ArtBasel 'OVR:20c' : Ruptura

October 28th - 31st 2020
  • Aiming to foster greater awareness internationally concerning the importance of the Brazilian concrete art movement, for this special edition of ArtBasel, Luciana Brito Galeria is featuring a set of historical works by artists of the Grupo Ruptura: Waldemar Cordeiro (1925, Rome, Italy – 1973, São Paulo, Brazil), Geraldo de Barros (1923, Chavantes, Brazil – 1998, São Paulo, Brazil), Luiz Sacilotto (1924 – 2003, São Paulo, Brazil), Kazmer Féjer (1923, Pécs, Hungary – 1929, Sesimba, Portugal), Maurício Nogueira Lima (1930, Recife, Pernambuco – 1999, Campinas, Brazil), and Hermelindo Fiaminghi (1920 – 1999, São Paulo, Brazil).

    By introducing concretism in Brazil in the 1950s, the artists of the Grupo Ruptura were largely responsible for a renewal of the values and creative process of visual art, following an aesthetic approach more related to constructivism, with pure colors and geometric lines – that is, a more universal art, accessible to everyone: “the artwork does not contain an idea, it is itself an idea.”1 The relevance of the Grupo Ruptura – formed by the artists Waldemar Cordeiro, Geraldo de Barros, Luiz Sacilotto, Lothar Charoux, Leopold Haar, Lothar Charoux, Anatol Wladyslaw and Kazmer Féjer, and later joined by Maurício Nogueira Lima, Hermelindo Fiaminghi and Judith Lauand – has been increasingly recognized in recent decades not only in Brazil, but also internationally. As part of this process, for 25 years Luciana Brito Galeria has been promoting broader institutional recognition of artists such as Geraldo de Barros and Waldemar Cordeiro, who were key figures of this movement and today are well represented in important institutions, while also being the subjects of significant long-term research projects that are now underway. In 2022, the history of Brazilian art is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Ruptura movement’s inaugural exhibition – held at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM-SP) – and then 2023 will mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of Waldemar Cordeiro.

    The movement, with the stated intention to “break with the old”2 began officially in 1952 with an exhibition at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo and the release of a manifesto, both entitled Ruptura. This important moment for the history of art in Brazil arose in a context of an industrial and population boom in the city of São Paulo, the cradle of the movement. Practically all the Ruptura artists were immersed in this effervescence daily, through either their work or their engagement in the visual art scene then being transformed by the advent of the Bienal de São Paulo and important museums, such as the aforementioned MAM-SP as well as the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP-SP). With a keen awareness of the various other art trends, the concrete movement was based on years of studies and conversations, mainly around the pivotal figure of Cordeiro, who organized meetings among artists to debate art, politics and philosophy, including the ideas of the German philosopher Konrad Fiedler, the theory of pure visibility, and the Gestalt concept of form. The participation of the Swiss artist Max Bill at the 1st Bienal de São Paulo, in 1951, was also fundamental for the concept of concrete art in Brazil, bringing to the country a deeper reflection concerning constructivism and the neoplasticism of the Bauhaus.

    Waldemar Cordeiro was fundamental for the establishment of the concretist movement in Brazil. In his interdisciplinary research, he espoused painting in its essence, with basic lines and colors sustained in their own right, without the support of figurative representation. He was outstanding for his objective and rational art, closely associated to his theoretic studies, as well as for his investigation into industrial elements and materials. Cordeiro worked to achieve an art accessible to everyone, seeking a collective sense that was also aligned with technology, design and landscaping. His research in art was always associated with a social and political concern.

    One of the most versatile artists of the history of Brazilian art and a founding member of the Grupo Ruptura, Geraldo de Barros worked in various artistic languages, always with a concern for the socialization of art. He delved into the study of Gestalt and its theory of form, couched in terms of a simple, direct, homogeneous and regular structure that was also functional and informative, with an emphasis on mathematical principles and pictorial organization. His production evinced a yearning for a more democratic and just society. 

    Defined by Waldemar Cordeiro as the “mainstay of concrete art,”3 Luiz Sacilotto produced paintings that dealt with the principle of equity between figure and background, with a strong influence from industrial and architectural approaches. The artist also used elements from constructivism and explored the tensions between fullness and emptiness, positive and negative, as well as optical illusions, being one of the pioneers of op art in Brazil.

