Oct 29, 2013


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Jul 22, 2013

Visione Artistica: The painting of Adriana Varejão and the Brazilian colonial heritage

Adriana Varejão is an important contemporary painter, born in 1964, in Rio de Janeiro, she is interested in art from an early age. However, she started working as an artist after attending free courses at the School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro, it was there that she came in contact with the "80 Generation", a group of artists who retook the painting. In 1985, she produced the series "Prehistoric" through which she received the Acquisition Award at the IX National Salon of Plastic Arts at Funarte in 1987, thus it she was inserted in the national art scene.

At the same time, motivated by her painting professor Charles Watson, the artist begins the practice of tai chi chuan with Chinese Master  Hsin Shan Hu, with that she is led to the study of  Chinese philosophy and ceramics, especially the Song period whose broken surface and chromatic tones surprises her,  she incorporated this reference in her "bronken" paintings in the late 1980s.

The year 1987 was when she came into contact with a key element of her work, the Baroque period through books about churches and a trip to Ouro Preto. Under this influence, she produced the series "Barrocos" which participates in the exhibition "New New" at the Gallery of Centro Empresarial Rio Botafogo and held her first solo show at the Contemporary Art Thomas Cohn also in Rio de Janeiro.

Her international fame occurs after the collective exhibition "U-ABC" at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon in 1989, as well as "Viva Viva Brazil" in Liljevalchs Konsthall in Stockholm in 1991.

  Adriana  initiates the series "Terra Incognita" and "Seas and Tiles" in 1991. The interest started in "Seas and Tiles", the tile comes a lot of the residence that she attended in Maceió in 1993 promoted by the Institute Goathe with Brazilian and German artists. She explores color, symbolic and inherent qualities of colonial tiles. This element fascinates the artist, for its drama and chromaticity, she uses as a backdrop and theme of her paintings covering a wide range of issues from it as the history of Brazil and Art, the planarity of painting, etc..

The history of tile dates back to the origins of our own civilization, and can be outlined based on the courses and developments of the tiles, a short history of the relationship between the cultures of East and West, Center and Periphery over the centuries : from Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia and Babylon, Islam, Europe, and finally their colonies. On the European continent will be in Portugal, since the fifteenth century, the art of tiles find their development more full and rich. From there was exported, merchandise and later in artisanal and industrial process for our country.

Interestingly, in Portuguese, the word tile, etymologically of Arab origin, contrary to what may seem, give rise to the name of their own color blue as we know it today.

Imbued with this story of tiles, from 1995, Adriana starts working the pictorial issue  and physicality of painting and tile work harder in the series "Academic" and "Languages ​​and Cortes." The tiles would be approached differently in the series "Saunas and Baths" starting in 2001.

"My function is to put questions to my job, move him to new questions, and I do this by placing elements that interact with each other, trying to make the work shall be the most comprehensive possible. Analyzing my work in a time range, it seems to me they are completely different, but when you trace the journey, there is consistency and the conversation between them. I am surprised by this fact and the amount of elements that comprise the work, which in turn, lead paint to extremes, putting itself to the test. " Adriana Varejão.

The gallery "Adriana Varejão" in Inhotim Institute in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais was inaugurated in 2009. The project is by Rodrigo Lopez Cerviño TACOA Architects, the architecture combines with the paintings and sculptures of the artist in a building as contemporary as  the works incorporated on it.

"My work operates with rationality and visceral, predictability and voluptuousness, fundamentally, therefore, with the overlay of opposites." In death, the fullness of matter, "says Walter Benjamin in "The Origin of the drama of German Baroque". Maybe I operate the corporeality through matter represented in the wound in the flesh "Adriana Varejão said in an interview with Felipe Scovino.

In 2009, she began the series "Dishes " inspired from the work of the Portuguese ceramist Bordallo Pinheiro (1846-1905). In the same year, she published the book "Adriana Varejão: Between Meat and Seas" organized by Isabel Diegues, was through this book that I became interested in her work and learned behind the poetic of her paintings.


The artist has held major exhibitions in Brazil and abroad as her last retrospective, "Stories on the Margins" at the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo and of Rio de Janeiro in late 2012 and early 2013 respectively.

She recently won the Mário Pedrosa Prize of the Association of Art Critics (ABCA) in category Artist of Contemporary Language. She lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, RJ.

Jul 14, 2013

Exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in July

July is vacation month for most of the world, nothing better to enjoy this winter months (summer at the northern hemisphere) to enjoy Brazilian and foreign art works that are in amazing exhibition in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. This month several exhibitions with a religious content are happening due to Worldwide Youth Journey which takes place later this month in Rio de Janeiro.

