To celebrate the 470th anniversary of the city of São Paulo, the Higienopólis-Mackenzie station, on the 4-Yellow subway line, will be transformed into an art gallery dedicated to the work of Brazilian artist Candido Portinari.
Not even the poetry written by Portinari was left out of the exhibition. “The retreatants have been coming with bundles and packages. They come from dry and dark lands; boulders. Painful like sparks from burning coal.” The verses that reflect the reality of the city are represented on the train boarding platform. Next door is a reproduction of one of the artist’s best-known works, the painting Retirantes.
The idea of the exhibition is not just to celebrate the city’s anniversary and the 120th anniversary of the artist’s birth, which took place on December 29th. But still democratize art and make it accessible to a population that, even due to the rush of everyday life, is unable to visit the city’s museums. Around 30,000 passengers pass through the Higienópolis-Mackenzie station per day.
“We take people to museums, but we also take museums to people”, defined the executive director of the CCR Institute, Renata Ruggiero, who is the Group’s director of Sustainability, Innovation and Social Responsibility. The CCR Group is the largest shareholder of ViaQuatro, which operates Line 4-Yellow. “Around 3 million people pass through our modes every day. So we thought about taking advantage of this asset to bring culture to these people, to bring them closer to a legacy of cultural production from our own country,” she said.
“When you bring the population the possibility of knowing about art, you are expanding repertoires. And this expansion of repertoire allows you to understand much more about your history, the history of your country and society. And nothing better for this than the work of Portinari, which represents a lot of this cultural mosaic that is Brazil and the city of São Paulo. Portinari portrays a lot of these social issues. He has the ability and artistic vision to almost mirror a little of what Brazilian society is,” said Renata, in an interview with Brazil Agency.
Portinari Stop, as the immersive exhibition was called, will present 44 replicas of Portinari’s works. These replicas will be displayed on panels, glass doors on platforms and escalators. The exhibition will also feature a train carriage completely customized with popular paintings by the artist.
Furthermore, the subway access tunnel will feature special, stylized art on the famous War and Peace panels, the originals of which are on display at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. “This is an immersive experience. It’s almost as if you were entering or immersing yourself in the work”, defined Renata. On the boarding platforms, in addition to poems and reproductions of some of the artist’s works, information will be presented to passengers about where the original canvas can be visited in the city of São Paulo. The work Retirantes, for example, is part of the collection of the São Paulo Museum of Art (Masp). “There at the subway door there is the work, the indication of how you can get to the original work and there are also extracts, a part of the work that people didn’t know and in which he wrote and talked with his works”, explained Renata.
One of the highlights of this exhibition is the Raisonné Carousel, made up of an LED screen. More than 5,000 works by Portinari will be projected in this space, which corresponds to more than nine hours of uninterrupted projection to view the complete collection. The carousel will be installed at the end of a corridor, close to the escalators leading to the boarding platforms.
“The carousel is our great gift to the city of São Paulo. This is the first time this is occurring. We are bringing Portinari’s complete work, completely free and accessible to everyone. If we watch the whole thing, it’s more than nine hours [de projeção]”, said Renata. “The idea is that people traveling through the station can ride the carousel at several different times,” she added.
The free Parada Portinari exhibition starts today (25th) and will last for one year. The exhibition is part of the Centenários Project, an initiative by the CCR Group that pays homage to renowned names in literature, architecture, music and visual arts in Brazil that are completing or have already completed their 100th anniversary. Before Portinari, the first artist to be honored by the project was Tomie Ohtake, whose work is being presented at the Faria Lima station on line 4-Yellow.
The post first appeared on agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br