    Hermelindo Fiaminghi was responsible for the graphic pieces and publicity work of the Grupo Ruptura, and this influence was notable in his work. His compositions present a nearly rhythmic visuality through a reduced color palette. In 1959 he broke away from the concrete movement to develop an independent production involving what he called the “color-light reticulum,” with the introduction of offset printing in his works.

    Kazmer Féjer intensely investigated the use of glass and acrylic, producing pieces with minutely calculated and precise geometric mountings, breaking definitively away from the traditional concepts of sculpture. Conveying a sense of order while operating with the precepts of fullness and emptiness, these transparent elements moreover functioned as reflectors of light.

    Maurício Nogueira Lima joined the Grupo Ruptura in 1955, attracted not only by constructivism, but also by chromatic experimentation. Lima furthermore worked with the effects of optical illusions, symmetries and repetitions, through a process of more evident geometric construction and lighter gestures.

     


    1 Phrase excerpted from the 1952 “Manifesto Ruptura.”

    2 Ibid.

    3 LUIZ Sacilotto. In: ENCICLOPÉDIA Itaú Cultural de Arte e Cultura Brasileiras. São Paulo: Itaú Cultural, 2020. Available at: <http://enciclopedia.itaucultural.org.br/pessoa10773/luiz-sacilotto>. Retrieved on September 28, 2020. Encyclopedia entry.

     

  • RUPTURA

    "In the early 1950s, the city of São Paulo, in a process of accelerated industrialization and urban growth, found itself in a period of intense cultural excitement, driven mainly by the recent inauguration of two important museums that spotlighted modern art and by the creation of São Paulo International Biennial. The dispute between figuration and abstraction in art was then the topic of heated debates. In this context, a group of young artists came together in defense of abstraction and organized, in December 1952, an exhibition at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, accompanied by the publication of their manifesto, both under the title of Ruptura [Rupture]. 

    Geraldo de Barros, Waldemar Cordeiro, Luiz Sacilotto, Lothar Charoux, Kazmer Féjer, Leopold Haar and Anatol Wladyslaw signed the manifesto, which affirmed the “renewal of the essential values of visual art (space-time, movement and material)” and presented their lemma: “the work of art does not contain an idea, it is itself an idea.” Setting forth their radically avant-garde position, these artists – who were joined in the following years by others, including Judith Lauand and Hermelindo Fiaminghi – began to develop an aesthetic program of the constructivist lineage, exploring restricted relations of pure colors and rhythms based on alignments, polarities, progressions and displacements, inspired above all by the “internal logic of development and construction,” defined by Max Bill (who had shown in São Paulo and, at that time, was the director of the Hochschule für Gestaltung [Ulm School of Design], in Germany, a descendent of the Bauhaus). Their works do not seek immediate revelation, but rather require the intelligence of our perception in the continuous interplay between the whole and the parts.

    Under the denomination of concrete art, the production of these artists was structured on clear theoretic principles and on a practice which maintained the possibility of intervening in everyday social life within their horizon. As can be seen in this exhibition, this was to take place through drawings, paintings, sculptures, objects or photographs, but also through the artist’s involvement in the design of furniture and visual communication as well as in architectural and landscaping designs, engaging in the productive articulation between art and industry, at a moment of optimism in which Brazil was yearning for modernization.

    Even though it was never fully achieved, this utopian wager by these artists made history, representing a true qualitative turning point in the production and discussion of art made in the country, giving rise to important developments, including neoconcretism, which renewed the Ruptura movement’s question of how and for whom art is made."

     João Bandeira

  • Waldemar Cordeiro

    1925 Rome, Italy. 1973 São Paulo, Brazil

    Waldemar Cordeiro was fundamental for the establishment of the concretist movement in Brazil. In his interdisciplinary research, he espoused painting in its essence, with basic lines and colors sustained in their own right, without the support of figurative representation. He was outstanding for his objective and rational art, closely associated to his theoretic studies, as well as for his investigation into industrial elements and materials. Cordeiro worked to achieve an art accessible to everyone, seeking a collective sense that was also aligned with technology, design and landscaping. His research in art was always associated with a social and political concern.

