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Martin Grossmann

Brief Curriculum Vitae and links to on-line articles and other related sites

portuguese version


Martin Grossmann is Full Professor of the School of Communication and Arts of University of São Paulo (USP) since 2006.  He is also a culturator, a specialist in studies and poetics of culture. His academic and cultural trajectory in this university started in 1985.  He is the creator (in partnership with Joachim Bernauer) and coordinator of Fórum Permanente, a platform specialised in analysing and discussing the relationship between contemporary art & culture and their spaces of social reception and interface, such as museums, cultural centres, artists run centres, etc.

Currently he is the academic coordinator of USP's Art & Culture Chair established at the Institute for Advanced Studies - IEA, in 2015. From 2012 to 2016, Martin Grossmann was the director of the Institute of Advanced Studies at USP. Before these positions he was the director of Centro Cultural São Paulo from 2006 to 2010 and deputy director of USP’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) from 1998 to 2002. In this museum he was also responsible for the design and development of its education department (1985-87).

He holds a degree in Fine Arts from Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP), a Master’s from USP’s School of Communication and Arts, and a PhD from the University of Liverpool at its School of Architecture.

Since 1985 Martin Grossmann has been conducting research on the relationship between contemporary art & culture and the corresponded institutions. Grossmann’s research discusses the transition of material culture to a culture in virtuality; the relationship between contemporary art & culture, its agents and institutions; the processes of artistic and cultural mediation and the development and maintenance of information and operating systems for art and culture. The Fórum Permanente e.g. focuses on the circulation of art through cultural apparatus and urban environments. Its main goal is to strengthen the empowerment of the public and to facilitate open access to the important concepts which have risen throughout art’s & culture's history up to the present, fostering a dialogue between the general public and specialists. This platform for cultural action and mediation operates both virtually and physically, nationally and internationally, at different levels of the contemporary art & culture system. It also aims at the creation and consolidation of a critical observatory of creative and artistic productions in culture as well as of the public policies in this area thus contributing to the maturing of the political-cultural context of visual arts in Brazil.

Grossmann’s latest research interests concern the role of museums in the shaping of contemporary culture and the museum as a paradox (i.e. his PhD focused on the museum as a paradigm). Recently and currently, he is doing research on these topics as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Birmingham (December 2015 to July 2016), Visiting Fellow of the Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung of Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany (September 2016 to January 2017) and Associate Member of the same Cluster from January 2017 to December 2018.  From September 2019, he is also an Associate Member of another Cluster of Excellence: Matters of Activity. From September 1st to October 31st, as Visiting Researcher of WIAS-Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, he will be developing his research on Art Museums in Japan. The main aim with these research-based immersions is to publish a book that has as working title: The Stranger's Guide to the Museum Galaxy; whose storyboard was presented in Perspektiven 15, A Conference on the Humboldt Forum, all about Museums, Media and People, in December 2015, Berlin, Germany.

From August 2016 to July 2018, Grossmann also acted as member of the São Paulo State Board of Education (CEE-SP), a normative, deliberative and advisory body of the public and private educational system of São Paulo. This board establishes rules for all schools of all networks - state, municipal and private - of kindergarten, elementary, high education and vocational education, whether face-to-face or distance learning. It is also the responsibility of the CEE-SP to guide public higher education institutions in the State, as well as to accredit their courses. This attribution has been given to it by the State Constitution and by the law that created it in 1963.

Grossmann is a member of the Museum Lasar Segall's Board since 2011 and of São Paulo's Museum of Modern Art, since July 2019. He is also member of the Scientific Board of CALAS - The Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, since November 2018 and of the Scientific Board of IdEA- UNICAMP's Institute for Advanced Studies, since December 2017.

    Has written many articles in specialized magazines and also essays in exhibitions catalogs (some of these articles are published in the web, see links below). Has also written chapters and introductions in books and co-organized two books (see some highlights below).

    He has also a radio programme at the USP's oficial radio (in portuguese):

    Resultado de imagem para radio usp na cultura o centro está em toda a parte (in culture the center is everywhere)


    Full Professor of the  School of Communication and Arts of the University of São Paulo/ ECA-USP. (as assistant professor in 1993 | as professor in 1996 | as associate professor in 2001 and as full professor in 2007)

    Main positions:


      In the  USP's School of Communication and Arts he has previously contributed as:

      • Research Coordinator of ECA's Multimedia Lab / NICA (from 1994 to 1996);
      • Head of the Department of Information and Culture (from May to August 2006 and March 2017 to March 2019);
      • Deputy Head of the Department of Information & Culture (from August 2011 to July 2013)


      Since 1985 has been researching the relationship between Contemporary Art and Art Institutions, in particular the Museum, be it of the Material Culture, be it those related to the Imaginary and Virtuality. Direct results of this research are the platforms: Museum of the (In)consequent Collective and Permanent Forum: Art Museums, between the public and private realms.

      The experiences in Cultural Management has always been supported by research and studies in Curatorship, Cultural Studies, Public Policies, Critical Cultural Mediation; Museum Studies, Criticism, Theory and History of Art and Architecture. The academic research developed since the start of my postgraduate studies in 1985 questions amidst other subjects: the transition from Material Culture to Culture in Virtuality, the relationship between contemporary art and its agents and institutions, the operational system of the Arts and its institutions, the processes of cultural and artistic mediation as well as the development and maintenance of Information Systems for Art and Culture.

