Adriano Pedrosa

  • Nasreen Mohamedi

    These are exciting times in art history. A wealth of postwar artists who worked at the margins of Euro-America, beyond the Western canon, are being rediscovered, many now receiving their own monographic exhibitions in museums. A special place is being claimed for female artists—one may think of Lygia Pape from Brazil, Gego from Venezuela, and Saloua Raouda Choucair from Lebanon—and the work of the late Indian-Pakistani artist Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–1990) is equally ripe for reconsideration. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Mohamedi studied at Saint Martins School of Art in London and lived

  • Cinthia Marcelle

    Cinthia Marcelle is a young Brazilian artist who has gained international recognition in the past few years (she won the Future Generation Art Prize in 2010). If there are connections to be drawn between her work and that of her contemporaries, one can think of Renata Lucas and the way she plays with institutional and architectural settings. Marcelle’s attention is directed more to the object itself, although she also explores its contexts. In working with these objects, as well as photography, installation, video, and performance, Marcelle achieves a wide scope for experimentation, and at times

  • Lygia Pape

    Alongside Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape (1927–2004) is one of the major figures of Brazilian Neo-concretism.

    Alongside Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape (1927–2004) is one of the major figures of Brazilian Neo-concretism. Having set the tone for the Fifty-third Venice Biennale in 2009, the artist’s work is now featured in a major retrospective—the first in more than a decade, though again organized by a European institution. At the Reina Sofía, which under the directorship of Manuel J. Borja-Villel has gained a reputation for a severe program foregrounding experimental artistic and curatorial practices (and particularly their

  • Asunción Molinos Gordo

    Downtown Cairo is filled with decaying century-old early modern buildings, a testament to an era when the city aspired to be the Paris of the tropics, a desire shared by other municipalities from my own hometown, Rio de Janeiro, to Panama City. Abandoned by the city’s more affluent inhabitants, Cairo’s once impressive belle epoque and Art Deco buildings are today in a state of disintegration—modern ruins in the global periphery. Here, on the third floor of a building on Abdel Khaleq Tharwat Street not far from the now world-famous Tahrir Square, right below one of the city’s most important

  • Adriano Pedrosa

    CONTEMPORARY ART INSTITUTIONS perpetually run the risk of inadequately performing their fundamental task of exhibiting work that artists are currently producing—and so are doomed, in a sense, to become ossified and therefore outmoded in the face of newly emerging formats and processes favored by each new generation of artists with access to unprecedented technologies of production and installation. Although drawings and paintings everywhere fit into white cubes, some other artworks require conditions that traditional institutions are rarely able to offer. Some exhibition spaces have fostered or


    FOR GABRIEL SIERRA, function follows form: In an inversion of the old modernist dictum, his objects seem as if they are useful, but just what for is often ambiguous. Indeed, the artist studied industrial design in Bogotá, Colombia, and this technical background has been progressively twisted, cloaked, and extended in his work. In Hang It All, 2006, a wall-mounted metal structure produced in three sizes supports an array of lemons, pears, apples, and the like, each piece of fruit stuck onto a prong. The reference is immediate—Charles and Ray Eames’s famous 1953 “Hang It All” coatrack, a modernist

  • Tarsila

    Born into a rich family, Tarsila traveled extensively in South America, the Middle East, and Europe. In Paris, she encountered Cubism and Art Deco, and soon developed her own style of modernist art incorporating native motifs—Brazilian peasants, workers, black women, and landscapes.

    Tarsila do Amaral (1886–1973), known simply as Tarsila, was a central figure of Brazilian modernism; her husband, Oswald de Andrade, authored the famous 1928 Anthropophagite Manifesto. Born into a rich family, she traveled extensively in South America, the Middle East, and Europe. In Paris, she encountered Cubism and Art Deco, and soon developed her own style of modernist art incorporating native motifs—Brazilian peasants, workers, black women, and landscapes. This show, titled “Tarsila Viajante” (Tarsila Traveler), features approximately forty of the artist's

  • Nicolás Robbio

    Nicolás Robbio’s drawings—whether on paper or on other surfaces such as glass, wood, or walls—can be beautiful, delicate, intricate, or funny, but they are always smart. Seldom does one see such a sharp and fresh approach to an age-old medium, an investigation of formal qualities that isn’t primly formal. Robbio, who was born in Mar de Plata, Argentina, but is based in São Paulo, has been perfecting his craft and rendering it more and more complex as time goes on, and this exhibition, “Quase como Ontem” (Almost like Yesterday), was his most accomplished yet.

    A video, 1P, 2004–2007, was shown on

  • Héctor Zamora

    Many artists have turned to architecture to explore new possibilities for sculpture and installation art; one can trace this line back to Gordon Matta-Clark. Some of the most interesting of these artists have been those examining informal manifestations in construction and urbanism; many works have been inspired by the aesthetics of shantytowns, favelas, or slums. Here the historical predecessor is Hélio Oiticica. The third-world city, with its manifold, ungovernable flows, offers the richest and most perverse example of this sort of uncontrolled building; so it’s hardly surprising that artists

  • Járed Domício

    Centro Cultural São Paulo is the municipal cultural center of Brazil’s (and Latin America’s) richest city, a metropolis whose budget is the third largest in the country after those of the federal government and the state of São Paulo. In contrast to the sparkling Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, the state’s well-kept art museum, however, the CCSP is by no means an expression of Paulistano wealth. On the contrary, it enjoys very limited resources for its exhibitions. Its building is also far from efficient and seems like yet another example of those ambitiously commissioned government