     

    Born in Rome in 1925, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He moved to Brazil in 1946 and began to write as a art critic for the newspaper Folha da Manhã. In 1947, at the 19 Pintores [19 Painters] exhibition, at the Galeria Prestes Maia, he met Geraldo de Barros, Lothar Charoux and Luiz Sacilotto, future companions of Grupo Ruptura. In 1949, he participated in the inaugural exhibition of MAM-SP, entitled "From Figurativism to Abstractionism". In the same year he founded the Art Club, promoting cultural exchange with foreign countries. While maintaining a critical stance towards the project of the Biennial of São Paulo, he took part of it in 1951. In 1952, he participated in the exhibition Ruptura and signed the Manifesto Ruptura. In 1953, he went to Chile and Argentina, where he made contact with the concrete movement of these countries. In 1971, it organized the exhibition Arteônica. The following year he helped creating the Institute of Arts of the State University of Campinas, directing the Image Processing Center.

    Waldemar Cordeiro, 1925 Rome, Italy. 1973 São Paulo, Brazil
    Sem título | Untitled, 1952
    esmalte sobre compensado
    enamel on plywood

    23.5 x 30.5 cm

    9.25 x 12 in

  •  
    W A L D E M A R  C O R D E I R O
    Sem título | Untitled, 1952
    esmalte sobre compensado
    enamel on plywood
    61 x 61 x 5,5 cm
    24.02 x 24.02 x 2.17 in
    W A L D E M A R C O R D E I R O Sem título | Untitled,...
  •  
    W A L D E M A R  C O R D E I R O
    Sem título | Untitled, 1952
    têmpera sobre compensado
    temper on plywood
    60 x 80 cm
    26.77 x 31.5 in
    W A L D E M A R C O R D E I R O Sem título | Untitled,...
  •  
    W A L D E M A R  C O R D E I R O
    Sem título | Untitled, c.1950
    nanquim e ecoline sobre papel
    China ink and ecoline on paper
    21 x 32,5 cm
    8.26 x 12.8 in
    W A L D E M A R C O R D E I R O Sem título | Untitled,...
  • GERALDO DE BARROS

    1923 CHAVANTES, BRAZIL. 1998 SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL

     

    One of the most versatile artists of the history of Brazilian art and a founding member of the Grupo Ruptura, Geraldo de Barros worked in various artistic languages, always with a concern for the socialization of art. He delved into the study of Gestalt and its theory of form, couched in terms of a simple, direct, homogeneous and regular structure that was also functional and informative, with an emphasis on mathematical principles and pictorial organization. His production evinced a yearning for a more democratic and just society.

     

    Geraldo de Barros was born in 1923 in Chavantes, Brazil. At the age of 26, he participated in the creation of the lab and photography course at Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), where he featured the individual exhibit Fotoformas in 1950. In 1951 he studied at HfG (Hoschule für Gestaltung [School of Design]) in Ulm, Germany. He was a core part of vanguard artistic groups in São Paulo such as XV, and was one of the founding members of the Ruptura (1952) and Rex (1966) groups. He participated in the I, II, IX, XV and XXI São Paulo Biennales and in the Venice Biennale (Italy) in 1986. In 2014, the Instituto Moreira Salles in Rio de Janeiro, organized the Geraldo de Barros e a Fotografia [Geraldo de Barros and Photography] retrospective. The following year, the same exhibition was exhibited at Sesc Belenzinho in São Paulo. His work is part of numerous collections including the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Fonds d'Art Contemporain de l'Etat de Genève, Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, Instituto Inhotim, Museu Ludwig, Max Bill Foundation, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de São Paulo, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo and MoMA in Nova York. In 1998 Geraldo de Barros passed away in São Paulo.

  • G E R A L D O D E B A R R O S Arranjo de Três Formas Semelhantes...
     
