MASP

Picture Gallery in Transformation

Picture Gallery in Transformation is the title of a long-term exhibition of MASP’s collection. The works are exhibited on glass easels—made of a glass plate fitted in a concrete block. The easels are arranged in rows in the large gallery space, with no divisions, located on the second floor of the museum. Removing the artworks from the walls and displaying them on these easels allow a closer encounter between the public and the artworks. The visitor is invited to walk through the gallery in the midst of the artworks like a forest of pictures that seems to float in space. The open, fluid, and permeable gallery space offers multiple possibilities of access and readings of the works, eliminating predetermined hierarchies and scripts. The glass easels were conceived by Lina Bo Bardi (1914–1992), who also designed the museum building. The easels were introduced in 1968 in the occasion of the inauguration of the museum on Paulista Avenue. In 1996 they were removed but were brought back in 2015. Since then, the exhibition has been constantly changing, as its title indicates, due to loans, acquisitions, and rotation of works from the museum’s collection. The artwork captions are placed on the back of the easels, following Lina Bo Bardi’s original idea that the visitor’s first encounter with the artworks would be more direct, not conditioned by historical and contextual information, such as authorship, title, and date. We also offer a leaflet with the location of the works, listing the artists and titles of works, as well as the date on which the last “transformation” took place in the exhibition.