The main building housing the Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation (FAAP) is featured by a new exhibition at our Brazilian Art Museum (MAB), with curatorial design developed by professors Maria Cristina Wolff de Carvalho and Francisco Barros to shed light on the work of Auguste Perret, a leading French architect from the first half of the 20th century.
Only one of Perret’s designs was ever built in Brazil, or possibly anywhere in Latin America, and it was precisely FAAP’s main building with architecture based on sketches made by Count Armando Alvares Penteado, its founder.
Hence this exhibition named "Opening archives: the architect Auguste Perret and his design for FAAP`s art museum", whichhighlights Perret’s important contribution to modern architecture in letters, books, magazines, sketches, plants, images, and other documents showing how the building materialized and particularly how it won recognition for its panel of stained glass of pieces by artists such as Lasar Segall, Candido Portinari, Tarsila do Amaral and Tomie Ohtake.
The MAB-FAAP exhibit is part of an extensive range of rediscovery and appreciation the work of the architect and Frères Perret, the architectural firm he headed with his brothers Gustave and Claude.
Following architecture’s revisionist tendency on the international level, Perret's production has been recognized and celebrated in exhibits and publications as well as programs preserving, restoring and rehabilitating French cities such as Le Havre, which was rebuilt to Frères Perret designs after being destroyed by carpet bombing during World War II. Le Havre was placed on Unesco’s human heritage list and the city now attracts tourist business that drives its art, culture and regional economy.
The story of FAAP's main building harks back to 1938, when Count Armando Alvares Penteado made a will providing for a new art school and picture gallery. When he died in 1947, his wife Annie Alvares Penteado took over the mission of founding the institution that would bear his name.
The count had left an outline for FAAP’s architectural design that was worked up to a preliminary sketch by Antoni Wincenty Dygat (1886-1949), a Franco-Polish architect based in Brazil. Annie Alvarez forwarded this study to Auguste Perret in 1947 and by 1949 the commission for a definitive design had been awarded to the Frères Perret office headed by Auguste (1874-1954), Gustave (1876-1952) and Claude (1880-1960).
The Perret brothers did significant work in many fields of activity ranging from architectural theory to innovative building processes.
Our exhibition revisits Perret’s architecture, for so long stigmatized for its clearly classical aesthetics and ties to historicism that were viewed with suspicion since he eschewed the most widely accepted aspects of modernism.