Adriano Pedrosa

  • Tarsila do Amaral, Abaporu, 1928.
    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

  • Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez Peña, Undiscovered Amerindians, 1992-93.
    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

  • Untitled, 2002.
    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

  • “Brazil: Body and Soul.” Installation view.

    “Brazil: Body and Soul”

    “Brazil: Body and Soul” is among the most expensive and polemical museum exhibitions in recent memory, and its genesis is worth considering. The extravaganza is a refinement of “Mostra do redescobrimento” (Rediscovery exhibition), which in 2000 celebrated the five-hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil. Installed in three sprawling Oscar Niemeyer buildings at Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo and accompanied by thirteen exhibition catalogues, this encyclopedic overview gathered half a millennium of Brazilian culture—from archaeological finds to contemporary art—and drew

  • Daniel Senise

    It’s tough to be a painter these days, let alone one who has reached midcareer having emerged and won acclaim in the days when painting was the privileged medium—the ’80s. Now, with the emphasis on video, photography, and interactive work, more than one young curator has bluntly told me, “I’m not interested in painting.” A bit out of fashion, the medium seems not so much dead as ignored, which poses a serious challenge to its contemporary practitioners. While some have moved on to more up-to-the-minute technologies, others, committed to the oldest art, are attempting to push their work

  • Jarbas Lopes, Um quarto para José Pedro (A room for José Pedro), 2001.

    Panorama da Arte Brasileira

    You might call “Panorama da Arte Brasileira” the Brazilian version of the Whitney Biennial. For those seeking a heads-up on yet-to-be internationally acclaimed Brazilian artists, this every-other-year roundup may prove a unique opportunity. The task of organizing “Panorama,” which includes around forty artists, has typically fallen to the Museu de Arte Moderna director, but this time out Ivo Mesquita has turned the reins over to a team, inviting Curitiba-based curator Paulo Reis, Rio de Janeiro–based artist Ricardo Basbaum, and MAM’s own Ricardo Resende to try their hands.

  • Ernesto Neto

    THE CROSSOVER BETWEEN ART AND LIFE has been a defining feature of much of the art from Rio de Janeiro that has gained international attention in the last few years. The Neo-concrete art of Lydia Clark and Hélio Oiticica in the '50s and '60s explored encounters between geometric abstraction on the one hand and the body and daily life on the other. Since then, artists here (among them Artur Barrio, Cildo Meireles, and Tunga) have connected art and reality, thematically and conceptually, in different ways—through politics, the everyday, and the body.

    Ernesto Neto's work is very much part of

  • Waltercio Caldas, Vidro e Álcool (Glass and Alcohol), 1994, 50 x 36 x 27 cm.

    Waltercio Caldas 1985-2000

    Rio-based Waltercio Caldas has yet to gain the international recognition enjoyed by a number of Brazilian artists of his generation, such as Tunga and Cildo Meireles. Curated by Lígia Canongia, this fifty-work retrospective covering the latter half of Caldas’s career provides a broad panorama of the severe yet playful post-Conceptualism that sets him apart from the body-based practices of artists ranging from Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica to Ernesto Neto. With essays by ten Brazilian critics as well as excerpts from Caldas’s own writings, the catalogue offers a first monographic look at his

  • Iran do Espírito Santo

    Despite its slick minimalist look, and in contrast to much of the contemporary Brazilian art you may have seen, Iran do Espírito Santo’s work addresses art’s most time-honored task: representation. This exhibition offered a comprehensive look at the Sao Paulo-based artist’s recent production. It included three sculptures belonging to a series of solid stainless-steel casts of ordinary objects: Ovni (UFO), 2000, two dinner plates put together, one on top of the other; Fluorescente (Fluorescent), 2000, a fluorescent lightbulb; and Castiçal e vela (Candlestick and candle), 1998, a candlestick