stories – both real and fictional –in addition to personal and historical narratives, introduced in an open and plural way. Over the previous three years, MASP held remarkable collective exhibitions based on annual thematic axes, Histórias da infância [Histories of Childhood] (2016), Histórias da sexualidade [Histories of Sexuality] (2017) and Histórias Afro-atlânticas [Afro-Atlantic Histories] (2018), the latter attracting 180,000 visitors, a record for the museum’s current management.
Women have always experienced a different reality from men with regard to civil rights and social roles. Throughout history, gender differences have experienced dramatic moments, such as in the 19th century, when allegedly scientific theories were forged to explain and justify male domination. French positivist philosopher Auguste Comte, for instance, tried to normalize inequality in his 1839 theory of spontaneous forms of social organization. Since women were seen as naturally incapable of understanding and reasoning, under this theory they would be thus incapable of producing something as complex as art.
Many efforts have been made since the late 19th century to affirm the importance of female artists and their work, including the creation in Paris of the Union des femmes peintres et sculpteurs [Union of Female Painters and Sculptors] in 1881 and more recently the #Metoo movement against sexual harassment that began in Hollywood. MASP’s 2019 program join forces with this network, challenging gender values in art history and celebrating the histories and works of women who, deliberately or not, have been ignored over the centuries.
To deepen the research in which the 2019 program is based, in 2018 MASP organized two talks: “Women’s histories, feminist histories” in February, and “Feminist histories, radical women” in November in partnership with the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. The talks will produce content for a catalog and an anthology to be released along with the collective exhibition.
The monographic exhibitions of Djanira da Motta e Silva, Tarsila do Amaral and Lina Bo Bardi are planned for the first half of the year, while collective showing Histories of women, feminist histories, and the showings of Gego, Leonor Antunes and Anna Bella Geiger will take place in the second half. Aside from these exhibitions, the women’s histories cycle will include talks, workshops, movies, seminars and other activities. The full program can be found at MASP’s website: https://masp.org.br.
In parallel to the thematic axis and continuing important partnerships it has been establishing, in June MASP will hold the exhibition MASP Landmann Loan: pre-columbian textiles. Curated by Marcia Arcuri, this will be the first exhibition entirely dedicated to this critical archaeological collection spanning different typologies, periods and territories, which has been loaned to the museum for ten years. The showing will feature textiles made in what today is Peru between 800 BC and the 16th century.
Also in parallel to the core theme of 2019, long-term exhibition of MASP’s collection will continue, featuring the museum’s artworks supported by Bo Bardi’s glass easels. It will include such artists as Raphael, Gauguin, Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Bosch, Teresinha Soares, Claudio Tozzi, Anna Maria Maiolino, Anita Malfatti and Sonia Gomes. The selection, which can be located on the museum’s maps, will periodically rotate to allow visitors to identify traits common to the works, fostering dialogue among the different artists and proposing new pathways for visitors to rediscover art.
EXHIBITIONS IN 2019
Djanira: a memória de seu povo [Djanira: Picturing Brazil]
Second lower level – March to May, MASP
June to October at the Casa Roberto Marinho, Rio de Janeiro
Curatorship: Isabella Rjeille, assistant curator, and Rodrigo Moura, adjunct curator of brazilian art
Tarsila Popular [Popular Tarsila]
1st floor – April to June
Curatorship: Adriano Pedrosa, artistic director, and Fernando Oliva, curator
Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat [Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat]
First lower level – April to June
Curatorship: José Esparza Chong Cuy, curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Julieta González, artistic director, Museo Jumex, Mexico City, and Tomás Toledo, chief curator, MASP
Histórias das mulheres, histórias feministas [Women’s histories, feminist histories]
First floor, first and second lower levels – August to November
Curatorship: Isabella Rjeille and Mariana Leme, assistant curators, and Lilia Schwarcz, adjunct curator of histories
Anna Bella Geiger
Second lower level – November to March 2020
Curatorship: Adriano Pedrosa, artistic director, and Tomás Toledo, chief curator
First lower level – December to March 2020
Curatorship: Amanda Carneiro, public programs supervisor
First floor – December to March 2020
Curatorship: Pablo Léon de La Barra, adjunct curator of latin american art, MASP, Julieta González, artistic director, Museo Jumex, Mexico City, and Tanya Barson, chief curator of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)