      Member of the Scientific and Cultural Board of IdEA-Institute of Advanced Studies of UNICAMP-University of Campinas, Brazil (December 2017-current)

      Member of the Board of the Lasar Segall Museum (MLS-Museu Lasar Segall), São Paulo, SP, Brazil

      Member of the Board of São Paulo's Modern Art Museum - MAM (since June 2019)

      Member of CIMAM - ICOM International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art of the International Council of Museums

      Member of  IKT - International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art

      Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

      Main exhibitions: cubed, [ao cubo] Paço das Artes, March-April 1997 (in partnership with Luciana Brito); Brazil in the Art Century, [O Brasil no Século da Arte] April-August 1999, SESI's Art Gallery & MAC-USP; New Work, [Obra Nova] December 2000 to March 2001, MAC-USP; The Collection [A Coleção] (permanent exhibition of MAC's collection), 2001; Strategies for Entrancing , [estratégias para deslumbrar] March-June 2002, SESI's Art Gallery & MAC-USP; Claraluz, one women exhibition by Regina Silveira in the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil / CCBB in São Paulo March-April 2003; Au-delà du Copan; Beyond the Copan, Supernatural Urbanism, November 2005 (in partnership with Carlos Cardenas), École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts & Espace Paul Ricard; Paris, France; Other Objectivity: the São Paulo's Cultural Centre in through the eye's of the artists May-June 2007, Centro Cultural São Paulo; Black & White: Fernando Lemos, February-May 2008, Galeria Olido / Centro Cultural São Paulo   [obs.: exhibitions from 2000 to 2002, in partnership with Teixeira Coelho]. Coordinator of the exhibition Post Nature, nine dutch artists in the Tomie Ohtake Institute , March-April 2003.

      About Academia, an online interpretation, a project by Antoni Muntadas created in 2011 for the Carpenter Centre at Harvard University in Boston in the United States. For the first time it is presented in virtuality and in the Global South, after having passed through Vancouver, Sevilla, Granada, Amsterdam and Baltimore. The exhibition in Brazil and online, brings all its components (video-installations, books, round tables) in bilingual edition (Portuguese and Spanish), thanks to a partnership between the Forum Permanente, the Institute for Advanced Studies of USP and the Biblioteca Brasiliana Guita and José Mindlin (BBM) of USP, with the sponsorship of the Cultural Action Program (Proac) of the Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy of the State of São Paulo. The exhibition will be online from April 30 to December 30, 2021.

      Fine Art degree, FAAP (1983); MA Arts, School of Communication and Arts from the University of São Paulo/ ECA-USP (1987), PhD, School of Architecture, University of Liverpool, Great Britain(1988-93) and Associate Professor thesis in ECA-USP (2001).

      Assistant curator and mediator of the 16ª International Bienal of São Paulo (1983). Teaching Assistant in Art and Architecture History in the Fine Art Department of FAAP in São Paulo (1985-87). Teaching Assistant in Art and Architecture History and Tutor in Design of the School of Architecture, University of Liverpool (1990-93). Research Assistant in  the Institut of Art & Design of the University of Central England in Birmingham, Great Britain, developing a multimidia project (1992-93). Lecturer of the MA in Contemporary Art of the University of Liverpool in partnership with the Tate Gallery in Liverpool (1992-3).

      Has written many articles in specialized magazines and also essays in exhibitions catalogs (some of these articles are published in the web, see links below). Has also written chapters and introductions in books.

      Book Editor (with Gilberto Mariotti) of the Museum Art Today, Publisher: Hedra & Forum Permanente, 2011, 222 pages

      Book Editor (with Teixeira Coelho) of the MAC Collection, Publisher: Museu de Arte Contemporânea da USP, 2003, 432 pages

      citations, references and documents related to the Centro Cultural São Paulo's directorship period from July 2006 to May 2010

      • article by Maxine Kopsa Learnings from São Paulo, published in the Dutch Contemporary Art Magazine, Metropolis M N° 3 2009 June / July
      • Bocconi University (Milan, Italy) visit to the Centro Cultural São Paulo in March 2009: see report
      • remarks from Emily Ansenk on the Centro Cultural made after the visit to São Paulo of the group from the orientation trip  organised by Mondriaan Foundation and Prince Claus Foundation in March 2009
      • article The Cultural Centre of the City of São Paulo by Martin Grossmann regarding the conclusion of his mandate as General Director of the Centro Cultural São Paulo in May 2010

      on-line texts

      other links

      • Talk to students of the Instituto Europeo de Design in São Paulo presenting the Centro Cultural São Paulo
      • Site of the postgraduate course Urban Interventions thought by Antoni Muntadas, Ana Maria Tavares and Martin Grossmann(ECA-USP & SAP-MIT)
      • debate on anthropological and cultural issues of the work of Yochai Benkler "The Wealth of the Networks" // Advanced Studies Institute of the University of São Paulo (IEA-USP)
      • Round Table: Rio de Janeiro: Ideals of Modernity, Tate Modern, 3 April 2001 / This seminar looked at the culture of Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s, a decade which saw the beginnings of the Neoconcrete movement, Bossa Nova and Cinema Novo.
      • Site of the undergraduate course Introduction to Museum Studies (ECA/USP)
      • Site of the postgraduate discipline thought by Martin Grossmann and Ana Maria Tavares: the place, the function and the use of art (CAP-ECA/USP)


      Curriculum Lattes (complete academic curriculum in portuguese) at CNPq database:

      Snail Mail Address :

      Escola de Comunicações e Artes | Universidade de São Paulo

      Av. Prof. Lúcio Martins Rodrigues, 443 | Cidade Universitária

      05508-900  São Paulo  SP | Brasil

      tel.: +55 11 3091 4076 | +55 11 3091 3922 | e-mail: