Sônia Salzstein is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at The Universidade de São Paulo. She has written extensively on Brazilian modern and contemporary art, including comprehensive essays on such artists as Antonio Dias, Iole de Freitas, Mira Schendel and Waltercio Caldas, as well as on cultural issues connected with modernisation in peripheral contexts, a key theme in her doctoral dissertation presented in 2001 at the Department of Philosophy of The Universidade de São Paulo.
She worked for more than 15 years in cultural public institutions in Brazil, and founded the Secretary of Cultural Affairs of the State of São Paulo, between the years 1989 and 1992, an experimental space dedicated mainly to the work of young artists. She curated several projects in contemporary art, involving publications and theoretical art courses and workshops, as well as exhibitions and the installation of works in urban sites.
She published, amongst others, several studies focusing on Brazilian Modernism, and books on the modernist painter Alfredo Volpi (Rio de Janeiro: Silvia/Roesler/Campos Gerais, 2000), on Franz Weissman (São Paulo: CosacNaify, 2001), a sculptor belonging to the carioca Neo-Concrete movement, on Mira Schendel (São Paulo: Galeria de Arte do Sesi/Marca D’Água, 1997), and on Iberê Camargo (São Paulo: CosacNaify, 2003). She belongs to the board of curators of The Museu Iberê Camargo, in the city of Porto Alegre and to the Council of Directors of The Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros of the Universidade de São Paulo.