Possibilities of the Object: Experiments in Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Art

06.03.15 – 25.05.15

Curated by Paulo Venancio Filho with artists: Artur Barrio, Waltércio Caldas, Sergio Camargo, Aluísio Carvão, Amílcar de Castro, Willys de Castro, Lygia Clark, Antonio Dias, Fernanda Gomes, Jac Leirner, Antonio Manuel, Cildo Meireles, Ernesto Neto, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Mira Schendel, Tunga and Carlos Zilio.

In the 1950s and 1960s, artists in Brazil radically transformed what the object of art could be. It was a period of intense experimentation, extremely important to art history, and its effects are still being felt today.

Curator Paulo Venancio Filho brought together objects from studios; talking directly to surviving artists from the period, to artists’ heirs and estates, and to more contemporary artists still working in this experimental tradition today. The exhibition included objects by some of the most famous of all Brazilian artists – Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, Cildo Meireles, Ernesto Neto – and some whose work has only rarely been seen outside Brazil.

On the floor, on walls, hanging from the ceiling, on shelves or gathered together on tables as if still in the studio, these objects invited us to look at art afresh. Playing with ideas around abstraction, figuration, the ready-made and even performance, this show allowed us to think again about what sculpture can be.

This exhibition was supported by Art Edu Stiftung.

Download the Exhibition Guide

Download the Bulletin


Listen to Possibilities of the Object: Curator’s Talk with Paulo Venancio Filho and Professor Briony Fer


Listen to Possibilities of the Object: Panel discussion with Rachel Adams, Dr Michael Asbury, Dr Isobel Whitelegg and Dr Catherine Spencer


Images: Ruth Clark


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