Last year, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) dedicated its entire program of exhibitions, publications, workshops, talks and other events to women artists. As it organized and staged solo shows of Akosua Adoma Owusu, Catarina Simão, Jenn Nkiru, Laure Prouvost, and Tarsila do Amaral, among others, as well as the thematic exhibitions “Women’s Histories: Artists Before 1900” and “Feminist Histories: Artists After 2000,” it was also acquiring works by creatives who identify as female.
At the end of its yearlong celebration of female cultural proucers, MASP added 296 works by twenty-one contemporary artists, one collective, and many unknown women artists from the nineteenth century to its collection. Among the works it purchased are pieces by Aline Motta, Ana Mazzei & Regina Parra, Carolina Caycedo, Kaj Osteroth & Lydia Hamann, Leonor Antunes, Luiza Baldan, Marcela Cantuária, Ruth Buchanan, Sallisa Rosa, Serigrafistas Queer, Tuesday Smillie, Valeska Soares and Virgínia de Medeiros as well as women from Egypt, Great Britain, Morocco, Ottoman Empire, Philippines, United States and Uzbekistan. In addition, the longterm loan of Tarsila do Amaral’s iconic painting Composition, Lonely Figure, 1930, has also joined MASP’s collection.
“This is a historical step for the institution toward a more balanced representation of art history in its collection, known for its major presence of white, male and European artists,” said Isabella Rjeille, who curated “Feminist Histories: Artists After 2000” and led many of the acquisitions. For Adriano Pedrosa, MASP’s artistic director, said the acquisitions will help the institution live up to its mission to become a much more “diverse, inclusive, and plural museum.”