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    On the occasion of the recent publication of Enock Sacramento’s monograph on Luís Sacilotto [Sacilotto, (Sa~o Paulo: Orbitall, 2001)], the Brazilian Concrete poet Décio Pignatari expresses his personal views on his lifelong friend and collaborator. In Pignatari’s opinion, Sacilotto translated Marxist ideals to painting by insisting on the systematic frugality of means, materials, and processes. His work was fundamentally tied to the industrial culture from which he emerged and throughout his long career continued to dialogue with machines and techniques intended for the manufacturing process. Sacilotto was a die-hard Concretist who continued on the same course even after artists such as his mentor Waldemar Cordeiro had changed gears to embrace new technology, computers, and multimedia in their own aesthetic explorations.

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


    Luís Sacilotto (1924-2003) was one of the signees of the foundational manifesto of São Paulo’s Grupo Ruptura (1952) [see doc. no. 771349 for print copy and no. 1232213 for manuscript]. Along with Waldemar Cordeiro, Geraldo de Barros, Lothar Charoux, Leopoldo Haar, Kazimir Fejer, and Anatalo Wladislaw, Sacilotto was an important precursor of the São Paulo-based Concretos, a group that together with the Neo-Concretos of Rio de Janeiro, ultimately triggered the parallel processes of modernization and internationalization of Brazilian art. At face value, the apparent will toward order of the Concretos, in particular, resonated with the kindred ideals behind the country’s economic and industrial modernization of the 1950s. As such, their influence was felt even beyond the sphere of geometric abstraction. Until the early 1960s, for example, some of the defining values of Brazilian Constructivism—objectivity, clarity of thought, reduction and simplification of aesthetic means, insistence on the essential, abandonment of matter driven and subjective excesses—transcended painting and were adopted as a sort of continuum across the Brazilian cultural sphere.


    Parallel to the development of Concrete art in Brazil, Décio Pignatari (1927-2012)—who coedited the Noigrandes and Invenção journals with Augusto and Haroldo de Campos—began conducting experiments with poetic language, incorporating visuals elements and the fragmentation of words in the 1950s. Their poetic language mirrored the aesthetic advances of artists such as Sacilotto, and their interests often converged with the staging of experimental theater.