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Synopsis

This volume from the ABC – Arte Brasileira Contemporânea collection published by the Fundação Nacional das Artes (FUNARTE) addresses artist Wesley Duke Lee. In it, art critic Cacilda Teixeira da Costa provides an overview of Duke Lee’s eclectic career, based on interviews with the artist, who is from São Paulo. In those interviews, Duke Lee speaks of his broad training as an artist, important influences on him in the discipline of painting, and especially the importance of the ideas of Marcel Duchamp to Duke Lee’s approach to art.   

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Synopsis

Livro da coleção ABC - Arte Brasileira Contemporânea, editado pela Funarte. No volume dedicado a Wesley Duke Lee, a crítica de arte Cacilda Teixeira da Costa traça um perfil da trajetória do artista a partir de entrevistas realizadas com o próprio. Nestes depoimentos, Duke Lee fala de sua formação artística, suas referências e, em especial, sobre a importância de Marcel Duchamp para o desenvolvimento de seu trabalho.

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This text is the presentation of a solo exhibition of work by Wesley Duke Lee held at Galeria Atrium in São Paulo from September 15 to October 3, 1964.

In 1978, the Fundação Nacional das Artes (FUNARTE) launched its Coleção ABC, which over time would become a bibliographical point of reference due to its pioneering approach to contemporary Brazilian art, especially production from the sixties and seventies. The series, which was published over the course of sixteen years, included books on artists Anna Bella Geiger, Carlos Vergara, Rubens Gerchman, Artur Barrio, Antonio Dias, Wesley Duke Lee, Lygia Clark, Cildo Meireles, Waltércio Caldas, Lygia Pape, and Antonio Manuel. The outstanding authors contributing to the collection were among others, Ronaldo Brito, Paulo Sérgio Duarte, Fernando Cocchiarale, Hélio Oiticica, Mário Pedrosa, Paulo Venâncio Filho, Frederico Morais, and Ferreira Gullar.

Wesley Duke Lee spent the fifties studying in the United States, Italy, Austria, and France. During those years, he came into contact with Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008), as well as other artists loosely associated with New Figuration who exercised considerable influence on his work. Duke Lee was responsible for the first art happening in Brazil, which took place in 1963. Along with painter and sculptor Bernardo Cid, fashion photographer Otto Stupakoff, singer Maria Cecília, and writers Carlos Felipe Saldanha and Pedro Manuel Gismondi, he formed part of a movement that would be known in Brazil as Realismo Mágico. In 1966, Duke Lee, in conjunction with painter, photographer, and designer Geraldo de Barros (1923–98), Nelson Leirner, and other young artists, founded the controversial São Paulo-based Grupo Rex, a project extended with the Rex Gallery & Sons. His work involves issues of memory, eroticism, and fantastical imaginary.

 

Duke Lee’s work is discussed by Annateresa Fabris in the text “O espaço do mito” [see the ICAA digital archive (doc. no. 1111035)]. Other texts pertinent to this artist include a magical biography by Carlos Saldanha (doc. no. 1111034), and the article on the closing of the Rex Gallery & Sons in 1967 (doc. no. 1111185). 

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Annotations

A coleção ABC - Arte Contemporânea Brasileira, lançada em 1978 pela Funarte, tornou-se referência bibliográfica pioneira sobre a produção brasileira dos anos 1960 e 1970. A série contou, ao longo do seus 16 anos de existência, com títulos sobre Anna Bella Geiger, Carlos Vergara, Rubens Gerchman, Barrio, Antonio Dias, Wesley Duke Lee, Lygia Clark, Cildo Meireles, Waltercio Caldas, Lygia Pape e Antonio Manuel. Dentre seus autores figuram Ronaldo Brito, Paulo Sergio Duarte, Fernando Cocchiarale, Helio Oiticica, Mario Pedrosa, Paulo Venâncio Filho, Frederico Morais e Ferreira Gullar, entre outros. Wesley Duke Lee começa a sua carreira artística na década de 1950. Pioneira no Brasil por sua relação com o pensamento de Marcel Duchamp, a obra de Duke Lee exerce influência sobre artistas que despontam em São Paulo nos anos 1960. A seus desenhos, instalações e happenings, naquele período, soma-se a participação no Grupo Rex e na criação da Rex Gallery.

 

c- A vanguarda nos anos 60: Mostras e Artistas

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Researcher
Equipe Brasil: Guilherme Bueno
Team
FAPESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Credit
Reproduzido com o consetimento de Cacilda Teixeira da Costa, Brasil
Location
Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage