The many and the one, Tomie Ohtake Institute

The title “The many and the one” guides the foundation of this first exhibition organized from one of the largest and most important art collections in Brazil: “Andrea and José Olympio Pereira”. In conducting the curatorship, the renowned American critic Robert Storr, with the support of Paulo Miyada, curator of the Tomie Ohtake Institute, chose to favor individually vigorous works, with their own power, regardless of possible dialogues they may establish with other works and assembled productions.

Each of these decisions was made after examining the special qualities and strengths of an exclusive work, even when considering its place in a broader context composed of other works by the same artist, sets of works by other artists of similar orientation and the complete work of artists of evidently different and possibly contrary styles and beliefs.

We are living in a pluralist era and also a moment of exceptional diversity and hybridity… Nowhere is this pluralism richer, more heterogeneous and fruitful than in the Americas; nowhere in the Americas is there greater artistic effervescence of all kinds than in Brazil. Talking about art is so difficult. Here we only talk about aesthetics, and everything is very beautiful.

For the exhibition, which will occupy all the exhibition spaces of the Tomie Ohtake Institute, the curator selected around three hundred pieces – painting, drawing, sculpture, installation and video – from more than one hundred Brazilian artists, among more than two thousand national and international works belonging to the private collection. According to him, it is a set that, in addition to its monumentality, has iconic works produced by many artists. The exhibition, therefore, provides a refined look at the contemporary Brazilian artistic panorama and its previous moment, by focusing on production from the 1950s to today. “We are living in a pluralistic era and also a moment of exceptional diversity and hybridity … Nowhere is this pluralism richer, more heterogeneous and fruitful than in the Americas;

In the artist, names like Alfredo Volpi, Ivan Serpa, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, Mira Schendel, Willys de Castro, Helio Oiticica, Amilcar de Castro and Geraldo de Barros are part of a historical nucleus. In the central axis of the exhibition, which encompasses the 1970s and 1990s, there are artists who stand out for the importance they play in the collection, be it for the volume of works, the role they play in the contemporary art narrative or the variety of supports and languages ​​that explore, such as Waltercio Caldas, Iran Espírito Santo, Anna Maria Maiolino, Paulo Bruscky, Miguel Rio Branco, Adriana Varejão, Tunga, Carmela Gross, Claudia Andujar, Luiz Braga, Leonilson, Jac Leirner, José Resende, Daniel Senise, Sandra Cinto , Ernesto Neto, Paulo Monteiro, Marcos Chaves, Rivane Neuenschwander, Rosangela Rennó, among others. Lastly,

Robert Storr, artist, critic and curator, was the first American to be appointed director of visual arts at the Venice Biennale (2004 and 2007). He was curator of the painting and sculpture department at the Museum of Modern Art – MoMA, in New York (1990 and 2002), where he organized thematic exhibitions such as Dislocations and Modern Art Despite Modernism, and individual exhibitions by important artists, such as Elizabeth Muray, Gerhard Richter, Max Beckmann, Tony Smith and Robert Ryman. He was a professor of History of Modern Art at the Institute at Fine Arts, New York University. He is currently a professor of painting at Yale University.

The exhibition shows a collection of extraordinary quality, covering the main names and movements of modernism and contemporary Brazilian and international art. It is more difficult to see a collection like this, South American collections are focused on a certain period.

Somewhere around 300 pieces are on display, which occupies all exhibition rooms at the Tomie Ohtake Institute. From moderns like Volpi to contemporaries like Paulo Pasta, through concretes (Geraldo de Barros) and neoconcretes (Lygia Clark, Willys de Castro), the exhibition highlights the artists with the greatest presence in the collection, which required more than two decades of commitment from the banker to get iconic works like Invitation to the Reason (1978), by the sculptor Waltercio Caldas, reproduced in several of his books.

A greater affinity with the work of neo-concrete artists, particularly Lygia Clark, for the formal cleaning of his works of the time (late 1950s and early 1960s). Visitor ended up seduced by Hélio Oiticica’s crazy ship, which basically changed the way we look.

The Volpian nucleus, which gains a room just to house almost two dozen paintings by the painter Alfredo Volpi (1896-1988). He has the good company of two iron sculptures by the neo-concrete miner Amilcar de Castro (1920-2002).

The exhibition is no limited only to Volpi’s room, follow in the exhibition the trajectory of Brazilian art from the time of the Santa Helena group to the youngest painters in activity in the country, two of them former students of Paulo Pasta: Marina Rheingantz and Bruno Dunley. Both are on the upper floor, next to the master and other painters of different generations, such as Leonilson, Beatriz Milhazes and Adriana Varejão.

The exhibition also has a nucleus dedicated to photography, from historical names (Gautherot, Pierre Verger) to contemporaries (Miguel Rio Branco, Luiz Braga). In another room are grouped artists who had their names linked to conceptual art (Ana Maria Maiolino, Paulo Bruscky).

Chose to favor individually vigorous works, with their own power, and that is what we feel there. Works with own power.

“The many and the one”, is the title of this first exhibition organized from one of the largest and most important collections of art in Brazil: Andrea and José Olympio Pereira.

Tomie Ohtake Institute
Instituto Tomie Ohtake, opened since 28 November 2001, is one of the few spaces in São Paulo to have been designed with the specific purpose of staging national and international art, architecture and design exhibitions.

Honoring the artist it was named after, the Institute is home to exhibitions that shine a light on artistic developments over the past six decades, as well as on earlier artistic movements that contribute to a better understanding of the period in which Tomie Ohtake lived and worked. Since opening its doors to the public, the Institute has staged shows previously unheard of in Brazil, including Louise Bourgeois, Josef Albers, Yayoi Kusama, Salvador Dalí, and Joan Miró, among others.

As well as its trailblazing exhibition program – amplified through a parallel program of debates, research, content production, archival work and publications – Instituto Tomie Ohtake has, since its founding, conducted significant research on approaches to teaching contemporary art. This is manifested in pioneering new training methods for teachers and students in public and private schools, a program of events open to all, and projects designed to encourage new generations of artists to develop and thrive.