PINTA 2009 Confirms that Latin American Art Has Carved Out Its Space Internationally

PINTA, the modern and contemporary art fair, has proven over the last three years that the high quality art produced in Latin America is an important player on the global stage. The participation of 60 art galleries from the United States, Europe and Latin America is a testament to PINTA’s growing influence.

“We are a young fair. Our commitment is and will be to continue working to present Latin American art to the world,” said its director Diego Costa Peuser.

Museums are key partners

“Purchases made by museums and private collectors confirm the viability of the market for Latin American art in the international sphere. Now, that market is poised to grow,” said Mauro Herlitzka, Institutional Director of PINTA. Mr. Herlitzka pointed to the participation of eight museums, invited by PINTA Museums Acquisition Program.

Mr. Costa Peuser and Mr. Herlitzka cited examples of the success of this program: the Tate Modern Art Gallery of London bought “Las desformantes” (1964) by Horacio Zabala; Pinacoteca de São Paulo purchased two Fiaminghi works from 1956; Harvard Museum is planning to acquire a historic sculpture by Víctor Grippo; and Museum of Fine Arts Boston expressed its interest on “Untitled With Fallen Chairs” (2009) by Lilliana Porter; Museo Tamayo of México bought “The Painter” (2009), also by Porter, and “Even Days, Odd Days” (1969-2009) by David Lamelas.

El Museo del Barrio of Nueva York purchased artworks by Fanny Sanín, Karlo Cárcamo and Milagros de la Torre. Also, MBA Lazard bank bought two pieces by Darío Escobar and Denise Lira for its itinerant collection of Latin American art.

Voices of the art world

Nara Roesler, of Nara Roesler Gallery São Paulo, who has participated in PINTA since the first year, has witnessed the growth of the fair.

“This third year was better than the previous years, because there were more collectors, more sales and more museums buying”, Ms. Roesler said. “We brought Paolo Bruscky, a conceptual artist that got a Guggenheim fellowship in the 80’s and he was a great success. Many collectors bought his pieces.”

Further evidence of the increasing interest in the Latin American art market was the participation of fifteen galleries from New York this year.

Alexander Gray, owner of Alexander Gray Gallery of New York, told about this his first time participating in PINTA: “We met a lot of new people and a lot of museums people friends. Our presentation had a strong impact on the fair. It increased awareness in the collectors because we are not a Latin American art gallery per se. We sold to an American collector that is not a collector of Latin American art. We are very encouraged by our experience and plan to come back next year.”

Flavio Cohn, of Dan Gallery de São Paulo, was surprised by the fair’s impact on the New York art scene. “Pinta is a new art fair, since three years is just a beginning. In the coming years all the players will evolve. There will be more maturity in the way the art galleries present themselves to the collectors and curators. This is our first year and we want to return next year.”

Alejandro Zaia, chairman of PINTA, is optimistic about the future: “In this difficult year, we exceed our own expectations in quality and quantity and public art proposals. This gives us confidence to face our next big goal — to take PINTA to London next year.”

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