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Here, Sheila Leirner discusses the exhibition Interior Reliefs, by the U.S. artist Mary Dritschel, held at the Luisa Strina gallery in São Paulo. To this critic, the works exhibited have almost the same impact as the artist’s first exhibition in the same gallery, entitled Da Caixa à Flor, although the second exhibition is less intense. The second show maintains the theme of female identity, investigating the rationalization of myths tied to that universe. In describing the works, Leirner brings up the issue of the voyeurism stirred up by these works in the viewer. The critic believes that the very process of painting these organic forms generates a kind of “visual metaphor” of the female condition. In Leirner’s opinion, one formal reference for Dritschel’s work is the Egyptian sarcophagi whose function was to preserve the human body in both its spiritual and physical aspects.
Sheila Leirner discute a mostra "Interior Reliefs" da artista norte-americana Mary Dritschel, na galeria Luisa Strina, em São Paulo. Segundo Leirner, as obras em questão repetem o impacto da primeira mostra da artista, "Da Caixa à Flor", ainda que de forma menos intensa. A artista teria mantido o tema da identidade feminina, buscando a racionalização de mitos relacionados ao universo feminino. A crítica descreve as obras e discute a relação de voyeurismo que o espectador estabelece com elas. Leirner conclui que o resultado é um efeito de metáfora da condição feminina, criada visualmente pelo enquadramento de formas orgânicas. Para Leirner, Dritschel teria por referência formal os sarcófagos egípcios, cuja função é preservar tanto o caráter espiritual como físico do corpo humano.
In this 1981 article, the art critic Sheila Leirner (b. 1948) again weighed the work of Mary Dritschel. Still working on issues intrinsic to women and all that that work entails, the U.S. artist had her second exhibition at the Luisa Strina gallery in São Paulo. As a U.S. artist living in Brazil, Dritschel was not just an artist and professor at the Escola de Comunicações e Artes da Universidade de São Paulo (ECA-USP.) She also became a cultural agent when she organized the exhibition American Women, in 1980 at Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (MAC-USP). Two years later, she organized another such exhibition, the I Festival das Mulheres nas Artes (1982), through which she made a clear point that this theme was important beyond her own work.
However, Dritschel’s work was not the first work to awake Leirner’s interest in the issue of the condition of women in contemporary society. Around 1977, the critic zeroed in on the same issue in her article “Arte feminina e feminismo” [doc no. 1111363], in which she explains her own awareness of female activities, in particular, women’s involvement in art, and later in “Mary Dritschel I” [doc. no. 1111361]. These texts were subsequently included in her book Arte como medida: críticas selecionadas (São Paulo, Editora Perspectiva, 1982).
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.
In addition, there is another 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].
Neste artigo de 1981, a critica Sheila Leirner avalia mais uma vez a obra de Mary Dritschel. Trabalhando ainda com questões ligadas à mulher e ao feminino, Dritschel expõe pela segunda vez na galeria Luisa Strina. No Brasil, Dritschel não atuou apenas como artista e professora da Escola de Comunicações e Artes da Universidade de São Paulo, organizou ainda a exposição "American Women", no Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, em 1980, e o I Festival das Mulheres nas Artes, em 1982, indicando que o tema preocupava-a além de sua própria obra. Não foi, entretanto, o trabalho de Dritschel que despertou o interesse de Leirner por uma arte que trata da condição feminina - em 1977 já discute a questão em "Arte feminina e feminismo", no qual demonstra conhecimento das ações femininas no âmbito artístico.
LEIRNER, Sheila. Arte feminina e feminismoI. In: LEIRNER, Sheila. Arte como medida: críticas selecionadas. São Paulo, Perspectiva, 1982.LEIRNER, Sheila. Mary Dritschel I. In: LEIRNER, Sheila. Arte como medida: críticas selecionadas. São Paulo, Perspectiva, 1982.