Among the many treasures making the trip over to Brazil for the ArtRio art fair is Pablo Picasso’s famous Lovers
painting. The painting hails from the Gagosian Gallery, who will be bringing over $130 million worth of art to the second annual ArtRio art fair.
Spread across 7,500 square meters and taking place across four warehouses on Guanamara Bay, the fair will showcase 120 galleries including 60 international participants.
The Gagosian’s decision to bring so many valuable paintings to Brazil reflects the growing interest in art within the country.
‘People who are better economically are turning to art,’ said
Brenda Valansi, a partner in ArtRio.
Brazil’s economy is certainly booming, with the net-worth of its wealthiest individuals rising by 6.2% between 2010 and 2011. The fair’s organisers have been convinced local authorities to exempt tax sold from art works at the fair, in order to encourage more people to buy the work.
Among the featured artists this year are several renowned Brazilian artists including Ernesto Neto, Vik Muniz, Adriana Varejao and Beatriz Milhazes. Gagosian is also bringing 80 pieces by 30 artists to the fair, including a $10,000 photograph by New York based artist Roe Ethridge and two sculptures by Alexander Calder, expected to sell between $5-$10 million.
‘There are a lot of wonderful collectors, including young professionals, who are interested in Brazilian art and international works,’ chairman of postwar and contemporary art development at Christie’s Amy Cappellazzo said. ‘It’s not about chasing five or 10 rich people.’
Art advisor Allan Schwartzman also said that the population of people collecting art has ‘exploded’ in the last five years.
Brazilian artists in particular have been benefitting from the boom. Last year, Brazilian artist Adriana Varejao set the auction record following a $1.8 million sale of her work, Wall With Incisions a la Fontana
at Christie’s. Earlier this year, Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes also enjoyed great success with a $1.5 million sale of her canvas at a London Christie’s auction.
Despite the good figures, the Gagosian Gallery is aware that the high prices of some of their most famous pieces may be a little much for buyers.
‘It’s a little bit of a risk-taking situation,’ Gagosian director Victoria Gelfand-Magalhaes said. ‘We don’t know if there’s a market there for works in the $10 million to $15 million price range but we hope if we bring real masterpieces, people will respond.’
Gelfand-Magalhaes admits that the amount of work being brought to the fair is ‘bigger than what we’d bring to a typical art fair’, but says that they are trying to make ‘a great first impression.’
ArtRio begins on 13 September.