Adriano Pedrosa

Artistic director of Museu de Arte de São Paulo and prominent curatorial for Brazil abroad

Being appointed artistic director of the most important museum in a major art city should push you way up this list. But in Pedrosa’s case, who took the curatorial reins of Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) in November 2014, it may be a case of wait and see. That said, the previously moribund institution is already showing signs of revitalisation. Pedrosa, the best-known Brazilian curator on the international art scene, has a particular knack for invoking history in the service of pressing contemporary needs, and one can see this in his reinstatement of Lina Bo Bardi’s original exhibition designs. 

The museum’s interior drywalls, erected later, have been removed, and paintings from the collection are again hanging on boards that, attached to floor-to-ceiling armatures, seem to float midair. All of which feels open and welcoming, in a very contemporary way, to the thousands of ordinary Brazilians who visit daily. Yet MASP is severely underfunded, and with Brazil’s economy in a major dip, the situation seems unlikely to improve quickly. Life may therefore be tricky for Pedrosa for a while yet, but his well-earned reputation stands, and he will continue to be a rare curatorial conduit to the region.