Katia Canton

  • Leda Catunda

    Leda Catunda’s retrospective exhibition at Estação Pinacoteca, with seventy-three works dating from 1983 to 2008, coincided with the premiere of a new installation at Galeria Fortes Vilaça. Emerging in the 1980s, Catunda participated in the return to painting and personal expression after a decade of experimental procedures linked to Conceptual art and institutional critique—but in a distinctive manner, painting on fabrics such as towels, sheets, clothing, plastics, and leather, often incorporating ready-made prints into the finished paintings as active parts of a commentary on domesticity.

  • Fernanda Chieco

    Fernanda Chieco, a graduate of the University of São Paulo and Goldsmiths’ College in London, is among the most promising of Brazil’s new generation of artists. Her works are bizarre narratives of the body, strange stories that seem to echo the absurdity of human life. While her first pieces were sculptural objects, suggesting bodies whose openings were connected by tubes, conduits, and passages, soon her work with objects gave way to drawing, a medium in which, in her view, everything is possible. Her first large-scale drawing was Tabula Prima, 2003, an enormous piece more than twenty-six feet

  • Geórgia Kyriakakis

    At the seashore, one can see waves break powerfully and turn into foam, at once vigorous, effervescent, and fragile, taking shape only to quickly disintegrate Geórgia Kyriakakis, curiously, associates the shapes formed by such foam with those of countries and continents on maps, outlines meant to trace an identity that in reality is never fixed. “Maps are reference,” the artist told me, “but geography itself is never static.”

    Armed with this insight, Kyriakakis began to draw the different continents of the world in white crayon on black paper, composing their forms as if they were made of foam.

  • Renata Pedrosa

    Two subjects have become conceptual pillars of the work of São Paulo–based artist Renata Pedrosa: the precariousness of life in large cities and the inexhaustible voracity for images. These topics acquired a more defined profile in 2001, when Pedrosa was commissioned by the cultural center of the Bank of Brazil to create a work of art adjacent to its historic building in downtown São Paulo. The artist constructed an undulating sculpture of Cor-Ten steel to function as a resting place for the bustling population that circulates daily in that highly concentrated urban area. After its inauguration,

  • Regina Silveira

    Regina Silveira transformed Galeria Brito Cimino into a strange temple. Silveira, one of the most respected figures in contemporary Brazilian art, did not exhibit a group of discrete works but instead opted for a unique installation built on the concept of plagues, from the biblical to the contemporary. In the various rooms and passageways of the gallery, the viewer encountered striking images composed of various elements: embroidered carpets, painted porcelain, furniture covered with decals suggesting gigantic shadows, and even niches where one could hear sounds of insects of various species.

  • Emanuel Nassar

    Emanuel Nassar grew up in Belém, capital of the state of Pará in the north of Brazil, part of the Amazon region, and he continues to live there as well as in São Paulo. Celebrated as one of the major figures in contemporary Brazilian art, Nassar consistently demonstrates in his work a tension between his place in the panorama of international art and his relationship to the land of his birth, for it is from the day-to-day of local life that he draws elements that comprise the raw materials of his works.

    Nassar is inspired by the small city of Icoaraci, near Belém, including its markets of fish

  • Albano Afonso

    Albano Afonso is one of the more interesting artists who emerged on the Brazilian scene in the early ’90s. In place of the preoccupation with the new or the original that stamped previous generations, these artists cultivated a sense of dialogue with art history, of critical inclusion within a tradition. In his work until now Afonso has constructed this dialogue in a clear manner by making art history his raw material, with photography as the physical support. A large part of his production has involved the layering of photographs of images from books—reference works on the history of art. These

  • Leda Catunda

    Leda Catunda is one of the key figures of geração oitenta, the generation of artists that emerged in Brazil at the start of the ’80s. In contrast to the Brazilian Concretist tradition, which sought synthesis and rationality through geometrically constructed abstractions, Catunda and her colleagues produced works that reconnected with daily life—with its humble narratives, its organic forms, and its ironies. Catunda painted on cloth, saturating it with paint, applying other materials to it, and producing exuberant pictorial tapestries depicting animals, objects, and landscapes. In the ’90s

  • Adriana Varejão

    Although Adriana Varejão is best known as a painter, in her new work she has turned to photography. Alegria (Joy), 1999, consists of a series of light boxes—backlit panels with a stainless-steel finish—displaying pictures shot in a market in Taxco, Mexico. The work superimposes images of cuts of meat for sale there onto local scenes of everyday life: men playing cards, a woman working, children smiling. In one photo, the artist shows a little girl playfully sticking her finger in the mouth of a dead pig lying on a meat counter. Overlaid on the image is the phrase “Joy is the unrestricted acceptance

  • Beatriz Milhazes

    This exhibition of prints presented a lesser-known side of Rio de Janeiro-based painter Beatriz Milhazes. Since 1996, the artist has made several visits to Durham Press, in Pennsylvania, in order to produce screenprints. (It was at the invitation of Jean-Paul Russell, one of Andy Warhol’s printers, that Milhazes first began to experiment with serigraphy.) The result of those efforts, large-format works made between 1996 and 1998, were on show at Paço Imperial.

    One of the principal exponents of Brazil’s so-called ’80s Generation, Milhazes began, in the middle of that decade, working to develop a

  • José Rufino

    José Rufino, an artist from the northern Brazilian province of Paraiba, transforms personal memories into mythological narratives. For the past ten years, he has shown himself to be a skillful manipulator of symbols, turning his own life history into small, universal testaments to solitude, pain, love, and family ties. José Rufino is actually the name of the artist’s paternal grandfather; the grandson adopted it as part of his effort to penetrate the symbolic past of his family’s patriarch, who was the owner of a large sugar plantation.

    Rufino’s installations refer to his ancestry and to the

  • “Primera Bienal Iberoamericana de Lima”

    Biennials seem to be popping up everywhere, and now it’s Lima’s turn. The city recently chose to follow in the path taken by cities like Venice, São Paulo, Havana, Quenca, Istanbul, Johannesburg, and Kwangju. Last October, the Peruvian capital inaugurated the first Iberian-American biennial at the same time as the opening of the first Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The show’s organizers adopted the policy of showing the work of one artist per Iberian-American country (except in the case of Chile, which sent three artists, and Peru, which was represented by fifty chosen through a

  • Jac Leirner

    Jac Leirner’s new series, Nice to Meet You, 1997, formed entirely of business cards, is her most incisive and delicate work to date. The art of this thirty-five-year-old Brazilian typically involves the obsessive repetition of prosaic objects. Its effectiveness generally depends on the degree to which it dignifies and transforms mundane materials by liberating them from their links to a specific function. Nice to Meet You, for example, attributes a morphological significance to the business cards that Leirner gathers in a systematic, even ritualistic manner. After collecting them, she often

  • New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Venice, Turin, Paris, Cologne, Berlin, Stockholm, Liverpool, London, Brisbane

    MAKING MISCHIEF: DADA INVADES NEW YORK

    This fall, Dada finally gets its due as a stateside movement. Curated by Dada scholar Francis M. Naumann with staffer Beth Venn, the WHITNEY’s show will include Duchamp’s Bride Stripped Bare. . . , as well as more than 200 objects by American and European artists associated with the movement on this side of the Atlantic. Along with the usual suspects—Francis Picabia, Man Ray, and, lately, Florine Stettheimer—you’ll also get to see works like Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven’s Portrait of Marcel Duchamp (feathers and a champagne glass) and a partial