Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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    Synopsis

     

    This is an early manuscript copy of the Manifesto Ruptura, signed in 1952 by Waldemar Cordeiro, Geraldo de Barros, Lothar Charoux, Leopoldo Haar, Kazimir Fejer and Anatalo Wladislaw and Luis Sacilotto [see document 771349 for the final version].  The manifesto asserts that figurative painting had exhausted its historical task and that, therefore, there was no longer any continuity between the art of the present and the past. The signers repudiated any and all kinds of figurative art, as well as manifestations of individual or symbolic expressions. In addition to being contrary to the figurative modernists whose social and nationalist themes had predominated in Brazil until the post-war period, the group proposed a differentiation between the constructive tendencies and informal abstract art. The new artistic experiences are identified as a renewal of the essential values of visual arts such as "space-time, movement, and matter." According to the manifesto, artistic intuition ordered by clear and objective principles broadened the possibilities of practical applications of art. It considers art as a means of knowing concepts through deduction and that judgments about art are above opinion, since they depend on a previous knowledge.

    This document is part of The Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

    Annotations

    Even though it was signed by all the members of the Grupo Ruptura, the manifesto was probably written by Waldemar Cordeiro, since the type of arguments and some of the phrases of the document match fragments of his writings published by a Sao Paulo publisher at the time. The Manifesto Ruptura was distributed to the public during the inaugural exhibition of the Grupo Ruptura at the Museum of Modern Art of Sao Paulo in December 1952. This document marks the displacement of the debate between figurative and abstract art present in the art world of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro at the end of the 1940s toward a polarization between expressive abstractionism and concrete art. Additionally, it signals the possibilities of the practical application of art. One of the characteristics of the concrete art movement in Brazil, and especially in Sao Paulo, was the identification with a developmentalist ideology which resulted from the industrial growth starting in the post-war period. The artists of the Grupo Ruptura were professionally active in the graphic arts, industrial design, landscape architecture, illustration, and advertising.