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Possibilities of the Object

Possibilities of the Object: Experiments in Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Art
6 March – 25 May 2015

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.

artEDU Stiftung

Possibilities of the Object Webfilm


Talks and Events

Curator’s Talk
Guest curator Paulo Venancio Filho talks to curator Professor Briony Fer (UCL).

Panel Discussion
Rachel Adams (artist), Dr Michael Asbury (University of the Arts, London) and Dr Isobel Whitelegg (LJMU/Tate Liverpool) consider the role of the object in Brazilian art from the 1950s to the present. Chaired by Dr Catherine Spencer (University of St Andrews).

Part of the conference ‘Possibilities of Exchange: Experiments in Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art’, co-organised by The Fruitmarket Gallery and Edinburgh College of Art/University of Edinburgh (13 & 14 May 2015). For further information, visit

Related items

Exhibition Poster

This poster was designed by The Fruitmarket Gallery to support the Possibilities of the Object : Experiments in Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Art exhibition which ran from 6 March – 25 May 2015.

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Exhibition DVD

The Fruitmarket Gallery is proud to bring you this short film of the exhibition Possibilities of the Object : Experiments in Modern And Contemporary Brazilian Art which ran from 6 March – 25 May 2015.


This book examines the pioneering role Brazilian artists played in the innovative international art scene of the 1950s to 1970s. Written by Paulo Venancio Filho with a foreward by Briony Fer and biographies of the artists compiled by Stacy Boldrick.

BUY NOW £15.95