  • Etnografía: Modo de Empleo

    According to the brochure for the exhibition, the intention of “Etnografía: Modo de Empleo—Arqueología, Bellas Artes, Etnografía y Variedades” (Ethnography: a user’s guide—archaeology, fine arts, ethnography and varieties) was to “examine the distinct ways in which art addresses its context, specifically through ethnography”—understood not so much as “representation” but rather as an “operation.” Julieta González, a young curator at the Museo de Bellas Artes, constructed a multi-layered exhibition from two conceptual references: Georges Bataille’s magazine Documents (1929–30), reprint volumes

  • picks January 30, 2003


    If radical political and experimental conceptualisms flourished in Brazil under the ’60s and ’70s military dictatorship (from Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, and Lygia Pape to Cildo Meireles, Tunga, Barrio, and Waltercio Caldas), the ’80s redemocratization witnessed the reemergence of painting (much like in Europe and the US) and was often paired here with a rather hedonistic self-proclaimed attitude of “liberation.” The new spirit had a reactionary program vis-à-vis the previous generation’s severity of content and form: “Pleasure” was largely expressed in vivid and expressionistic brushstrokes,

  • picks January 22, 2003

    Brasil, da Antropogafia a Brasília, 1920–50”

    With over six hundred pieces and over six hundred pages of exhibition catalogue, “Brazil, from Antropofagia to Brasília—1920–1950” is a tour de force covering four of the country’s richest cultural decades. Commissioned by the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM), in Valencia, Spain, chief curator and Modernismo scholar Jorge Schwartz invited five of his Universidade de São Paulo colleagues to join him as cocurators. After opening in Valencia in 2000, the exhibition has now finally reached home. The two-year delay gave the organizers the exceptional opportunity to revise and sharpen the

  • Rodrigo Andrade

    Rodrigo Andrade was part of Casa 7, the ’80s’ most celebrated group of young Paulistano painters. Their gloomy, large-scale, heavily impastoed paintings represented neo-expressionism’s peak here. Several of these five artists subsequently turned to sculpture; others kept painting (but with a more rarefied palette); yet none gave up the group’s earnest struggle with formal issues, in some ways reflecting a local tradition that goes back to Concretismo’s rigorous midcentury geometric abstraction, in contrast to the more fluid Neoconcretismo of Rio de Janeiro.

    Last year Andrade painted geometric

  • Cabelo

    Cabelo’s work first gained notoriety in 1996, when he took part in “Antarctica artes com a folha,” a landmark exhibition in São Paulo that introduced a new generation of Brazilian artists after that of Ernesto Neto, Adriana Varejão, and Rosângela Renno and which includes Rivane Neuenschwander, Marepe, Laura Lima, José Damasceno, Jarbas Lopes, and Sandra Cinto. In 1997, Cabelo (“hair” in Portuguese) took part in Documenta X, where he presented an intricate performance involving actors, an aquarium, and threads that connected the participants and were set on fire.

    The works shown here were part of

  • picks October 21, 2002

    “Ethnography: A User's Guide”

    According to its exhibition brochure, the intention of “Ethnography: A User's Guide,” is to “examine the distinct ways in which art addresses its context, specifically through ethnography”—understood not so much as “representation” but rather as an “operation.” Julieta González, a young curator at the Museo de Bellas Artes, has constructed a layered exhibition from two conceptual references: the magazine Documents, whose subtitle is appropriated for the exhibition's own, and individual volumes of which are on display; and an epigraph from Derrida's Archive Fever: “(...) Order is no longer

  • Jorge Macchi

    You couldn't think of a more deceptive title for this exhibition than “Fuegos de artificio” (Fireworks). There is nothing either spectacular or transient about these mostly white, gray, and black works that, even when not downright small, are rather discreet in character. Since the late '8os, Jorge Macchi has been making these cryptic works in diverse media. They're easily overlooked at art fairs or biennials, so it's not surprising that Macchi has not yet enjoyed great international success. A comprehensive view of his recent work, “Fireworks” showed it to be richer than many a more eye-catching

  • picks September 18, 2002

    Sandra Cinto

    Sandra Cinto's work articulates photography, sculpture, painting, drawing, and architecture into room-size installations. After four years of shows outside the country, the artist has finally come home to create one of her most accomplished works. Casa Triângulo's atmosphere of nostalgia and its location on the second floor of a unique old triangle-shaped house in downtown São Paulo play a crucial role in the reception of the work; Cinto brings these qualities to the surface in unexpected ways. All walls and works have been painted mint green. In the galleries we find vitrines, shelves of framed

  • picks August 15, 2002

    Marco Maggi

    Marco Maggi

    The information overload that characterizes the digital age is reflected in the ever-increasing production of art to accommodate an expanding circuit of international exhibitions and galleries. This phenomenon, however, has also generated a reaction in some contemporary art that invites us to slow down or offers an opportunity—visual or verbal—for reflection. It might be a losing battle, perhaps, but that should hardly prevent artists from making an effort. The new exhibition by Marco Maggi, titled “Micro and Macro,” is a fine contribution to this struggle. New York–based Uruguayan Maggi uses

  • picks March 08, 2002

    Jac Leirner

    Jac Leirner Retrospective

    Since the late ’80s, Jac Leirner has been incorporating a variety of worthless found objects—empty cigarette packages, plastic bags, business cards, stickers, airline gadgets—into her artworks. This survey of twenty-nine works, curated by Ligia Canongia, offers an exceptional opportunity to see how the São Paulo–based artist has built a highly consistent body of work using strategies of accumulation and collection without falling prey to repetition and rehash. Materials, strategies, and approaches remain consistent here, but individual works still possess their own unique character. They include