Galeria Ipanema: 50 years of art (Galeria Ipanema: 50 anos de arte)

The longest Brazilian gallery in activity celebrated its 50 years with an exhibition that gathered some names that marked its history.

Galeria de Arte Ipanema celebrated 50 years of activity with the exhibitions "50 Years of Art: Part I" and "50 Years of Art: Part II", the first from September 2 to October 17, and the second from November 17 to December 12, 2015. The gallery's stand at ArtRio, from September 9-13, will also be part of the celebrations.

Founded by Luiz Sève, the longest Brazilian gallery began its successful trajectory in November 1965, in a space of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, with an exhibition with works by Tomie Ohtake and Manabu Mabe, among others. Until reaching the location of Rua Aníbal de Mendonça, in Ipanema, it also passed by other addresses, such as Hotel Leme Palace, at Leme, and Rua Farme de Amoedo, already in Ipanema. Parallel to his action in Rio, the gallery kept between 1972 and 1987 a space on Oscar Freire Street, in São Paulo, designed by Ruy Ohtake.

For the exhibition "50 years of art: Part I", Galeria Ipanema honored the artists Tomie Ohtake (1913-2015) and Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980), with a selection of ten works by each, made in the 1950s and 1960s, belonging to private collections and to the Hélio Oiticica Project. The two artists, of great importance in the history of Brazilian art, have participated in exhibitions throughout the gallery's history.

The stand of Galeria Ipanema at ArtRio also celebrated 50 years of activity, with works by Venezuelan Carlos Cruz-Diez, one of the great names in kinetic art and represented by the gallery, and works by Jesús Rafael Soto, Victor Vasarely, Sérgio Camargo, Lygia Pape, Maria Leontina, Milton Dacosta, Portinari, José Panceti and Tomie Ohtake.

Galeria Ipanema was one of the precursors to give visibility to modernism, and represented for many years, with a close relationship, artists such as Volpi (1896-1988) and Di Cavalcanti (1897-1976), and held the first exhibitions of Paulo Roberto Leal (1946-1991) and Raymundo Colares (1944-1986).


Its history blends with that of modern art and its passage to contemporary art, and one of the most important kinetic artists, the Venezuelan Cruz-Diez (1923), is represented by the gallery, which maintains a precious collection, the result of its privileged knowledge of great names like Hélio Oiticica, Ivan Serpa, Lygia Clark, Sergio Camargo, Jesús Soto, Mira Schendel, Guignard, Pancetti, Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Cicero Dias, Iberê Camargo, Tomie Ohtake, Lygia Pape, Amelia Toledo, Milton Dacosta, Maria Leontina, Dionísio del Santo, Antônio Bandeira, Heitor dos Prazeres, Vasarely, Rubens Gerchmann, Nelson Leirner, Waltercio Caldas, Franz Weissmann, Ângelo de Aquino, Geraldo de Barros, Heitor dos Prazeres, Joaquim Tenreiro and Frans Krajcberg. Considering the artists worked by the gallery, only Portinari (1903-1962) and Guignard (1896-1962) had died before its inauguration.

Currently Luiz Sève runs the gallery next to his daughter Luciana, at 173 Aníbal de Mendonça Street, until he finishes building the space that has an architectural project signed by Miguel Pinto Guimarães, scheduled for 2016, at the original address he has occupied since 1972, on the beach block of the same street.


Born into an art-loving family, Luiz Sève at the age of 24, studying his last year of engineering at PUC, decided in 1965 to join Paula Ribeiro's aunt Maria Luiza (Marilu) in creating an art gallery. Another uncle, Aloysio de Paula (1907-1990), a physician from Guignard, had been the director of MAM in the late 1950s. With the help of Luiz Eduardo Guinle and his mother, Mrs. Mariazinha, Galeria de Arte Ipanema settled in 1965 in one of the halls of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, then moved to the ground floor on Avenida Atlântica, where it remained until 1973. Still young, started working in the financial market, but it is in the gallery that he finds his "source of pleasure". A characteristic of his performance in the art space is "never having discriminated or judged anyone by their appearance". There are many stories of people who ask to enter and enjoy the collection, and are dressed simply or even sloppy, and end up "buying a lot". "There is also the lucky component," he points out, saying that he has already had access to precious works by pure chance. Among his clients, powerful figures such as banker and art patron David Rockefeller, and Robert McNamara, Defense Secretary of the Kennedy Government, also passed through the gallery.