PRINT April 2000


“SOMETIMES I SEE [AN ARTWORK] SO MOVING I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.” It was this kind of feeling (expressed by Nick Shay, one of the narrators of Don DeLillo’s Underworld) that I had when I first saw Sandra Cinto’s art, at the 1998 São Paulo Bienal, and it has stuck with me, as if some silent warning, through subsequent encounters with her work. Something about Cinto’s precisely executed, almost unbearably intimate drawings and installations feels perishable.

At the Bienal, in the superb section devoted to work by contemporary Brazilian artists, Cinto presented a simply framed photograph of a thin, pale forearm held against a pale flesh-colored background. Surrounded by bigger, bolder sculptures and installations and merging with the muted hue of the wall, the untitled 1998

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