Exhibition Details

Location: Steele Gallery
Dates: September 1, 2017
to December 31, 2017

Past/Future/Present: Contemporary Brazilian Art from the Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo presents a panorama of the most innovative art produced in Brazil from the 1990s to the 2010s. More than a cross-section of contemporary Brazilian art, however, it is an exhibition of contemporary art made by Brazilian artists. This distinction highlights a fundamental question: In the era of globalization, what is “Brazilian” about contemporary Brazilian art?

The answer is ultimately too slippery to grasp. Brasilidade or “Brazilianess” is not necessarily founded on physical geography. Rather, key aspects that unite these artists are recurrent allusions to shared experiences, indigenous mythologies, social norms (and transgressions), and national art histories (both in homage and subversion). The exhibition title Past/Future/Present alludes to the ways in which Brazilian artists maintain a creative dialogue with past Brazilian artistic traditions while also looking toward the future with a global perspective and boundless creativity.

This exhibition is a singular opportunity for American audiences to experience an in-depth look at the practice of contemporary Brazilian artists now recognized as the pioneers of their generation. It is also the first large-scale exhibition in the United States to feature the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art’s extraordinary collection.

Past/Future/Present features 70 artworks created by 59 artists primarily between 1990 and 2010 in diverse media, including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance. During the course of the exhibition, four artists whose works are featured will travel from Brazil to Phoenix to give public lectures on their artistic practice. Beginning in August 2017, Phoenix Art Museum will also screen a series of Brazilian films, bringing an even wider view of Brazil to Arizona.

Featured Artists: Albano Afonso, Keila Alaver, Efrain Almeida, Rafael Assef, Dora Longo Bahia, Rodrigo Braga, Waltércio Caldas, Rogério Canella, Carlito Carvalhosa, Leda Catunda, Lia Chaia, Sandra Cinto, Felipe Cohen, Rochelle Costi, José Damasceno, Lenora de Barros, Antonio Dias, Iran do Espírito Santo, Marcius Galan, Anna Bella Geiger, Carmela Gross, Tadeu Jungle, Lucia Koch, Nelson Leirener, Jac Leirner, José Leonilson, Artur Lescher, Laura Lima, Antonio Manuel, Cinthia Marcele, Marepe, Rodrigo Matheus, Cildo Meireles, Beatriz Milhazes, Odires Mlászlo, Marcelo Moscheta, Pedro Motta, Vik Muniz, Ernesto Neto, Rivane Neuenschwander, Nazareth Pacheco, Rosana Paulino, Pazé, Penna Prearo, Florian Raiss, Caio Reisewitz, Rosangela Rennó, Eryk Rocha & Tunga, Thiago Rocha Pitta, Regina Silveira, Valeska Soares, Ana Maria Tavares, Tunga, Adriana Varejão, Cássio Vasconcelos, Laura Vinci, Carlos Zilio, Marcelo Zocchio.

From the Curator

For an in-depth preview of the exhibition, click here for the official curatorial statement from Dr. Vanessa Davidson, Phoenix Art Museum's Shawn and Joe Lampe Curator of Latin American Art, and Dr. Cauê Alves from the Museu Brasileiro da Escultura de São Paulo.

Public Programs: Films

An introductory selection of Brazil’s most well-known directors and film historically pivotal works, this film series looks from Brazil’s cinematic past to its present and examines the possibilities for its future.

Click here for more information and full schedule.

Exhibition Sponsors

Past/Future/Present: Contemporary Brazilian Art from the Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo is organized by Phoenix Art Museum in collaboration with the Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo (MAM-SP). This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation.

Inquire about Sponsorship here.  


Official exhibition opening is Friday, September 1, 2017.
Admission is free for Phoenix Art Museum Members. Not a member yet? Join here! 

Group Sales

Interested in coming as a group? For group sales information, click here.

Press Information

Media images and creditlines: Download here
Press Release: Coming soon
Media Contact: Margaree Bigler, Marketing and Communications Manager, margaree.bigler@phxart.org 

Image Credits

Exhibition Page: Lia Chaia, Minhocão (detail), 2006. Video (color, sound, c. 18’). Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo Collection, Loan from Eduardo Brandão and Jan Fjeld. Photo by Edouard Fraipont.

Top: Adriana Varejão, Dioneia (série Carnívoras) (Dioneia [Carnivorous Series]), 2012. Oil and gesso on canvas. Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo Collection, Gift of the Artist. Photo: Renato Parada.