Adriano Pedrosa

  • Nasreen Mohamedi, untitled, ca. 1975, ink and graphite on graph paper, 7 1/2 x 7 1/2".

    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

  • View of “Cinthia Marcelle,” 2013. From left: Temporário, 2013; Temporário, 2013; Temporário, 2011; Temporário, 2013.

    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, Tecelar, 1957–58, woodcut, 8 x 13 1/2".

    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, Untitled 3 WAM (World Agriculture Museum) (detail), 2010, mixed-media. Installation view.

    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, Antropofagia, 1929, oil on canvas, 49 5/8 x 55 7/8".


    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

  • Jorge Guinle, Nos confins da cidade muda [do Man Ray], (At the frontier of the mute city [after Man Ray]), 1982.
    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,