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The critic Frederico Morais introduces the exhibition of works by five young artists from Minas Gerais: Paulo Laender, Lotus Lobo, Lúcio Weick, Klara Kaiser, and Nívea Bracher. Morais discerns fresh inspiration in this art from his home state, something he has not seen since 1964, which reflects a higher standard of painting and drawing. In his opinion, these innovative works seek to subvert artistic hierarchies, approaches, and methods. He discusses the group art studio concept behind the Oficina de Arte. He compliments the collective talent and the experimental, mature, bold, and anti-academic qualities of this group of artists who produce a less provincial form of local art and are also more interested in research and, obviously, an avant-garde approach.
Frederico Morais apresenta a exposição de cinco jovens artistas de Minas Gerais: Paulo Laender, Lotus Lobo, Lúcio Weick, Klara Kaiser e Nívea Bracher. Reconhece um sopro novo na arte em Minas desde 1964, superando processos antigos de pintar e desenhar. Para o autor, as novas propostas procuram uma subversão de hierarquias, atitudes e métodos na arte. Comenta a importância da criação da Oficina de Arte, ateliê coletivo do grupo. Afirma o talento e o caráter experimental, maduro, ousado e anti-acadêmico dos artistas, capaz de tornar a arte local menos provinciana e aberta à pesquisa, à invenção e a uma atitude de vanguarda.
The Grupo Oficina, or Oficina de Arte, was a short-lived group (1964–66) in Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state of Minas Gerais. This group jump-started a renewal of regional art, which had become stagnant during the 1960s under the suffocating influence of the Escola Guignard’s aesthetic, a conservative form of academicism inspired by the official recognition enjoyed by the painter and printmaker Alberto da Veiga Guignard (1896–1962). The following artists were members of the group: Paulo Laender, Lotus Lobo, Lúcio Weick, Klara Kaiser, Roberto Vieira, and Nívea Bracher. In later years, the only one of them to achieve any fame was Lotus Lobo, who made a notable contribution to lithography by appropriating original plates of old brands of products and using them in his work.
Frederico [de] Morais (b. 1936) is one of the key figures in Brazilian art criticism. He started his career as a movie reviewer in Belo Horizonte, where he wrote columns on culture for several newspapers. He always spoke out in defense of non-conventional forms of art and the experimental works of the avant-garde. In 1967 he moved to Rio de Janeiro where he was a newspaper art critic for many years at Diário de Notícias and at O Globo. He was one of the most active of the “committed” critics of the 1960s and 1970s, having supported a number of avant-garde movements of the period and worked as a curator at several avant-garde exhibitions.
As additional reading to this text—in which Morais suggests that printmaking appears to be a final refuge within the visual arts in view of the rise of new avant-gardes throughout the 1960s—see “A gravura brasileira: os anos 60/70” [doc. no. 1110706].
O Grupo Oficina, ou Oficina de Arte, atuou em Belo Horizonte entre os anos de 1964 e 1966, sendo responsável pela renovação da arte mineira, estagnada nos anos de 1960 pelo predomínio da estética forjada na Escola Guignard. Composto por Paulo Laender, Lotus Lobo, Lúcio Weick, Klara Kaiser, Roberto Vieira e Nívea Bracher, destaca-se do grupo a artista Lotus Lobo, que desenvolverá importante contribuição na área da litografia, com a apropriação de pedras litográficas antigas contendo marcas de produtos comerciais. Frederico Morais, após iniciar atividade crítica ligado à área do cinema, passa a assinar matérias culturais para vários jornais de Belo Horizonte, capital do estado de Minas Gerais, adotando a defesa de uma vanguarda experimental. Em 1967 muda para o Rio de Janeiro, onde desenvolverá intensa atividade crítica.
c- A vanguarda nos anos 60: Mostras e Artistas