The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In Sheila Leirner’s opinion, “reductive art” is an important factor in the moral compass of contemporary international artwork. In order to have its effect, the reductive approach would have to bring about a radical change in Brazilian art and the ways it is received. To date, this has not happened, due to the current mismatch between the local art milieu and the art market of the developed countries. According to Leirner, Brazilian art has “lacunas;” the development of its aesthetic stages is incomplete. She therefore proposes reductive art as a model to be considered in homogeneous Western art (only); this would include Brazilian art, which would have to go beyond its particular qualities, tossing them out in the process. This is how the moral compass of contemporary Brazilian art was found in 1960s Concrete and Neo-Concrete art, even if it involved a loss. Leirner believes that the main protagonist in the dialogue in favor of reductive art is the United States painter and draftsman Ad Reinhardt.
Sheila Leirner afirma ser o "reducionismo" um importante aspecto moralizante da produção artística contemporânea internacional. Para ela, o reducionismo deveria levar a uma mudança na produção artística brasileira e nas maneiras de apreendê-la; o que não se deu, na opinião da autora, devido à defasagem do meio artístico local em relação aos dos países desenvolvidos. Segundo Leirner, a arte brasileira é lacunar, não desenvolvendo as etapas estéticas por completo. Ela propõe o reducionismo como modelo para se pensar uma arte ocidental única, que abrangeria inclusive a brasileira, esta devendo superar suas particularidades. Para a crítica, a arte brasileira contemporânea necessita de moralização, algo que havia alcançado com o concretismo e o neoconcretismo, mas que se perdeu. Como principal interlocutor da questão "reducionista", Leirner cita o pintor americano Ad Reinhardt.
Since Sheila Leirner regards the stages of Brazilian art as somewhat incomplete, in this text she consciously proposes an innovative model that she calls “reductive art.” In defense of this idea, she states that it is not just another “foreign” model. The purpose of her proposal is for contemporary Brazilian art to develop a moral compass. This is Leirner’s response to the opportunistic, crass art activity she observes all around her, a constant flow of artwork based on false ideologies. The idea that Brazil is out of step with the artwork produced in the international art world is a given for Leirner, who is a strong supporter of theories previously stated by Ferreira Gullar in his controversial book Vanguarda e subdesenvolvimento: ensaios sobre arte (Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1978).
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 and 1983 and came to be the chief curator of two biennials in that period: the eighteenth (1985) and the nineteenth (1987). After studying 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 moved to Paris, where she worked and became 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 are two texts in which Leirner analyzes the art produced during the 1970s and 1980s in Brazil, in the midst of pluralism in international art: “Brasil: uma nova arte” [doc. no. 1110940], and “Arte marginal” [doc. no. 1111364].
A crítica Sheila Leirner entende as etapas do processo artístico brasileiro como incompletas. A autora mostra-se consciente de estar propondo um novo modelo, o qual denomina "reducionismo", mas defende-se afirmando que não seria apenas "outro" modelo estrangeiro. Sua proposta é de moralização da arte contemporânea brasileira, que, para ela, manifesta oportunismo e vulgaridade, apoiando-se em falsas ideologias. A questão da defasagem brasileira em relação à produção de países desenvolvidos é tratada pela autora seguindo as idéias do crítico Ferreira Gullar presentes em Vanguarda e Subdesenvolvimento: ensaios sobre arte (Rio de Janeiro, Civilização Brasileira, 1978).
LEIRNER, Sheila. Arte marginal. In: LEIRNER, Sheila. Arte como medida: críticas selecionadas. São Paulo, Perspectiva, 1982.
b- Centro e periferia: subdesenvolvimento e dependência