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The Imaginary Collection of Paulo Kuczynski

In honor of Paulo Kuczynski's more than 50-year career, the Tomie Ohtake Institute invites curator Jacopo Crivelli Visconti to propose a thought-provoking journey through the trajectory of Paulo Kuczynski's "Imaginary Collection", bringing together some of the most extraordinary works that have been marketed by the gallerist in the last five decades.


"Perhaps the best key to understanding this imaginary collection and the intelligent eye of its creator lies precisely in the immense variety of styles and poetics that allows us to identify both personal preferences and a deep understanding of the evolution of national art," says Crivelli Visconti.


With more than two hundred works on display, including names such as Alfredo Volpi, José Pancetti, Lasar Segall, Ismael Nery, Frans Krajcberg, Lygia Clark, Wesley Duke Lee, lone Saldanha, Adriana Varejão, Mira Schendel and Maria Martins, Paulo Kuczynski's Imaginary Collection aligns different periods and expressions of Brazilian art, allowing unexpected and extremely fruitful neighborhoods and approximations.​

Text by Paulo Kuczynski

Marchand and collector form an inseparable duo, they are complementary sides of the same game, partners driven by the strength of a single passion - even when momentarily separated by a commercial relationship. 


If I had already had this feeling for some time, in the process of curating and assembling the current exhibition it intensified. When I asked to borrow the works for the show, at first afraid of possible refusals, I was moved by the generosity of everyone involved. 


Collecting or selling? How to reconcile these two destinies in a single individual? These are doubts, even dilemmas, with which I have lived in my more than fifty years of profession, throughout which I have tried to be guided by the objectivity immanent to the works, but also by intuition and preferences of a particular nature. In this journey of encounter with the aesthetic experience, there are certainly gaps and incompleteness, perhaps even purposeful, the result of my idiosyncrasies. In any case, I never had the pretension of absolute comprehensiveness or the formation of a totality. 


The result, in addition to being a panorama of art in the 20th century, is above all the record of a personal cut guided by an enthusiastic vocation, whose privilege I shared with my collector friends: passion reinvented giving enchantment to the world.

Text by Paulo Kuczynski

In 2004, Paulo Kuczynski organized the exhibition Trajetória - Uma coleção imaginária, a gathering of some of the most extraordinary works that had passed through his hands up to that point. Almost twenty years later, the collection is presented here. Some of the works participated in both exhibitions, others did not, and one wonders if they are two different collections or if we are facing the same one.


The act of seeing, and the time that accumulates between the moment we stand in front of a canvas or a sculpture for the first time, and all the times we return to it, feeling what it tells us, are central elements in the interaction with any work of art. The idea of seeing something again weeks, months, years or even decades later permeates the project of this exhibition, if we think that what makes the works gathered here belong to Paulo Kuczynski's imaginary collection is precisely the fact that, at some point, they were looked at by him. 


An intelligent and affectionate gaze characterizes Kuczynski's relationship with the works he is enchanted by, which he has discovered and rescued from all kinds of places and contexts, actively contributing to writing what we now call the history of Brazilian art. The exhibition begins with some extraordinary paintings by Eliseu Visconti, produced at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, and concludes with a group of tiles by Adriana Varejão, from 2008. In the distance, both chronological and stylistic and conceptual, between these two sets, much of the art produced in Brazil throughout the 20th century fits. It is a journey not without leaps and ruptures, but fascinating for the way movements and poetics are linked, attracting each other, sometimes even contradicting each other. The sets of works are disparate, some broad, others more concise, but each one brings something special, giving clues to the understanding of the whole. 


Perhaps the best key to understanding this imaginary collection lies precisely in the immense variety of styles and poetics that allows one to identify both personal preferences and a deep understanding of the evolution of national art. And so Visconti's pieces can coexist with Varejão's, Leonilson's works with those of Ione Saldanha, Pancetti with Tarsila, Anita with Nery, Di with Portinari, Vicente do Rego Monteiro with Lasar Segall, Bandeira with Kracjberg, Volpi with Sergio Camargo and Willys de Castro, Sacilotto, Maria Martins and Vieira da Silva with Waldemar, Wesle


Instituto Tomie Ohtake

Endereço: Rua Coropé, 88 - Pinheiros, São Paulo - SP, 05426-010

Abertura ao público: 20 de maio, das 11h às 16h

Período da exposição:  de 23 de maio a 13 de agosto de 2023

Dias e hoários de visitação: de terças a sábados, das 11h00 às 20h00

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