Cultural space, Instituto Artium, opens its doors with collective exhibitions by national contemporary artists
You cultural centers in São Paulo have always been meeting points for young people of different generations in the city. The places combine the cultural tour with school utilities, serving as an outlet for new artistic talents. Each cultural center goes through a period in which it is highly worshiped by a segment before expanding its audience and receiving other types of visitors.
THE Artium Institute It is the most new cultural center in São Paulo. It is a non-profit cultural entity created in 2019 that recently opened its doors to the public and, right away, debuted with an unprecedented collective exhibition, Semana de 21, curated by the plastic artist and photographer Alberto Simon. The property where it is located is on Rua Piauí, a neighborhood of Higienópolis, a prime spot in the capital.
The main house has an area of 1,700 square meters and is entirely made in a mixture of eclectic architectural style and Louis XVI. Before opening, it underwent thorough restoration works for the maintenance and restoration of its historical heritage, based entirely on a structure dating from 1920/1921. At that time it was already an attraction in São Paulo. The so-called Palacete Stahl was modernized at that time with the aim of housing the first diplomatic representative of the Swedish royal family in São Paulo and at the same time serving as a residence for Commander Consul Gustav Stahl.
Around 1924, the construction was obtained by Colonel José de Souza Ferreira, a coffee grower from Itapira, municipality of São Paulo, which subsequently became a single-family house. In 1932 it was bought by the banker Francisco José Pereira Leite.
The Empire of Japan acquired the residence in 1940 as a consular territory and used it to house its consul general. Then came the fateful Pearl Harbor incident at the end of 1941, which caused the Japanese diplomatic mission to leave Brazil a year later. Ten years later, in 1951, the Japanese government reopened the palace as a representative office almost following the resumption of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Japan in 1952. The building, then called Palat Palace, began to function as a consulate.
The story doesn't stop here. In the 1970s, Consul General Oneshinfu was kidnapped by an anti-government organization at the intersection of Alagoas and Bahia Streets. He was released five days later in exchange for political prisoners. And ten years later, the Japanese government transferred its consulate, which made the mansion fall into disuse and consequently into abandonment.
In the 1980s, a period of strong deterioration began until the mansion was included in the Conpresp list in 2005, when it started to receive the status of historical heritage. The current owner acquired it in 2007. Two years later the Palace was restored.
In January 2020 the place became the headquarters of Instituto Artium, which moved its headquarters to the property and began to follow Conpresp's determination to restore its facade by removing paint and adding acrylic, covering its original texture with a special cement mass of rough enameled color. It kept the French limestone, a feature of the architecture of the time, and some decorative and original internal features of the building have been rigorously restored.
In the debut exhibition, Semana de 21, the works presented are not intended to “dialogue” with the space, but rather to highlight the contrast represented by the 100 years from its construction to its reopening as an art academy. The event was entirely guided by the current work of artists from different generations who used different supports to promote reflection on the current moment and the return to normality in the post-pandemic world.
About the exhibition, curator Alberto Simon has stated on several occasions that “the 21st week is an exhibition that celebrates the diversity of languages and media. There is no proposal for visual or content cohesion. The work of 18 artists represents the enormous complexity of today's world”.
In time: get used to visiting cultural centers in São Paulo, especially if you are in the Avenida Paulista region. There is a lot to see there, such as the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP); Itaú Cultural, with an incredible exhibition of Brazilian colonial art; the Fiesp-Ruth C Cultural Center, with free theater and concerts; the Casa das Rosas, with unforgettable soirees; Caixa Belas Artes, with alternative film shows; the Livraria Cultura in the Conjunto Nacional, a mandatory reading space, among many others.
Artium Institute of Culture
Piauí, 874 – Higienópolis, São Paulo – SP, 01241-001
Phone: (11) 3660-0130
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