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Art to Pore Over: Andrea and José Olympio Pereira Display Their Collection in a Coffee Warehouse in Brazil

Andrea and José Olympio Pereira’s Galpão de Lapa in São Paulo.

COURTESY GALPÃO DA LAPA

Over the past 15 years, José Olympio Pereira, the CEO of Credit Suisse in Brazil, and his wife Andrea have amassed a collection of more than 2,000 works with a focus on contemporary art from their home country. The works have been divided between their different homes and the offices of Credit Suisse—but recently, 250 of them have found their way to a new space in São Paulo’s Lapa neighborhood, formerly a factory and warehouse district that is quickly becoming residential.

“Like any collector, you run out of space,” José Olympia said of the recently opened Galpão de Lapa (translation: Lapa Warehouse) in a former coffee storage facility dating back to the 19th century. Serving as a home for part of the collection and open twice a month by appointment, the new space follows two projects that have kept the Pereiras active of late: First, they purchased a 4,300-square-foot apartment in downtown that had belonged to the late art dealer Marcantonio Vilaça, who died suddenly in 2000 at the age of 38. Then, two years ago, their collection served as the subject of an exhibition at São Paulo’s Instituto Tomie Ohtake curated by Robert Storr and Paulo Miyada.

For the first display in Galpão de Lapa, the Pereiras invited Miyada to once again select works from the collection, about 80 percent of which was produced by living artists. Among them are Afonso Tostes’s wood sculptures, Solange Pessoa’s moss-and-bronze works, a wall installation by Nicolas Robbio, and some 15 works by Waltercio Caldas, a favorite of theirs who is one of the artist-curators for this fall’s Bienal de São Paulo.

“What I like about it is not only the ability to see the works we love but also to give people access to artists we like,” José Olympio said of a show he hopes will be a must-see stop during the biennial. “People ask, ‘What’s the purpose of your collection?’ It’s to give pleasure.”

A version of this story originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of ARTnews on page 80 under the title “Art to Pore Over.”

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