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Sacilotto, obras selecionadas is the catalogue for an exhibition of the paintings of the Brazilian artist Luís Sacilotto at the Sylvio Nery da Fonseca gallery in São Paulo (May 24-June 24, 1995). It includes an essay by Frederico de Morais, “Ruptura e continuidade,” that traces Sacilotto’s importance to the Brazilian cultural sphere from his working-class roots and his beginnings as a sign painter and experiences as an industrial designer to the significant advances that were fueled by his artistic experimentations with industrial materials. Moreover, Morais writes, throughout his long career, Sacilotto remained true to his Concrete roots and insisted on such cornerstone values as structure over narrative, the play on simplified numerical rhythms, or serialization and repetition. Indeed, this is what—in the context of Sacilotto’s oeuvre—the late artist and critic Waldemar Cordeiro identified as his binary character: the play between positives and negatives, presence and absence, voids and solid matter. The catalogue to Sacilotto, obras selecionadas also includes a curriculum vitae, color illustrations, as well as the exhibition’s checklist for works that span the period from 1950 to the early 1980s.
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.