Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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    This short essay appeared in a fold-up catalogue for the exhibition “Eight Artists from Campinas” at the Galeria de Arte Sociedade Amigos da Cinemateca in São Paulo. In it, Theon Spanudis praises the gallery for having chosen, as one of its first exhibitions, a group of artists from the city of Campinas, “an excellent nucleus of young, active and creative artists.” He lists the participating artists: Eneas Dedecca, in a phase of “agitated expressionism”; Francisco Biojone, whose “faceted structures” are always in “fugitive movement”; Geraldo de Souza and his “crystalline structures”; Geraldo Jürgensen, with wire sculptures wires “of considerable poetic lightness” and “rhythmic simplicity”; Maria Helena Motta Paes, showing confidence with her “dense and rhythmic compositions”; Mario Bueno and his “structural geometry”; Raul Porto with “a mysterious lushness, full of signs and interlaced rythms and meanings”; and Thomaz Perina, who complicates his “sensitive circles with extended, expressive black bands.”

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    The psychoanalyst, poet, collector and critic Theon Spanudis (1915–86) was born in Smyrna, Turkey, and came to São Paulo in 1950 at the invitation of the Brazilian Society of Psychoanalysis. In São Paulo, he frequented the studios of painters such as Alfredo Volpi and José Antônio da Silva, of whom he was an early champion and collector. In 1957, he left psychoanalysis to devote himself to writing poetry and art criticism; he was active in the neo-concrete movement and is one of the founders of Brazilian kinetic poetry. As a critic, he wrote for São Paulo publications such as Habitat [see in the ICAA digital archive “A importância educativa da arte contemporânea” (doc. no. 1110402)], A&D: Arquitectua e Decoração [see “A pintura de Alfredo Volpi” (doc. no. 1085614)], Cavalo Azul and O Estado do S. Paulo. In 1979, he donated his collection of art to the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da USP.

     

    This small exhibition, held in September 1964 at the newly formed Galeria SAC, showcased forays into abstraction by a mix of well-known and lesser-known artists from Campinas. The reverse of the document includes photographs and biographies of each participating artist.

     

    [For more by Theon Spanudis, see the following essays in the ICAA digital archive: “A Bienal de Salvador” (doc. no. 1110843), and “A pintura de José Antonio da Silva” (doc. no. 1110357).

     

    For complementary reading, see by Alberto Amendola Heinel “F. Biojone” (doc. no. 1316638); by Raul Porto “Geraldo de Souza” (doc. no. 1322383), and “Raul Porto [Letter] to Aracy Amaral” (doc. no. 1316858); by Décio Pignatari “Vanguarda e Raul Porto” (doc. no. 1233071), and “Raúl Porto” (doc. no. 1309108); and by Waldemar Cordeiro “Thomaz Perina” (doc. no. 1309148)].