Cildo Meireles, 'Desvio para o Vermelho', 1967-1984, Inhotim
Cildo Meireles, 'Desvio para o Vermelho', 1967-1984

The Instituto Inhotim, in Minas Gerais, announced that its founder, art collector and former mining magnate Bernardo Paz, will transfer around 330 works from his collection to the private institution. The sculpture park and botanical garden, which spans over 5.000 acres, was founded by Paz as a non-profit center in 2006, and already contains a collection spanning over 1.000 works. In 2008, was recognized as a civil society organization of public interest (Oscip) by the Minas Gerais government. Inhotim comprises 23 galleries, including four rotating galleries, and 19 large permanent installations by Cildo Meireles, Rivane Neuenschwander, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, William Kentridge, Tunga and others, which were included in the donation.

“The collection was donated and incorporated into the Institute's collection. Based on this new governance, an advisory committee was created with members of the Council, the Artistic Direction and Allan Schwartzman to give an opinion on the incorporation of works to the collection and to mobilize resources for new donations, maintaining Inhotim with an active collection that is fundamental to its typology of contemporary art museum”, says Lucas Pessôa, president director of the institute. Of this council, Bernardo Paz will be the president and the Minas Gerais businessman Eugênio Mattar the vice president. Another 18 people are part of it, including executives from different sectors and cultural agents.

The group will still be expanded with another 10 members, responsible for administrative and financial deliberations of Inhotim, but it will not have a decision-making role in the cultural programming of the museum. “The intention is that this committee can develop in the future an acquisitions policy that organizes this process based on programmatic axes, observing possible gaps in the collection, and incorporating works that allow the expansion of critical views with the existing collection”, adds Pessôa.

Artistic director Julieta González states that: “In the case of the current openings, we worked hard to give a more specific form to the project by Abdias Nascimento and make it the guiding axis of the program until the end of 2023, when this partnership with IPEAFRO ends. , which truly inaugurates an epistemic turn in Inhotim's thinking, program and collection, and a more permanent and stable relationship with several communities, among them the Afro-Brazilian”.

On May 28, new works and temporary exhibitions were inaugurated at Inhotim, including Isaac Julien, an important name in the fields of installation and cinema, invited to exhibit one of his most emblematic works at Galeria Praça. Acervo em Movimento, a program created to share with the public the works recently integrated into the collection, opened the new season with works by Brazilian artists Arjan Martins and Laura Belém, both installed in external areas of the Institute. Jaime Lauriano also joined the list of artists participating in the program, opening the Inhotim Biblioteca project and maintaining a direct relationship with the Second Act of the Abdias Nascimento project and the Black Art Museum (MAN), by proposing the curatorship of a new bibliography that includes authors blacks to integrate the collection of the Inhotim library. Finally, the Second Act of MAN occupies the Galeria da Mata and is jointly curated by Inhotim and IPEAFRO to address the Experimental Theater of the Black, a movement led by Abdias Nascimento, which is at the origins of the Museu de Arte Negra.

The openings are part of the Specific Territory, a research axis that guides the Institute's programming in the biennium of 2021 and 2022 (learn more here).

The news marks a new expected trajectory for Inhotim, which went through periods of instability five years ago when legal problems at Itaminas, a conglomerate formed by 29 companies that Paz owned until it was sold in 2010. In 2021, Itaminas signed an agreement with the Attorney General's Office -general of the National Treasury around its tax liabilities, around R$ 1,6 billion. The Union asked for the commitment of all the properties of the group, including Inhotim. The museum was eventually released from the lien, although an earlier settlement included 20 works from the museum as payment for the debt. In 2020, the same agreement was found to be illegal in the First Tax Court of the Minas Gerais Court of Justice.

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