Emmanuel Nassar occupies the Glass Room at MAM São Paulo with interactive work

Work by the artist from Pará that alludes to the space race will remain in space until September; public will be able to interact with the Lataria Espacial work

The Glass Room of the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo will present a new work between 02 April and 01 September 2024: Space bodywork (2022), of installation by the artist from Pará Emmanuel Nassar.


Open to public interaction, the work refers to the works that the artist has developed since the 1980, using geometry and bold colors.

Since Receptionist (1981), Nassar moved away from figurative painting and began to bring to his works a discussion about precariousness and the dream of new technologies. The work that inaugurates this research is a kind of high-tech device that would receive everything that was on the artist's mind.. Receptionist It is a work that did not just have an aesthetic solution, but it was also functional.

This connection with a supposed technology treated in an ironic way, in contraptions with old metal sheets, goes through the entire body of the artist's work since then. This relationship appears especially in motifs that refer to the space race, to conquer the air, expressed in things like rockets, spyglasses, cardinal points and stars.

The artist says that his interest in interplanetary search comes from an affective memory. Born in 1949 in the interior city of Capanema, in the northeast of Pará, Nassar is the son of a simple merchant and a primary school teacher. He grew up stimulated by various curiosities about space conquest, a fixation of his father. “He was passionate about the development news in Brazil, due to technological advances. This thing in my work is a kind of tribute to my father's memory, for I am a son of this inheritance.”, explains.

In Space bodywork, Emmanuel Nassar builds a private jet inspired by the Phenom 300, a high performance national aircraft, one of the best sellers in the world, developed and manufactured by Embraer. In the work, All this modernization represented by this plane is contrasted by the precariousness of an installation built in pieces, bonding galvanized zinc sheets that are painted with synthetic enamel.

Made with a simple two-plane solution and suspended by two cables, work brings two opposites together, “the aged bodywork with signs of wear, what is primitive and popular in suburban body shops” and the “space and highly technological missions that contributed to the development of satellite communications”, points out Cauê Alves, chief curator of MAM, in text accompanying the work.

The curator also assesses that “if flight is linked to the image of freedom that both planes and birds evoke, one of the wings of Space bodywork is severed, as if it were embedded in the wall”. So, being inside the Glass Room, “the work seems to be more about the impossibility of taking flight than about the complete realization of the desire for freedom”.

Initially produced for a solo show by Nassar at the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Art, Space bodywork It came from the artist's desire that in the center of the room there be an installation that would be an attraction for interaction, that would be especially appealing to a young audience, an audience of age groups and habits that he also associates with MAM São Paulo. Public participation in the work is something that interests Nassar very much.. In Flags (1998), work that is part of the MAM collection, the artist brought together flags from different municipalities in Pará. For this, ran a campaign 14 months in search of them, including two months of advertising campaign in state newspapers, asking the population to take the flags to him, in a collective construction.

MAM, visitors will be able to access the plane's staircase, where they can sit, walking down a red carpet. The public can also interact with a carry-on suitcase that is next to the plane door and where the artist keeps the screws that support the work.. The museum's chief curator attributes the experience of contact with this work as being unique and generous., for providing closer interaction. “Space bodywork allows MAM's diverse audiences to have fun while being welcomed with the prestige and status of a red carpet, play, take selfies with your luggage, as if they were about to embark on a dream”, comments.

About the artist

Emmanuel Nassar graduated in architecture from the Federal University of Pará (UFPA) in 1975. There were retrospective exhibitions, including Space Lataria, Art Museum of Rio, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (2022); EN: 81-18, Station Pinacoteca, São Paulo, SP (2018); A Poetry from Gambiarra, curated by Denise Mattar, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, it's Brasilia, DF (2003); and São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, SP (1998). He also held solo shows at different institutions, such as: Millan, São Paulo, SP (2016, 2013, 2010, 2008, 2005, 2003); Castro Maya Museum, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (2013); Municipal Art Center Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (2012): Centro Universitario Maria Antonia, São Paulo, SP (2009); Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, SP (2003).

Among the collective exhibitions in which he participated, 1st Amazon Biennial stands out, Bethlehem, Brasil; Brazil Future: the forms of democracy, National Museum of the Republic, Brasilia, DF and Casa das Onze Janelas Cultural Space, Bethlehem, PA, in 2023; Go wild 22, Sesc Pinheiros, São Paulo, SP (2022); Carioca Chronicles, Art Museum of Rio, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (2021); Loose Tongue, Museum of Portuguese Language, São Paulo, SP (2021); Power and Adversity, White Pavilion and Black Pavilion, Campo Grande, Lisboa, Portugal (2017); What Unites Us, Caixa Cultural Rio de Janeiro, RJ (2016); 140 Characters, Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo, SP (2014); Shelter and Terrain, Art Museum of Rio, RJ (2013); Geopoetics Essays, 8Th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, RS (2011); VI International Banner Biennial, Tijuana, Mexico (2010); Contemporary Brazilian Photography, New Berlin Art Association, Berlin, Germany (2006); Brasil + 500 – Rediscovery Exhibition, São Paul Biennial Foundation, SP (2000); 6ª Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador (1998); 2420th and 20th São Paulo Biennial, SP (1998 and 1989); Brazilian representation at the Venice Biennale, Italy (1993); U-ABC, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdã, Holland; and the 3rd Havana Biennial, Cuba (1989).

His works are part of collections such as the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York, USA, and Caracas, Venezuela; Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo, São Paulo; Museu de Arte de São Paulo, São Paulo; Art Museum of Rio, Rio de Janeiro; Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro; Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi, Niterói; Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz, Ribeirão Preto, e University Essex Museum, England.

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Founded in 1948, the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo is a civil society of public interest, nonprofit. Its collection has more than 5 thousand works produced by the most representative names of modern and contemporary art, mainly Brazilian. Both the collection and the exhibitions privilege experimentalism, opening up to the plurality of world artistic production and the diversity of interests of contemporary societies.

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Located in Ibirapuera Park, the most important green area in São Paulo, the MAM building was adapted by Lina Bo Bardi and has, beyond the exhibition halls, with studio, Library, Auditorium, restaurant and a shop where visitors find designer products, art books and a line of MAM-branded objects. The Museum spaces are visually integrated with the Sculpture Garden, designed by Roberto Burle Marx to house works from the collection. All facilities are accessible to visitors with special needs.


Emmanuel Nassar: Space bodywork
Opening: 02 April, Tuesday, at 19h
Exhibition period: 03 April to 01 September 2024
Local: Glass Room, Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo

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