|Alton DuLaney @ Museu de Arte Moderna - Rio|
The Museu de Arte Moderna, or Museum of Modern Art, in Rio de Janeiro, is one of these gorgeous museums where the architecture of the museum, in this case coupled with the beauty of its surroundings, competes with the actual artwork on display. Similar to the Guggenheim in NYC by Frank Lloyd Wright or the Oscar Niemayer masterpiece, the Museum of Contemporary Art, perched right across the bay in Niteroi, Brazil.
The MAM was designed by the architect Affonso Reidy in the post-war mid-century modernist movement that swept Brazil even more thoroughly than it did the Untied States. This was, after all, the era of Brasilia, the invention of a whole new modern capital city, when optimism was running rampant and the country really believed in the future. The megalith of steel and glass floats delicately on concrete "V" shaped pillars, surrounded by the Central Park of the south, the Parque do Flamengo - or the Flamengo Park, fully realized with tropical foliage by the landscape architect Roberto Burle Max.
|View from MAM across park and marina to Gloria, Rio.|
The park winds along the bay, conveniently linking my little pied-a-terre apartment in Gloria with the Museu, only a short and scenic walk away. From a perfectly placed floor to ceiling window, I gaze out from the museum, across the park and the marina, to Gloria. (That's my apartment building to the upper right hand corner of the photo, the white, curvy one.)
The wide open expanses of the MAM are prefect for large scale sculpture, and the main gallery contains several over-sized pieces in steel.
|Jose' Resende at MAM, Rio.|
A quick ascent up a beautiful spiral staircase, and I am in another gallery, filled with the sculptural objects and maquetes.
|Assemblage by Jose' Damasceno, MAM, Rio.|
The Museum runs several exhibits concurrent, so there is always something for everyone to see. A smaller exhibit, "Genealogias do Contemporaneo", features work one might expect from Brazilian artists, though I fear it veers dangerously close to folk-art. (Side note: Nothing against folk-art, especially Brazilian folk-art, with all of its riches, both culturally and economically. Certainly, I have been known to profit from that genre in multiple ways.)
|Modern St. Sebastian|
Of course, no modern art museum would be complete without the classics, and MAM has its share, despite a disasterous fire in the 70's that destroyed much of its permanent collection. The exhibit "E' Assim Mesmo" or "It's Like This" which promises the "grandes nomes de arte do nosso tempo", and certainly delivers with the requisite Pollock, Haring, Giacometti, Warhol, Picasso, and others.
|Tacila do Amaral|
|Andre' da Costa, "Paris Video", Rio de Janeiro 2011|
|Andre' da Costa, "Gloria, Rio Video", Paris, 2009.|
For more of the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, visit: