Articles

Ahead of World Cup, Brazilian Art Flourishes in NYC

by Laura C. Mallonee on May 13, 2014

Óculos (Goggles),1968, by Lygia Clark (Image via MoMA)

Óculos (Goggles),1968, by Lygia Clark (Image via MoMA)

There may never have been a better month to see Brazilian art in New York. Last weekend, Frieze brought a taste of São Paulo art galleries Casa Triângulo, Fortes Vilaça, Mendes Wood, Vermelho, and Jaqueline Martins, as well as Rio de Janeiro’s A Gentil Carioca, to Manhattan. An exhibition of work by photo-collage artist Vik Muniz closed at Sikkema Jenkins & Co, and the printmaker Regina Silveira even gave a talk at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. But if you missed out on those, don’t worry: from the Museum of Modern Art to Chelsea to the International Print Center, there’s still a lot of Brazilian art to be seen ahead of next month’s World Cup.

Other Primary Structures 1, The Jewish Museum (March 14–May 18)
The first of a two-part major exhibition of 1960s sculpture includes works by Brazilian neo-Concretist artists Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, Sergio Camargo, and Willys Castro. The exhibition is a revisitation of the museum’s seminal 1966 minimalism exhibition, Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors, but from a global perspective. 

Contemporary Brazilian Printmaking, International Print Center (March 20–May 23)
This show highlights more than 15 Brazilian printmakers working in techniques ranging from aquatint, drypoint, mezzotint, and woodcut to photo etching, digital printing and engraving. For many of them, it’s their first time showing work in North America.

Carlito Carvalhosa: Possibility Matters, Sonnabend Gallery (Opened May 3)
The Rio de Janeiro-based artist Carlito Carvalhosa uses natural materials like cloth and wood on a massive scale to disrupt traditional architectural space. For this exhibition, he filled two rooms with glowing fluorescent tubes and large wooden poles that reach from floor to ceiling.

Tunga: From “La Voie Humide,” Luhring Augustine Gallery (April 19–May 31)
Using crystals, sponges, wood, bronze, glass, and ceramics, the Rio-based sculptor known as Tunga creates monumental totems that feel mystical and modernistic at once. The exhibition, which is the artist’s fifth show with the gallery, also includes a series of ink line drawings done on translucent, hand-made paper.

Adriana Varejão: Polvo, Lehmann Maupin (April 24–June 21)
This exciting show from Adriana Varejão takes its name from the Brazilian word for octopus, a creature whose ink consists primarily of melanin, the chemical that gives human beings their color. Varejão’s work grapples with issues of colonialism and interracial identity through a series of self-portraits.

Geraldo de Barros: Purity of Form, Tierney Gardarin  (May 6–June 21)
Geraldo de Barros, who came into prominence in the 1940s, is best known for his Fotoformas — innovative, experimental photographs made by scratching and painting on negatives. This exhibition spans the breadth of de Barros’s artistic practice, including his Formica paintings, photographs and Sobras — a series of photo collages he made during the last two years of his life.

Anna Maria Maiolino: Between the Senses, Hauser and Wirth (May 7–June 21)
Though born in Italy, Maiolino was a force in the Neo-Concretist art movement of the 1960s and has remained a powerful presence in Brazilian art over the past five decades. In addition to a selection of drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos, her sound installation “Two Beats” (2012) will also be on view. It features her poem “Eu sou Eu” (I am I), presented at Documenta 13.

Abdias Nascimento: Artist, Activist, Author, Godwin-Ternbach Queens College Museum (April 28–June 21)
Abdias Nascimento was a political and artistic leader of Brazil’s black movement. This exhibition features 40 paintings he made focused on the theme of orixás, deities in the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé.

Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948-1988, MoMA (May 10–August 24)
The conceptualist artist Lygia Clark led the Neo-Concretist movement in Brazil, and her work continues to influence contemporary Brazilian art. This survey is her first in North America.

Caio Reisewitz, The International Center of Photography (May 16-–September 7)
Photographer Caio Reisewitz’s images of Brazil’s lush rainforest and colonial and modernist architecture paint a picture of the country’s varied and changing landscape. This is Reiswewitz’s first major solo show in the U.S., and it’s fittingly opening alongside the exhibition Urbes Mutantes: Latin American Photography 1944–2013.

Beyond the Supersquare, Bronx Museum (May 1–January 11, 2015)
This exhibition explores the influence of Latin American and Caribbean modernist architecture on contemporary art. It includes works by the Brazilian installation artist André Komatsu and photographer Mauro Restiffe.

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