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 this letter, dated October 14, 1986, Fernando Cocchiarale writes to collector Adolpho Leirner to formally request permission to photograph works from his collection for publication in the forthcoming book (then-titled) Abstracionismo Geométrico e informal no Brasil dos anos cinquenta. Though the request comes from Iole Atunes de Freitas, Adjunct Director of the Instituto Nacional de Artes Plásticas da FUNARTE, Cocchiarale attaches a handwritten cover note who details some negotiations over which works to include in the book, such as balancing representation from both private collections and public institutions: “I opted to photograph the Fiaminghi and the Lauand from the Pinacoteca do Estado. Both lend themselves to good black and white reproduction.” The document encloses an annotated checklist of works to be reproduced.
The art critic, professor and curator Fernando Cocchiarale (b. 1952) began his career as an experimental artist. In the mid-1970s, working with three writer/artists—Anna Bella Geiger, Ivens Machado and Paulo Herkenhoff—Cocchiarale became involved in the institutional policy of the newly opened Experimental Room at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro [see in the ICAA digital archive by Anna Bella Geiger “Sala Experimental” (doc. no. 1110602)]. Since 1978, he has taught at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and written regularly for newspapers, catalogues and magazines in Brazil and abroad. In the 1980s, Cocchiarale became well-known as a curator, and later served as the visual arts coordinator of the national cultural institution FUNARTE. That institution, which encompassed the Instituto Nacional de Artes Plásticas, had been founded a decade earlier as part of the Ministry of Culture to fund scholarships and prizes, circulate art and cultural production, sponsor workshops and publish books, and support collections and exhibitions of Brazilian art by maintaining cultural spaces in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Brasilia. This letter documents the planning stages of a major publication that would be published by FUNARTE, co-authored by Cocchiarale and Anna Bella Geiger, titled Abstracionismo Geométrico e Informal: aspectos da vanguarda brasileira dos anos 50 (1987). This document belongs to the Adolpho Leirner Archives at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, contributed by the collector himself.
[For more on Fernando Cocchiarale, see the following documents in the ICAA digital archive, all by Cocchiarale: “Artes do espaço e fluxo do tempo” (doc. no. 1111426), “Crítica: a palavra em crise” (doc. no. 1110943), “Da adversidade vivemos” (doc. no. 1110944), “Daniel Senise” (doc. no. 1110946), “Entrevista” (doc. no. 1110517), “Fernando Cocchiarale: agosto 1994” (doc. no. 1110952), “Anna Bella Geiger” (doc. no. 1111066), “O pão nosso de cada dia” (doc. no. 1110557), “A produção contemporânea e as imagens técnicas” (doc. no. 1111427), “Sinais da contemporaneidade no modernismo: do fazer à apropriação” (doc. no. 1111425), “Iberê Camargo” (doc. no. 1110415), and “A velha arte agora” (doc. no. 1110593)].