Art Museums of São Paulo

By Viator, December 2012

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Hosting a clutch of world-class art institutions—and its own renowned art festival, the Bienal, Latin America’s largest—São Paulo is the epicenter of Brazil’s art world. The city boasts a vibrant classical, contemporary, and urban art scene, with multiple public institutions and countless private galleries displaying impressive works from established and up-and-coming artists.

The city’s most prominent art institution happens to also be one of the city’s most prominent architectural landmarks, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP). Looming over Avenida Paulista on four red concrete pillars, MASP’s collection contains contemporary Brazilian masters such as Portinari alongside international superstars like Picasso.In old downtown, the Pinacoteca do Estado occupies a gorgeous brick neoclassical manse—formerly the city’s first art academy—and exhibits modern and classical Brazilian paintings and sculptures.

Standing sentry over the Pinheiros district, the two-toned glass skyscraper housing the Instituto Tomie Ohtake features impactful photography exhibitions and contemporary art installations. Meanwhile, leafy Ibirapuera Park contains several art exhibition spaces designed by Brazilian master architect Oscar Niemeyer: the Bienal Pavilion, which hosts the event every two years, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) and the Museum of Modern Art (MAM), all outposts of intellectual and artistic beauty set against the beauty of nature.

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