In an essay written for the exhibition Artistas de Campinas, held at the Galería de Arte das Folhas [see the ICAA Digital Archive (1316875)], Cordeiro—while discussing the “trends” and nonfigurative “content” of the works on display—mentions one of the participating artists, Thomaz Perina, and briefly outlines a few theoretical thoughts. In his opinion, Perina “paints as he creates and creates as he paints;” that is, his realism is based on a concrete materiality that has nothing to do with the arbitrary nature of the kind of subjectivity that embraces everything from “solipsist hedonism” to all “camouflaged forms of metaphor.” The Concrete art theorist also claims to see a “morphological meaning” in these works that “play with the contradictions” that exist between their geometric style and their luminous, tactile tonalities. Perina thus creates a field (of action) where the essential aspects of the image are evoked by the “surprises and discoveries” of his painting. Cordeiro wrote about Perina again, on the occasion of another exhibition at this gallery [see the following in the ICAA Digital Archive: “Prêmio Leirner de Arte Contemporânea, 1960” (1232976)].
Thomaz Perina taught painting in his studio and drawing at the Escola de Desenho e Tecnologia in Campinas. His students included Geraldo de Souza, Raul Porto, Maria Helena Motta Paes, and Francisco Biojone. Along with Porto, he was a founding member of the Grupo Vanguarda, which mounted more than twenty group exhibitions between 1957 and 1966, including one at the Galeria de Arte das Folhas in 1959.
The combative painter, designer, landscape architect, art critic, and theoretician Waldemar Cordeiro (b. 1925; d. 1973) was born in Rome but settled in Brazil shortly after the Second World War. In the late 1940s he began to publish his theories in local newspapers. This document is representative of the sort of ideas that Cordeiro was advocating—during that period of profound disagreement concerning the visual arts in Brazil—based on the “concrete aspect” of art. His focus was in terms of its potential for self-reference and the concept of “art” as a real, totally autonomous object.
[For complementary reading, see the following articles in the ICAA digital archive: “Produto direto de uma atitude crítica...” (1087239) by Waldemar Cordeiro; “Oito Artistas de Campinas” (1316891) by Theon Spanudis; “Geraldo de Souza” (1322383) and “Raul Porto [Letter] to Aracy Amaral” (1316858) by Raul Porto; and “Vanguarda e Raul Porto” (1233071) and “Raúl Porto” (1309108) by Décio Pignatari.]