Sérgio Martins

  • picks October 28, 2013

    Ione Saldanha

    There are at least a few reasons why the late Brazilian painter Ione Saldanha remains a relatively obscure artist to this day. Aside from gesturing toward her friendship with the artist couple Árpád Szenes and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, and toward the clear formal affinity between her work and that of the São Paulo-based Italian émigré painter Alfredo Volpi, a hero of the Concretist generation, it is hard to pinpoint Saldanha’s place in the fragmentary history of Brazilian art. While her work clearly partook in the abstract and geometric works that marked the Brazilian artistic scene in late

  • “Maria Martins: Metamorphoses”

    Despite being one of the most internationally successful Brazilian artists of the first half of the twentieth century, Maria Martins was not as warmly received in her home country as she was overseas. This is due in large part to her affiliation with Surrealism, a movement whose prestige waned in the postwar years as abstraction and Constructivist tendencies came to dominate the Brazilian avant-garde debate. Today, it is often the eroticism or putative exoticism of her work that garners attention—associations only reinforced by her role as the model for the figure

  • Fernanda Gomes

    It may be surprising to learn that Fernanda Gomes’s career began in the late 1980s, when in Brazil, as elsewhere, the artistic scene was dominated by neo-expressionist painting. Some of her objects may be handmade, and even handpainted, but there is nothing demonstrative about them. Instead of flaunting an ostensive physicality, they evoke intimacy—a line of white cotton thread patiently wrapped around two tiny nails—and draw one’s attention to the prolonged and delicate processes both of their making and of their placement alongside each other. One is reminded of Susan Stewart’s

  • Jac Leirner

    For those accustomed to seeing Jac Leirner’s choice of materials as inspired by the universe of circulation and consumption—examples include banknotes, cigarette packs, plastic bags, airplane ashtrays, business cards, and so on—her latest exhibition at Galeria Fortes Vilaça probably came as a surprise. “Hardware Seda – Hardware Silk” consisted mostly of construction tools and utensils, in particular objects used in the making and installing of artworks. Yet this opposition between consumption and production is far from straightforward. Part of a series begun during a residency at the

  • Gisele Camargo

    Given that Gisele Camargo’s career began in the context of 1990s Rio de Janeiro, her urban typology—for example, deadpan painterly fragments of window views or rear facades—is both characteristic of the renewed attention devoted to the city by artists of her generation, such as Ronald Duarte, Alexandre Vogler, and Romano, and strikingly at odds with the widespread presumption that the medium of painting cannot address the urgent contradictions of life in Rio. But while the practice of urban intervention eventually crystallized into yet another artistic orthodoxy, the distance that