Art, Plan South America | Brazil | 10.05.24

The Art Lover’s Guide to Brazil

Brazilian art covers a wide range of modalities, as diverse and exhilarating as the country’s cultural landscape.

With influences from Indigenous, African, European, and contemporary sources, its style is entirely distinct and adored all around the world.

A visit to Brazil is an invitation to dive into some of the world’s most innovative forms of expression, which will certainly deepen your appreciation for the country’s creative spirit.

From Tunga, known for his surreal and alchemical sculptures, to Vik Muniz and his use of unconventional materials, Brazilian art is not new to the world stage. Whether you’re exploring up and coming art at a major art fair or contemporary galleries in one of the big cities, Brazil has something to delight every type of traveler.

Here are some of our favorite places to experience art in Brazil, from the best of Rio de Janeiro to the natural world of Minas Gerais. Need help planning your trip? Get in touch with our travel team to learn more.

ArtRio – Rio de Janeiro

Recognized as one of the most important art events in Latin America, ArtRio brings together Brazil’s biggest galleries alongside international talent from September 25th-29th. Since its inception in 2011, the art fair has become a staple highlighting the best of Brazilian contemporary art and providing a platform for both established and emerging talents to showcase their work. We can’t think of a better way to see everything Rio has to offer than by immersing yourself in a finely curated showcase of the city’s stellar talents.

Besides its world renowned reputation, ArtRio gracefully occupies the Maua docks, facing the quintessential Guanabara Bay — the backdrop to one of the most famous vistas in the world. During ArtRio the streets come alive, making way for an aesthetically inclined and international flavor that blends beautifully with the carioca energy.

From there, Rio is your oyster. Take a stroll along the streets of Zona Zul paved in black and white copacabana tiles or head over to one of Rio’s infamous rooftops for an unforgettable time, caipirinha in hand.

Inhotim – Belo Horizonte

This expansive contemporary art museum and botanical garden is one of the world’s largest outdoor galleries and the finest setting to lose track of time. An hour’s drive from Belo Horizonte, Inhotim is housed on a former ranch, now a vast botanical garden with two dozen art pavilions and a large collection of art by both international and Brazilian masters including Paulo Nazateth, Hélio Oiticica, Dan Graham, Doris Salcedo, Olafur Eliasson, Yayoi Kusama, and more.

From immersive installations to an exotic display of wild vegetation, lakes, and large-scale sculptures, Inhotim is a captivating blend of art, nature, and culture. Many artworks are site-specific, designed to interact with and complement their surroundings. This creates a dynamic and ever-changing experience as the environment shifts with the seasons. Inhotim is open year-round, Wednesday to Fridays 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and during weekends and holidays from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

If you plan on taking your time and spending more than one day in the area, ask us about our favorite places to stay locally.

SP Arte – Sao Paulo

If ArtRio sounds like the art fair to be at, SP-Arte is its cooler, older sibling. Besides its paramount status as the biggest art and design fair in all of Latin America, the event is hosted in the Oscar Niemeyer-designed Fundação Bienal de São Paulo in Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo’s iconic natural beating heart.

Here you will find over 180 art and design galleries, special events such as panels and discussions, and a stimulating educational environment. While a lot of people go to SP-Arte to see the galleries and exhibitions, Ibirapuera Park itself is a sight worth taking time to experience. With over 400 acres of green spaces, the park also hosts an array of modern architecture by 20th century master Oscar Niemeyer.

São Paulo Biennial – São Paulo

Also located in São Paulo’s treasured landmark, Ibirapuera Park, the SP Biennial takes place every two years. However, the activities of Fundação Bienal extend from January to January through actions aimed at stimulating creation, provoking debate and democratizing access to culture both in Brazil and abroad.

Inspired by the Venice Biennale, the original founders of the SP Biennial had the vision to create a space where Brazilian art could be witnessed in its glory and given the opportunity to shine abroad. Today, it’s an iconic part of Brazilian culture highlighting new themes each year.

If your trip coincides with a Biennial year, the incredible cultural programming, interactive exhibitions, and modernist architecture on display make a day spent at Ibirapuera Park unmissable.

Written by Jade Moyano

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