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The Brazilian art critic Sheila Leirner considers the scope of the exhibition by Mary Dritschel, the U.S. artist with a show at the Luisa Strina gallery in São Paulo: Da Caixa à Flor. The artist’s work was a contemporary example of “consciousness raising” (on the part of women) about women’s specific characteristics, including both sexual identities and sensitivities. To Leirner, that theme would come to be part of a certain type of artwork by women artists that would focus on the situation of women during that period. Moreover, the study of human anatomy was always guided by the idea that the body was a reflection of the divine. However, it was in the Modern art era that the female body (in particular) came to be seen as a subject of visual art. In this regard, in the critic’s opinion, Dritschel’s work investigates all kinds of myths linked to the female body, while working within a highly sophisticated, contemporary perspective.
A crítica Sheila Leirner avalia a exposição da artista americana Mary Dritschel, "Da Caixa à Flor", na galeria Luisa Strina, em São Paulo. A obra de Dritschel seria um exemplo contemporâneo da conscientização, por parte da mulher, de suas especificidades sensíveis e sexuais. Para Leirner, essa temática faria parte de uma produção de artistas mulheres que discutem sua condição nesse período. Segundo a crítica, o estudo da anatomia humana foi sempre guiado pela idéia de que o corpo reflete a natureza divina. Entretanto, na modernidade, o corpo feminino, em particular, passa a ser visto plasticamente. No que concerne a Dritschel, Leirner considera que o aspecto principal de sua obra, a exploração de mitos ligados ao corpo feminino sob uma sofisticada ótica contemporânea.
The U.S. artist Mary Dritschel lived in São Paulo from 1978 to 1986, supported by a scholarship from the Fulbright Foundation. During that time, she taught courses at the Escola de Comunicações e Artes da Universidade de São Paulo (ECA-USP) and participated in biennials. The interest of Sheila Leirner (b. 1948) in her work involves a concern for women’s issues in art, discussed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when there was also an ongoing international debate about Modern art. Another reference to art history (with a feminist orientation) can be found in an article by Linda Nochlin mentioned by Leirner in her essay “Arte feminina e feminismo” [see doc. no. 1111363]. Subsequently, in “Mary Dritschel II” (1981) [doc. no. 1111362], Leirner considered the work shown in another exhibition by this U.S. artist in the capital of São Paulo: Interior Reliefs, at the same gallery.
As a journalist and art critic, the French Brazilian Sheila Leirner (b. 1948) was a member of the Conselho de Arte e Cultura da Bienal in 1982-83, and came to be the chief curator of two biennials in that period: the 18th (1985) and the 19th (1987). After studying the sociology of art in France, Leirner became an art critic for the daily newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo in 1975. She published a collection of her essays under the title Arte e seu tempo (São Paulo: Editôra Perspectiva, 1991), a book in which she began to set a priority on what she called “new art.” That was also the year Leirner returned to Paris, where she worked and specialized as an arts administrator. She represented the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume in Latin America (1993-99), and became a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) (French division). Leirner has contributed to countless journals and supplements in both countries, including Beaux-Arts Magazine, Europe Magazine Littéraire, Revista da USP, and Cadernos de Literatura Brasileira. She was also on the scholarship committee for UNESCO-Aschberg.
There is a text in which Leirner analyzes the artwork produced in the 1970s and 1980s in Brazil, in the midst of pluralism in international art, entitled “Brasil: uma nova arte” [doc. no. 1110940], as well as the aforementioned critical piece “Mary Dritschel II” [doc. no. 1111362], written on the exhibition Interior Reliefs. Along with the article covered here, these texts were subsequently added to her book Arte como medida: críticas selecionadas (São Paulo, Editora Perspectiva, 1982).
A artista americana Mary Dristchel viveu em São Paulo entre 1978 e 1986, contando com uma bolsa Fulbrigth. Nesse período, ministrou cursos na Escola de Comunicações e Artes da Universidade de São Paulo e participou de Bienais. O interesse de Sheila Leirner pelo trabalho de Dritschel insere-se, dentro da produção crítica de Leirner, na preocupação com assuntos de arte feminina e feminismo, que ela discute em fins da década de 1970 e início de 1980, período em que também o debate internacional da arte moderna, especificamente nos EUA, volta-se para esse assunto. Referência da historiografia da arte de orientação feminista é Linda Nochlin, referida por Leirner no artigo "Arte feminina e feminismo". Em "Mary Dristchel II" (1981), a crítica tratará de mostra posterior da artista: "Interior Reliefs", na mesma galeria.
LEIRNER, Sheila. Arte feminina e feminismoI. In: LEIRNER, Sheila. Arte como medida: críticas selecionadas. São Paulo, Perspectiva, 1982.LEIRNER, Sheila. Mary Dritschel II. In: LEIRNER, Sheila. Arte como medida: críticas selecionadas. São Paulo, Perspectiva, 1982.