Urgent Museum Notice

ULTRAMODERN: The Art of Contemporary Brazil

Large, abstract sculpture, fabricated of rusted iron wires, conveys an organic form. At center is a mass of thin, tangled wires shaped into a thick disc, sitting on edge. From either side of the center disc a mass of slightly bent, thicker wires juts straight out.
Apr 02 to Aug 01, 1993

NMWA proudly presents ULTRAMODERN: The Art of Contemporary Brazil, on view from April 2 through August 1, 1993. This is the first exhibition in the United States to showcase the unique contributions of Brazilian women artists who have been integral to post-war advances in the visual arts in Brazil. The exhibition was organized by NMWA in conjunction with the Brazilian-American Cultural Institute and the Brazilian Embassy.

An overview of the work of eighteen accomplished contemporary artists: Frida Baranek, Maria Bonomi, Leda Catunda, Lygia Clark, Clementina Duarte, Anna Bella Geiger, Ester Grinspum, Jac Leirner, Beatriz Milhazes, Tomie Ohtake, Fayga Ostrower, Lygia Pape, Rosângela Rennó, Mira Schendel, Regina Silveira, Ana Maria Tavares, Amelia Toledo and Regina Vater, the exhibition will examine the impact of international art styles upon Brazilian cultural concerns.

Brazil is famous for the rapid urbanization it experienced in the mid-20th century, and its art depicts much about its progress. The women in ULTRAMODERN: The Art of Contemporary Brazil represent Brazil as a new world phenomenon, a nation fully expressing its contemporary culture and strongly participating in the global art world. Starting with the geometric abstraction of Neoconcretism, the exhibition brings to the fore work that has often been overlooked in survey exhibitions of Latin American art held in the United States.

ULTRAMODERN: The Art of Contemporary Brazil opens with works by Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, and Mira Schendel, part of the post-World War II generation of women whose core contribution to Brazilian culture continues to be felt today. Each artist experimented with a variety of media and approaches which are now seen as representing a postmodern mindset. Clark combined hard-edge abstraction and sculpture with an ever-increasing interest in “happenings” and other events as psychological encounters. Pape creates hard-edged sculpture, conceptual art, installations, books, and videos, while Mira Schendel painted and produced so-called “throw-away” sculptures and thousands of minimalist drawings, using high-tech materials such as acrylic and letra-set to create conceptual commentaries on the alphabet as a cultural definer.

The 50-year survey, ULTRAMODERN: The Art of Contemporary Brazil, encompasses the artwork of several generations and reflects the rapid change and urbanization of Brazil. Women have stood at the center of this progressive evolution in the visual arts, helping to rapidly reshape their culture. This is the message of NMWA’s exhibition ULTRAMODERN: The Art of Contemporary Brazil.