As he mentions in his essay, the critic Ferreira Gullar (1930–2016) agreed with the Neo-Concrete group’s basic principles. After his essay “Teoría del No-objeto” [see the ICAA Digital Archive (1091374)] appeared in the Sunday Supplement of the Jornal do Brasil (December 19–20, 1959), he became the movement’s theorist. As regards the issue of the São Paulo Concrete artists’ “critical objectivity” as distinct from the Rio de Janeiro Neo-Concrete artists’ “emphasis on experience,” it should be noted that, in all his theoretical writings—especially in his “Manifesto Neoconcreto” (1110328), in which he refers to experience (six times) using the least sensitive word he could have chosen, “transcendence” —Gullar endorses this hobbyhorse at an almost metaphysical philosophical level. See the annotations in “Da arte concreta à arte neoconcreta” (doc. no 1315036) and/or “Arte Concreta” (1315020).
This polemical essay is an example of the debates that raged between Concrete artists in São Paulo and their Neo-Concrete challengers in Rio de Janeiro (see 1315118). It was originally published in the Rio de Janeiro newspaper Jornal do Brasil on July 16, 1960. The text appeared in Projeto Construtivo Brasileiro na Arte, the catalogue for the exhibition organized in São Paulo by Aracy Amaral (b. 1930) and Lygia Pape (1927–2004). The event was hugely influential in Brazil, prompting an innovative reading of the meaning of the rationalist movements in Brazilian art. The exhibition was presented in 1977 at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and, later on, at the MAM-RJ (Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro).
[For more information about this exhibition, see the following in the ICAA Digital Archive: “Projeto construtivo brasileiro na arte” (1110680) by Pape; “A arquitetura é a grande arte de nosso tempo —1948: Romero Brest em São Paulo” (1314972) by Jorge Romero Brest; and “O problema da educação artística depois da Bauhaus” (1315069) by Tomás Maldonado.]