Chavantes, São Paulo, Brazil, 1923 São Paulo, 1998
collage on graph paper
Geraldo de Barros was one of the most active artists of the Brazilian avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s, and belonged to the first concretist group of São Paulo, Ruptura, which advanced concrete art in Brazil from 1952 onward. He is also considered a pioneer of experimental art photography with the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirantes. His 1950 exhibition Fotoformas revealed a unique artistic language that combines the manipulation of negatives with a keen instinct for the observation of reality. The images shown in this room evince various aspects of the series, conveying the artists reach and opening to the world, everyday life and chance, always in dialogue with the formal rigor of his concretist orientation. The Fotoformas approximate photography with both painting and drawing in terms of an interest for the line, monochromaticity and surface. The other body of work presented in this room features studies by the artist for monochromatic works made with formica, and represent a return to his abstractionist roots, proposing spatial variations around the square. Simultaneously delicate and ambitious, the collages result in a formal interplay involving the manipulation of reality with playful and nearly fantastic consequences.