São Paulo

São Paulo

Walter Smetak

Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM)
Av. Pedro Alvares Cabral, s/nº – Parque Ibirapuera
September 25, 2008–January 15, 2009

Curated by Arto Lindsay and Jasmin Pinho

Although barely known outside Brazil, Walter Smetak (1913–1984) was a pioneer in the long-neglected terrain where visual art and music meet. Trained in Zurich, Salzburg, and Vienna (where he studied with Anton Webern), the Swiss composer, instrument maker, cellist, and writer emigrated in 1937 to Brazil, where he became a crucial influence on the country’s young musicians, including the Tropicalists Gilberto Gil and Tom Zé. This full-career survey, initiated by the Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, presents a hundred of Smetak’s works, including approximately thirty of his trademark plásticas sonoras—sculpture-instruments, made from local materials—as well as two audio installations and a radio broadcast. The accompanying catalogue includes texts by Gil, Augusto de Campos, Paulo Dorado, and Antônio Riserio.