Geraldo de Barros is a key name of 20th-century Brazilian art. Combining his first studies on painting with a later interest in photography, he pushed the envelope of the traditional photographic processes, questioning the classic rules of composition. Geraldo de Barros took a formal concern – as clearly seen in Brazilian concretism, in which participated intensely – and managed to merge this with his social concerns, leading him to approach the industrial processes in his work, dealing coherently with geometric constructions, reproducibility, the socialization of art, the theory of form and industrial design.
At the age of 26, Geraldo de Barros participated in the creation of the photography course and darkroom at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (Masp), where he presented the exhibition Fotoformas, in 1950. The artist was also one of the most active members of the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante, which marked the experimentation of photography in Brazil. In 1951, he participated in the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG – School of Design) in Ulm, Germany. He was also one of the founders of Grupo Ruptura (1952) and of Grupo Rex (1966), and participated in the 1st, 2nd, 9th, 15th and 21st editions of the Bienal de São Paulo, and in the 1986 Venice Biennale (Italy). Geraldo de Barros’s works have participated posthumously in various national and international exhibitions. In 2014, Instituto Moreira Salles, in Rio de Janeiro, organized a retrospective of the artist, and in the following year the same exhibition was held at Sesc Belenzinho, in São Paulo. In 2017, the Fundação Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva in Lisbon (Portugal) and the Document Gallery, in Chicago (USA), held solo shows featuring works by the artist, followed by others at Side Gallery, in Barcelona (Spain), in 2018, and Kunst- und Kulturstiftung Opelvillen, in Rüsselsheim (Germany), in 2019. His work figures in important collections such as those of the Fundação de Arte Cisneros Fontanals, the Art Fund of the State of Geneva, the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, Instituto Inhotim, the Ludwig Museum, the Max Bill Foundation, the Max Art Museum, the Museu de Arte Contemporânea of São Paulo, the Museu de Arte Moderna of São Paulo, the Museu de Belas Artes, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, MoMA, Tate Modern, Photographer’s Gallery, the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, and others.