Order and Subjectivity

25 October- 15 December 2007



As part of the Brazilian Culture Month 2007, organised in cooperation with the Embassy of Brazil, the Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art presents an exhibition of works by renowned Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino curated by Michael Asbury. The opening of the exhibition will be held on 25 October 2007 at 8.00pm.

Anna Maria Maiolino’s work has for some time been considered as central to the development of late 20th century art in Brazil and Latin America, and the artist has increasingly received international recognition as a key figure in contemporary art generally. Over a career that spans almost 50 years, Maiolino has continuously re-appraised her production, initiating new lines of enquiry, often accompanied by the use of new media. It may at first seem surprising that despite such ‘new-beginnings’, her production appears so coherent. Indeed, seen in retrospect, it maintains a narrow relation with the pressing issues of its time whilst keeping its own internal logic, appropriately defined as a demarcation of a ‘territory of immanence’. Productive tensions have operated throughout the stages of her career, forming a contextual matrix that ranges from the personal to the historical, from the quotidian to the monumental. Subjectivity thus accompanies the work’s relation to the wider history of art, guiding the ambivalence between the artist’s innate modesty and her impossible desire for completeness, a stubborn search for a sense of totality in the work. This exhibition presents recent and historic works by the artist, ranging from drawings and photographs, to films and an installation.

About the artist

Anna Maria Maiolino was born on 20 May 1942 in Scalea, Calabria, Italy to an Ecuadorian mother and an Italian father, the youngest of ten children. In 1954 she immigrated with her family to Caracas, Venezuela. She moved with her parents to Rio de Janeiro in 1960 and studied painting there with Henrique Cavaleiro and Ivan Serpa from 1961, and woodcut with Adir Botelho from 1962, when she met a number of Brazilian artists who would later form the New Figuration group. She married Rubens Gerchman in 1963. She held her first solo exhibition in Caracas in 1964. During the late 1960s she produced a series of works using the written word, fabric and upholstery stuffing, such as Glu, Glu, Glu…, O Heroi, and A Espera. Many of these were included in the New Brazilian Objectivity exhibition, organised by Hélio Oiticica and others in 1967 at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. In 1968 she became a Brazilian citizen, and later spent over two years in the United States. In 1971 Maiolino was recommend by the Uruguayan artist Luiz Camnitzer to receive a study grant from the Pratt University to attend a workshop at the International Graphic Pratt Centre. After separating from Gerchman she returned to Rio de Janeiro with her children. In 1974 she received an award at the 1st Brazilian Festival of Super-8 Film for her film In-Out (Antropofagia).

Since then she has participated in numerous group exhibitions and held various solo shows. These include the XXI National Salon of Modern Art in 1971, Mitos Vadios, organised by Hélio Oiticica and Ivald Granato in 1978. In 1982 she spent a year outside Brazil revisiting Rome, New York and Caracas. From 1984 to 1989 she lived with the Argentine artist Victor Grippo in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. In 1994 Maiolino featured on the cover of Inside the Visible, an acclaimed international itinerant exhibition curated by Catherine de Zegher. She participated in the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo in 1998. In 2001 she held a major solo exhibition at the Drawing Centre in New York. A retrospective exhibition curated by Paulo Venancio and Rina Carvaral was held at the Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo in 2005 and MAC, Miami in 2006.


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