"The heritage of the sacred: masterpieces from the Vatican and Italian museums" occupies almost the entire expository first floor of the  National Museum of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro. Divided into four modules, the exhibition curated by Giovanni Morello is composed of more than one hundred masterpieces from the collection of the Vatican Museums and the main Italian institutions like Museo del Palazzo Venezia, the Galleria Borghese, Musei Capitolini (Rome), the Museo di Capodimonte (Naples), Galleria Nazionale delle Marche (Urbino) and the Galleria Palatina (Florence), and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the Fabbrica di San Pietro. The episodes from the life of Christ, the apostles, the Virgin Mary and the saints are the themes that separate sections. Highlights of the exhibition: "Salvator Mundi" from Leonardo Da Vinci (above), the many works by Guercino, the plaster copy of Michelangelo's Pieta, two paintings attributed to Caravaggio and "St. James pilgrim" by Titian.

The  Cultural Centre Bank of Brazil of São Paulo  also receives an exhibition of Italian artists in the exhibition "Masters of the Renaissance - Italian Masterpieces" over fifty masterpieces from important Italian collections, public and private works of Raphael, Titian, Sandro Botticelli, Lorenzo Lotto, Andrea Mantegna, Perugino, Tintoretto, Giovanni Bellini, Fra Bartolomeo, Ghirlandaio, Donatello, Dosso Dossi, Michelangelo Buonarroti, among others. Highlight for "Leda and the Swan" by Leonardo Da Vinci and "Benedicente Christ" by Raphael.
The CCBB Rio receives "Crucifixus Crux Crucis - The symbolic universe of the cross" and an exhibition of films by Quentin Tarantino.

 The Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro is with the impressive exhibition "South America, the pop art of contradictions" with works by Argentine and Brazilian artists that produced during the dictatorships of both countries. Artists I discussed in my last visione as Carlos Zilio, Lygia Pape, Cildo Meireles and Helio Oitica are present in the exhibition that happens by coincidence with our political situation,  it was scheduled long ago and the choice of dates had nothing to do with the current events but also provides many reflections on the future of the country. 


The Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo performs one of the largest exhibitions of Brazilian sculptress Maria Martins in "Maria Martins: metamorphoses" and shows the entire trajectory of the artist in 5 sections of the show: Tropics, Lianas, Goddesses and Monsters, Songs and Skeletons. Maria exhibited worldwide during modernism, André Breton, a prominent leader of surrealism said about her work: "Maria has captured so wonderfully in her primitive source not only the anguish, the temptation, the fever, but also the dawn, calm happiness and even sometimes the pure delight "

The display  "Lucian Freud:  Bodies and Faces" at the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP)  brings to Brazil for the first time one of the leading artists of the postwar period, focuses on his graphic production that features two striking periods in his career as printmaker: the first one in 1940, when a young man made ​​a small number of experimental and engravings, after a long interval, a second time from the 1980s, when he created a series of extraordinary works by using the technique of etching. These more recent works include a wide selection of nudes and portraits and have been described as "an achievement parallel to his paintings." The exhibition also brings to the public six paintings: a self-portrait of his early career and five paintings from different decades, including "Girl with Roses" in 1947-48. Besides the 28 photos taken by David Dawson, his assistant, friend and official photographer that only recording the movements of the artist and their models in the studio, customarily served himself as a model for Lucian Freud.

The relationship between Brazil and Portugal is based on a lot of mutual ignorance, in order to reflect and question this reality, the curators Felipe Scovino and Jorge Espinho take to the Caixa Cultural in Rio de Janeiro,  the exhibition ""Visions of Exile" separated into four parts: dream Travel, Meeting and Exile. Gather works of Portuguese artists: Adelina Lopes, Jorge Molder, Isaac Pinheiro, Tatiana Macedo, John Ferro Martins, Rui Bastos Walk, Julian Sarmento, Mauro Cerqueira, Nuno Sousa Vieira, Joana Bastos and Andrew Cepeda.

The curator and art critic Marcelo Campos chose paintings by Bruno Drolshagen Camila Soato, Irene Grau and Rodrigo Martins to compose the show "Vain Idolatry" at the Laura Marsaj Gallery in Ipanema. Among the features in common, are the estrangement on the landscape and reflection about the totemic and iconographic aspect of painting.

The Olido Gallery in downtown São Paulo hosts the exhibition "Partials of Pina Bausch" composed of photographs of Paulo César Lima clicked during the passage of the dancer by Brazil. Pina Bausch is one of the most celebrated names in ballet, died in 2009, she was honored by Wim Wenders  in 2012 in the amazing film "Pina".

To close this circuit, I invite everyone to visit Casa Daros  in Rio de Janeiro, beyond the exhibition "Cantos Cuentos Colombianos"  of contemporary emblematic Colombian artists as Doris Salcedo, Fernando Arias, José Alejandro Restrepo, Juan Manuel Echavarria, Miguel Ángel Rojas, Nadin Ospina, Oscar Muñoz, Oswaldo Macia and Rosemberg Sandoval;  occurs in the same location the show " To (know) listen" curated by Eugenio Valdés Figueroa, director of art and education of Casa Daros, presents an outline of the activities and programs developed by the institution since 2007, while the building was being restored. The public sees for the first time, works as "Our Lady of Grace" by Vik Muniz, the video-performance "The voice is a shadow?" of Teresa Serrano and Lenora de Barros, created for the program "Meridians"; unique sculpture "Untitled" by Iole de Freitas.


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