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Adriana Varejão Gallery

Rodrigo Cerviño Lopez

Adriana Varejão Gallery
By Lucy Bullivant -

We expect architecture for art to complement the work it houses. Often it goes further and plays down its own character to serve as a supposedly neutral container but the result is usually sterile. The Adriana Varejão Gallery designed by Rodrigo Cerviño Lopez demonstrates no such suppression of architectural identity, but shows that architecture, especially to house the work of a single artist, and resulting from intense dialogues between artist and architect, is powerfully equipped to provide a body of art works with a context that is articulate and full of surprises.
The Gallery is part of the Inhotim Centro de Arte Contemporãnea, in Brumadinho, a village 60 km from Belo Horizonte in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil, the brainchild of Bernardo Paz, a local mining industrialist. Instead of housing his exceptional collection of contemporary art works (from 1970s to the present day) in one building, Paz has to date commissioned and had built ten pavilions which are laid out in a beautifully landscaped 35 hectare park to showcase some 500 works by over 100 artists including Cildo Meireles, Vik Muniz, Hélio Oiticica, Paul McCarthy, Zhang Huan, Adriana Varejão and others. Inhotim’s Tropical Park has areas designed to guidelines proposed by the celebrated landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, and includes so many botanical species, it is one of the largest in the world.
Every year a new exhibit is put together by Inhotim’s three curators, making the collection one in constant evolution. The gallery Cerviño designed sets up a strong dialogue with its dramatic, tactile contents by Varejão, one of Brazil’s leading contemporary artists, who is based in Rio, includes paintings bordering on sculpture and silkscreened tiles that are used for insitu walls and furniture. He was given a hillside site in the park with a small slope, typical of the Minas Gerais area, partly surrounded by forest. This setting was formerly used to store containers and already a huge...

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