Inhotim Institute – A Brazilian outdoor gem!

By Flávia Berredo de Menezes

The largest outdoor cultural arts centre in the world brings together large installations by Brazilian and international artists in a luxurious Botanical Garden in Minas Gerais

“One of the 40 most fantastic places in the world to visit” This is what the British magazine Wallpaper thinks of the Inhotim Institute, Organização da Sociedade Civil de Interesse Público – OSCIP, a not for profit institution, intended to conserve, display and produce contemporary artwork and also to develop educational and social actions.

The museum sits on 110 hectares and is located in the municipality of Brumadinho, 60 km from Belo Horizonte. It was founded in 2002 by the millionaire mining engineer Bernardo de Mello Paz (63), who invested US$240 million of his own money on a stunning empire with around 500 works by over 100 artists of 30 different nationalities. There is a surprise at every step in this majestic garden where over 250,000 annual visitors contemplate the most impressive artistic expressions around today.

The cultural centre offers a great set of artwork displayed outdoors and in temporary and permanent galleries like the space for the Carioca painter Adriana Varejão. Ex-wife of arts patron Bernardo Paz, Adriana is the most valued Brazilian artist on the planet and author of Celacanto Provoca Maremoto, a majestic panel that reflects the Portuguese style of tiles and that, in an impetuous way, transmits the waves of the ocean. The miscellaneous space also encompasses countless other works by other various masters of modern art, a predominant motive which led Guy Trebay, a columnist of the prestigious Travel supplement in the New York Times to say in 2009: “In the rural area of a little city in the south east of Brazil, a new world wonder is taking shape: a stunning sanctuary of contemporary art”, an honour for all the Brazilians that keep in Inhotim a broad cultural spectrum in the country, being the number 1 reference among spaces of aesthetic enjoyment and entertainment in the world.

Initially influenced by the architect-landscaper Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994), the garden in the museum includes numerous rare plant species, exposed in a harmonious way, on a land that has five ponds and a preserved forest reserve. A rare beauty that is always expanding! On the 6th of September two new pavilions were inaugurated, and also a series of new works such as the courteous Tteia. Nº1. C. by the Carioca Lygia Pape (1927-2004), a geometrical creation arranged in golden threads that interposes itself with beams of light. In the garden there are two other unreleased installations, the Vegetation Room, a maze with notes of vegetable textures which is evidenced by the exterior mirrored invention that Spanish artist Cristiana Iglesias built to camouflage the art in the forest and the most expected gallery of the year dedicated the renowned Pernambuco sculptor and designer Tunga, which will house eight of his most relevant works – exhibited in various museums in New York and at the Louvre in Paris – in a 2600 m2 building in a planned tropical forest.

Inhotim also conducts environmental research, educational events and a significant inclusion and citizenship program for the local population. Created in December of 2010, the program “Inhotim for Everyone” has received over 16 thousand visitors and the goal increases annually. In response to one of the social responsibility actions by the Institute, courses for all ages are offered and there are free visits from Tuesday to Sunday, by appointment only which requires visitors to fill out a form listing their names and ages. It’s worth checking out the cultural universe compiled in the museum!

More information:

  • Site: inhotim.org.br
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Address: Rua B, nº 20, Inhotim, Brumadinho, MG, Brazil 35460-000
  • Telephone: (+55 31) 3571-9700
  • Business hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 9:30am to 4:30pm. / Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 9:30am to 5:30pm
  • Ticket prices: starting from R$20 (seniors and children pay half price). / Free admission on Tuesdays.
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