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Ronaldo Brito understands Sérgio Camargo’s work as experimental contemporary sculpture, executed in a way that combines elements, although it is always concerned with volume and organic principles. In this 1990 article, Brito discusses the artist’s work based on series created as early as 1950—such as Mulheres, which falls into the figurative category and is linked to sculptural tradition. The discussion extends to works carved from black Belgian marble in the 1960s and 1970s. The critic establishes parallels between the works in question and some fundamental benchmark modern sculpture produced by Constantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore and, especially, Henri Laurens. In Brito’s opinion, it is Laurens who is an essential referent for an understanding of Camargo’s work; that is why the objective of this text would be to find and suggest similarities between aspects of Camargo’s “heterodox” construction process and the crisis of Modern art.
Ronaldo Brito entende a obra de Sergio Camargo como algo experimental dentro de escultura contemporânea, produzida por um método combinatório de elementos, porém preocupada com o volume e com princípios orgânicos. Brito discute a obra do artista a partir de séries criadas desde 1950 - Mulheres, de orientação figurativa e ligada à tradição escultórica - até aquelas elaboradas em negro belga, das décadas de 1970 e 1980. O crítico cria paralelos entre o trabalho em questão e referências fundamentais dentro da escultura moderna, como Brancusi, Giacometti, Henry Moore e especialmente Henri Laurens, este, para Brito, essencial para a obra de Camargo. Segundo o crítico, o objetivo deste texto seria encontrar e propor semelhanças entre aspectos do processo construtivo de Camargo, para Brito, heterodoxo, e a crise da modernidade.
To the critic Ronaldo Brito (b. 1951), the acceptance of Sérgio Camargo’s “molecular reliefs” on the international scene was unrelated to the sculptural origins of these works. In Brito’s opinion, they functioned as opposites (order/disorder and rigor/chance) in some way representing the conflict between sculpture and plane. In a criticism published in 1964, the Englishman Guy Brett (b. 1942) perceived aspects in Camargo’s work that Brito would later find pleasing. Both critics identified the tension between the geometric and the organic, even if the work is understood as having more to do with painting than sculpture, since the works show the impact of light and its resulting optical effects. In this regard, see Brett’s essay “Camargo,” published in the Signals Newsbulletin, No. 5 (London, December 1964) [see doc. no. 1111304]; later, the English critic analyzed the sculptor’s work in the book Sérgio Camargo: Luz e Sombra (São Paulo: Arauco, 2007) [doc. no. 1232285]. It is interesting to note that Brito’s essay identifies works executed in black Belgian marble (1980s) as key to understanding the “crisis of Modern art.” This is because, in formal terms, these works do not reflect any idea of progress; thus, they must be placed at the margin of what is understood as “capricious works deemed Postmodern.”
Jean Clay (French art historian, critic and journalist) analyzes the sculptor’s work in the text “Sérgio Camargo” [doc. no. 1111190]. In turn, the Brazilian critic Ronaldo Brito writes on the dialectic method at work in Camargo’s “reliefs” in the study “Order and the madness of order” [doc. no. 1110496].
The visual artist Sérgio [de] Camargo (1930–90) was a sculptor and carver of reliefs. The first roots he put down were in Argentina in the 1940s, with the group at the Academia Altamira in Buenos Aires, including artists of the stature of Emilio Pettoruti and Lucio Fontana. After that, the Brazilian artist studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. This text was written during the period after he returned to Brazil from Paris, where he had joined the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV) in the 1960s. The GRAV believed in collective art based on its postulate that the solitary artist was outdated. It carried out research on Kinetic artifacts as well as optical mechanisms and effects using artificial light and movement—ideas that appear in Brito’s text investigating Camargo’s artwork—including the participating eye of the viewer. While he was involved with GRAV, the sculptor concentrated on monochromatic structures with white surfaces and cylindrical reliefs made of wood in which the play of light produces alternations between order and disorder, fullness and void. In the late 1960s, Camargo created works of Carrara marble for public spaces. During that period, he also exhibited his Parisian works at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro.
Ronaldo [Correia de] Brito (b. 1951), from the State of Ceará, is one of the most important and influential art critics operating on the Brazilian art scene. He has published his essays in books, journals and exhibition catalogues, also contributing to the newspaper Opinião. Brito was one of the founders of the journals Malasartes and Gávea. In the 1970s, he was prominent in the art world, and as such, promoted the reexamination of the Neo-Concrete Movement and its legacy in Brazilian contemporary art.
Para o crítico Ronaldo Brito, a recepção dos relevos "moleculares" de Camargo na cena internacional não apontou sua origem escultórica. Segundo o crítico, esses relevos trabalhavam com opostos como ordem/desordem e rigor/acaso e constituíam-se enquanto luta da escultura com o plano. Em crítica de 1964, o critico inglês Guy Brett notou também na obra de Camargo aspectos caros a Brito como a tensão entre o geométrico e o orgânico, porém de fato entendendo a obra não tanto no registro da escultura mas da pintura, importando nela o aspecto da incidência de luz para causar efeitos ópticos. É importante ainda o fato de Brito situar as obras em negro belga, dos anos 1980, na chave da "crise do moderno" por não trabalharem formalmente a idéia de progresso, colocando-as, entretanto, à margem do que entende por "veleidades ditas pós-modernas".
BRETT, Guy. Camargo. Londres, Signals, 1964.
g- Herança construtiva e construções sem utopia
m- modernidade e globalização