Monday, 7 March 2011

Abstraction at Instituto Inhotim in Brazil

In the current issue of Frieze magazine there is an interesting article by Dan Fox on the sculpture park Instituto Inhotim in South East Brazil. This place has artworks by a diverse range of contemporary artists many exploring abstraction, including: Cildo Meireles, Hélio Oiticica (below) and Neville d’Almeida, Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney, Chris Burden (below), Janet Cardiff, to name a few.
Hélio Oiticica'The Invention of the Colour Penetrável Magic Square No. 5 Deluxe'1978     
It got me thinking about how small scale many of the sculpture parks are in the UK and what would it take to have such an interesting art space and park on this scale in Europe? Would anyone like to recommend one we could discuss on is some of the article, catch the rest article in this months Frieze Issue 137:

'Both a museum and park, it has more than 500 contemporary art works in its collection, displayed in 17 specially designed pavilions spread across the site, some housing temporary exhibitions, others specially designed for work of a particular artist, along with 20 site-specific outdoor works. The park was created with advice from renowned Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle-Marx; Inhotim also holds a vast botanical collection, including 1,500 species or varieties of palms (with more than 20,000 individual examples, it is reputedly the largest collection of palms in the world), 600 examples of Araceae (phildendrons, anthuriums and calla lilies), and around 420 orchids in 334 species.'

Chris Burden 'Beam Drop' 1984/2008
'Visiting Inhotim is quite unlike any other art experience I have had; there is a walking trail through paradisical gardens, where, hidden in palm groves or sitting serenely by the side of a lake, the visitor can find Modernist-style pavilions housing works by Brazilian artists – from the historically important, such as Cildo Meireles, Hélio Oiticica and Neville d’Almeida, and Tunga, to younger artists including Alexandre da Cunha, Ernesto Neto, Rivane Neuenschwander and Adriana Varejão – and high-profile international names: Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney, Chris Burden, Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller, Dan Graham, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Doris Salcedo, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Yayoi Kusama, among others.'

'Two restaurants, a bar and five snack bars dot the site. Paz has plans to take the number of pavilions up to 40 in the next five years, along with more restaurants, a luxury hotel and cheaper hostel accommodation aimed at students. Grafted onto the international exclusivity that comes with its relative geographical remoteness is a local-minded sense of inclusivity. According to their own figures, more than 160,000 people visited Inhotim in 2010, and the institute boasts of around 3,000 visitors each weekend, and up to 4,000 a day in high season – a popular place for people from the surrounding region to come for a day out, if not to look at art, then just for a stroll through the gardens.' 

(C) Dan Fox, Frieze magazine, Issue 137, March 2011

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