Lina Bo Bardi fell in love with Rio, but it was in Sao Paulo that the Italian architect built her exceptional modernist buildings. In the 1950s, she designed the Museu de Arte’s floating “art box”, which stands on two “u”-shaped red columns and stores a collection that ranges from gothic to abstract.
At the MASP, a remarkable grotesque like “Ill Assorted Lovers” by the Flemish painter Quentin Massys sits only a floor away from a wide-ranging selection of South American and European abstract art. In the original plans, the works were intended to be strung from the ceiling; now, they hang on movable walls.
Bardi encouraged public use of the spaces she created: on Sundays, the outdoor area underneath the “art box” functions as a flea/antiques market. In a suitably populist spirit, entry to the MASP is free on Tuesdays.