Tunga, Untitled, 2011, ink on paper, 29 7⁄8 × 20". From the series “La voie humide,” 2011–16.


Museu de Arte do Rio

There is a stark contrast between this exhibition, “O rigor da distração” (The Rigor of Distraction), and the first retrospective after Tunga’s death in 2016, “O corpo em obras” (The Body in Works) , held earlier this year at the São Paulo Museum of Art. While the earlier show presented a conventional display organized around discrete sculptural works, the show in Rio de Janeiro, curated by Luisa Duarte and Evandro Salles, focuses on drawing and presents it as a generative force rather than a stable medium. Given the protean nature of Tunga’s oeuvre, with its plethora of materials, multiple media, and elliptical narratives forming an elusive but palpable cohesiveness, this is a productive emphasis that clarifies his work’s trajectory.

One way of making sense of the show, and of Tunga’s investment in drawing, is to track linearity itself as it becomes polymorphous. O perverso, 1974, for

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