The fruit of a collaboration between the Phoenix Art Museum (in Arizona, US) and MAM (Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo), the exhibition Past/Future/Present arrived in the state capital of São Paulo on 01/22 with a selection of 72 works and is the product of the joint efforts of two curators: the North American, Vanessa Davidson, and the Brazilian, Cauê Alves. With pieces produced between 1990 and 2010, the show was first staged in the United States in 2017, displaying Brazilian works of contemporary art to the country’s public, and represented the first exhibition dedicated to MAM’s collection in the US.

The exhibition is organized around five themes: The Body/Social Body; Shifting Identities; Landscape, Reimagined; Impossible Objects; and the Reinvention of the Monochrome. The participating artists include: Adriana Varejão, Beatriz Milhazes, Tunga, Dora Longo Bahia, Waltercio Caldas, Carlito Carvalhosa, Leda Catunda, José Damasceno, Rosângela Rennó, Anna Bella Geiger, Carmela Gross and Nelson Leirner.

The choice of names represents the varied styles, themes and media present in Brazilian contemporary art, demonstrating that the concept of “Brazilianness” cannot be defined merely in geographic terms. “With this show, we reveal a Brazil to foreigners that they were not familiar with. For the Brazilian public, we want to create the same sense of surprise with contemporary works by renowned artists and also by less well known ones”, states the curator Cauê Alves.

Historical moments in the country’s past, social norms, indigenous myths and transgressions reveal how Brazilian artists have adapted to the reality of globalization: “They speak artistic languages fluently with a focus on the global scene, at the same time that their art, imbued both with local specificity and universal resonance, has itself become an international point of reference”, explains Vanessa Davidson.

Participating artists: Albano Afonso, Keila Alaver, Efrain Almeida, Rafael Assef, Dora Longo Bahia, Rodrigo Braga, Waltercio 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 Leirner, Jac Leirner, José Leonilson, Artur Lescher, Laura Lima, Antonio Manuel, Cinthia Marcelle, Marepe, Rodrigo Matheus, Cildo Meireles, Beatriz Milhazes, Odires Mlászho, Marcelo Moscheta, Pedro Motta, Vik Muniz, Ernesto Neto, Rivane Neuenschwander, Nazareth Pacheco, Rosana Paulino, Pazé, Penna Prearo, Florian Raiss, Caio Reisewitz, Rosângela Rennó, Eryk Rocha & Tunga, Thiago Rocha Pitta, Regina Silveira, Valeska Soares, Ana Maria Tavares, Tunga, Adriana Varejão, Cássio Vasconcellos, Laura Vinci, Carlos Zilio, and Marcelo Zocchio.