2nd Jul 2002 - 1st Sep 2002
Vivências featured installations, objects, photography, film and video work by nine of Brazil’s most energetic and significant contemporary artists.
Vivência n f (gen pl) life experience
Vivências sets up conversations between the works of a select number of Brazil’s most energetic and significant living artists. Although belonging to different generations and distinguished by varying practices, they share a number of approaches to making art. Investigating issues concerning the body, the link between the visual and other senses and the relationship between the artist and the audience, they combine a disciplined and formal language with emotionally direct imagery.
Most of these artists live in Rio de Janeiro, a city rich in social and political history, intellectual and cultural activity and the visual stimulation created by the tension between the natural landscape of sea and mountains on the other hand and the constructed urban environment on the other. Inseparable from these influences, because it too was shaped by them, is the continuing trajectory of the neoconcrete movement, the Brazilian avant-garde of the late 1950s and the early 60s. The intention of Lygia Pape and her contemporaries, that the work of art should no longer be a representation of the world but a speculative part of it, has links with the emphasis on much contemporary Brazilian sculpture as interactive.
The installation and objects of Cildo Meireles, Fernanda Gomes, Tatiana Grinberg, Ricardo Basbaum and Ernesto Neto invited the visitor to enter and participate in them, while José Damasceno’s wall ‘drawing’ and Lygia Pape’s pyramids played with our perception of space. The poetic metamorphosis of everyday materials linked many of the artists, from Artur Barrio’s expressionist ‘situations’ that he began in the late 60s to Rivane Neuenschwander’s works that organise abstract narratives from organic matter.
Continuing a vision of the work of art as having a life force, a ‘vivência’ that is open-ended and cathartic, the works in this exhibition ask us to inhabit them with our imaginations and to dream.
Felicity Lunn Curator, in association with The New Art Gallery Walsall
Vivências was supported by the Henry Moore Foundation and ARTBRAZIL +, part of the Brazil 500 Festival which is co-ordinated by the Brazilian Embassy and FAAP.