Arnaldo de Melo lives and works in São Paulo. 

Artist, he attended the Hochschule der Künste Berlin (now Universität der Künste) with DAAD scholarship, focusing his studies on painting under the guidance of Karl-Horst Hödicke (1987-1990). Before (1984-1985), he lived and worked with painting in New York. From 1979 to 1994, he took part in group shows and held solo exhibitions in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasília and Berlin. 

From 1991 to 1994 he worked as a graphic designer at Instituto Itaú Cultural. In this area, since 1995, he made several graphic designs and covers for publications by Edusp, Ateliê Editorial, Hucitec and Annablume.

Between 1995 to 2005, he acted as art director for theater and performance. He has developed installations and graphic pieces for performances directed by Renato Cohen: Vitória sobre o Sol (1995), presented at the Centro Cultural São Paulo (Estímulo Prize from the State Secretariat of Culture); Máquina futurista (1996), Itaú Cultural (integrating Arte and Tecnologia event) and Ka (1998), at Museu da Cidade, Campinas (with graduates from the Unicamp Institute of Arts). In 2005 he was art director of Comendador Peçanha of the Zaum Group, a performance presented at the Mário de Andrade Library, co-directed by Cássio Santiago, Elisa Band and Cristine Perón.

He completed the architecture course at Escola da Cidade, in São Paulo (2006). Then, he took a postgraduate course at FAU/USP, in History and Foundations of Architecture and Urbanism. In 2014 he presented his thesis Cidade&Saúde [City&Health], which recaptures the history of modern urbanism to the present day, highlighting the critical analysis of the Nova Luz project of the city of São Paulo. Between 2007 and 2013 he participated in the research group Da Sociedade Moderna à Pós-Moderna [From Modern to Postmodern Society] (CNPq-FAU/USP).

Between 2007 and 2014 he engaged in the habitation condition movements of São Paulo, later extending his role as architect-activist to other social actions. In September 2014 he participated in the symposium Direito à cidade [Right to the City] at the 31st São Paulo Biennial.

In 2014 he returned to painting practice and held a series of installations after completing his doctorate and his participation in the exhibition A arte que permanence – Coleção Chagas Freitas [The art that remains – Chagas Freitas’ Collection], curated by Tereza de Arruda. The following year, he was awarded the ProAC Prize by the State Government of São Paulo with the Círculos urbanos [Urban circles] project, gathering the working period as a resident artist of Phosphorus, followed by an exhibition held in 2016 curated by Nelson Brissac. In the same year he joined the artists represented by Sé gallery, in São Paulo, where in 2017 he held the exhibition West-Berlin 1987-1990, curated by Tereza de Arruda, who also writed the text for the catalog.

Selection of exhibitions

solo exhibitions


  • West-Berlin 1987-1990: works on paper, Sé gallery, São Paulo, 2017

  • Círculos urbanos [Urban Circles], Phosphorus, São Paulo, 2016.

  • Palácio das Artes, Belo Horizonte, 1994

  • Centro Cultural São Paulo, Fundação Bienal, São Paulo, 1992

  • Museu de Arte Contemporânea – MAC/USP, São Paulo, 1992

  • Galerie Roepke, Berlin, 1990



group exhibitions


  • Sé, São Paulo, 2017

  • Arte que permanece – Coleção Chagas Freitas [Art that Remains – Chagas Freitas Collection], Museu Nacional dos Correios, Brasília and Centro Cultural dos Correios, Rio de Janeiro, 2014

  • Selecionados do Centro Cultural São Paulo [Selected from São Paulo Cultural Center], MASP, São Paulo, 1991

  • 18. Freie Berliner Kunstaus-stellung, Messehallen am Funkturm, Berlin, 1988

  • Salão Nacional de Arte [National Art Salon], FUNARTE, Rio de Janeiro, 1980

  • Salão de Arte do Centro-Oeste [Art Salon of the Center-West], FUNARTE, Brasília, 1979

arnaldo de melo studio

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