3/1/2016 10:43 AM
The pivotal I Neoconcrete Art Exhibition [I Exposição Neoconcreta] marks the start of a new artistic movement in Brazil, one that culminated in the Manifesto Neoconcreto, published by Jornal do Brasil on March 21, 1959, and available in the ICAA Digital Archive. Theon Spanúdis, Reynaldo Jardim, and Ferreira Gullar, imminent critics and poets, were among those who signed the manifesto, along with artists Amilcar de Castro, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, and Franz Weissmann. Representing a key moment in the art history of Brazil, the split ignited a spirited debate that influenced the experimental art of the 1960s and 1970s. We direct you to a selection of nineteen documents in the ICAA Digital Archive that put the gap into perspective and illustrate this dynamic period in Brazilian art.
The significance of the manifesto resides in the signers’ opposition to rationalist and scientific theories that guided the tenets of the geometric-constructivist movement in Brazil. Inspired by the work of Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian, the neoconcretists proposed a reinterpretation of non-figurative geometric art through phenomenology. The I Neoconcrete Art Exhibition, first held at the Museum of Modern Art [Museu de Arte Moderna] in Rio de Janeiro, showcased the work of thirteen artists. Ten of them are represented in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Collection, including: Aluísio Carvão (1920–2001), Amílcar de Castro (1920–2002), Décio Vieira (1922–88), Franz Josef Weissmann (1911–2005), Hélio Oiticica (1937–80), Hércules Barsotti (1914–2010), Ivan Serpa (1923–1973), Lygia Clark (1920–88), Lygia Pape (1927–2004), and Willys de Castro (1926–88). Complimenting these and other works in the Collection, the MFAH research resources makes available documentary materials accessible for online consultation free of charge in the ICAA Digital Archives.