    G E R A L D O  D E  B A R R O S
    Arranjo de Três Formas Semelhantes Dentro de Um Círculo1953
    esmalte sobre kelmite
    enamel on kelmite
    60x 60 cm
    23.62 x 23.62 in
  • Hermelindo Fiaminghi

    1920. São Paulo, Brazil. 2004, São Paulo, Brazil.

    Hermelindo Fiaminghi revealed in his production great freedom in the use of color. Throughout his career, he reconciled artistic activities and a career as a graphic designer. He joined in 1955 the Grupo Ruptura, also collaborating in the production of poems-posters of concrete poets from São Paulo. In July 1959, however, he broke with the concrete group of São Paulo in a letter to Waldemar Cordeiro and the other participants of the movement. Later his studies focused on the question of what he called a "retícula cor-luz" [light-colored reticle], and this put him as an introducer of the off-set as a language of artistic creation, having industrially worked with it. In spite of its estrangement with Concretism, Fiaminghi continued with a work free of any figurative representation, thus remaining within the limits of abstractionism.

    Hermelindo Fiaminghi, 1920. São Paulo, Brazil. 2004, São Paulo, Brazil.

    Triângulos Entrosados com Movimento Circular (Long-Play), 1956

    esmalte sobre eucatex

    enamel on eucatex

    44,5 x 44,5 cm

    17.51 x 17.51 in

    View more details

  • Mauricio Nogueira Lima

    1930 Recife, Brazil. 1999 Campinas, Brazil

    Maurício Nogueira Lima joined the Grupo Ruptura in 1955, attracted not only by constructivism, but also by chromatic experimentation. Lima furthermore worked with the effects of optical illusions, symmetries and repetitions, through a process of more evident geometric construction and lighter gestures.

     

    Mauricio Nogueira Lima, 1930 Recife, Brazil. 1999 Campinas, Brazil

    Sem título | Untitled, 1956

    pintura automotiva sobre chapa de aglomerado

    automotive paint on particleboard

    61 x 61 cm

    24.01 x 24.01 in


  • M A U R I C I O N O G U E I R A L I M A...
     
    M A U R I C I O  N O G U E I R A  L I M A
    Objeto Rítimico nº41953
    tinta automotiva sobre chapa de aglomerado
    automotive paint on particleboard
    50 x 50 cm
    19.68 x 23.62 in
  • KAZMER FÉJER

    1923, PÉCS, HUNGARY. 1989, SESIMBRA, PORTUGAL

    The work of Kazmer Féjer is perceived through the relationship between the full and empty spaces. His sculptures were marked by the use of transparent plexiglass blades, light diffusers, which create paradoxical angular ripples. He began his studies in Budapest, where he studied industrial chemistry, while also attending the Academy of Fine Arts. He was therefore inserted in the industrial universe. At the beginning of his career his works were marked by non-figurative painting, which gradually became geometric, until he reached, later, the three-dimensional. He was one of the founders of Art-Club Budapest, where he got in touch with abstract artists. In 1948, he spent a period in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he met the constructive artist Torres-García. It was also through Art Club that he met Waldemar Cordeiro, who invited him to exhibit in São Paulo in 1949.

  • K A Z M E R F É J E R Sem título | Untitled, 1956 plexiglass 50 x 50...
     K A Z M E R  F É J E R
    Sem título | Untitled1956
    plexiglass
    50 x 50 x 7 cm
    19.68 x 19.68 x 2.75 in
  • Luiz Sacilotto

    1924, Santo André, Brazil. 2003, São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil

    Defined by Waldemar Cordeiro as the "mainstay of concrete art,"3 Luiz Sacilotto produced paintings that dealt with the principle of equity between figure and background, with a strong influence from industrial and architectural approaches. The artist also used elements from constructivism and explored the tensions between fullness and emptiness, positive and negative, as well as optical illusions, being one of the pioneers of op art in Brazil.

     

    3 LUIZ Sacilotto. In: ENCICLOPÉDIA Itaú Cultural de Arte e Cultura Brasileiras. São Paulo: Itaú Cultural, 2020. Available at: <http://enciclopedia.itaucultural.org.br/pessoa10773/luiz-sacilotto>. Retrieved on September 28, 2020. Encyclopedia entry.

     

    Luiz Sacilotto, 1924, Santo André, Brazil. 2003, São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil

    Concreção1951

    guache sobre papel
    gouache on paper
    33 x 48 cm
    12.99 x 18.89 in
  • L U I Z S A C I L O T T O Concreção, 1950 alumínio aluminum 30 x 30...
    L U I Z  S A C I L O T T O
    Concreção1950
    alumínio
    aluminum
    30 x 30 x 17 cm
    11.81 x 11.81 x 6.69 in