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    In this handwritten note, dated February 10, 1987, Fernando Cocchiarale writes to collector Adolpho Leirner to clarify the orientation of a work from his collection, Alfredo Volpi’s Composição. Cocchiarale includes diagrams to illustrate his confusion and refers to a telephone call in which Leirner described the correct orientation. In a post script, Cocchiarale also asks about another work, Ivan Serpa’s Faixas ritmadas, which he understands as vertical.


    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). Both of the works mentioned are now part of the MFAH’s collection, where their orientations remain as Cocchiarale confirmed. 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)].