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In London again... Connections between art and art criticism in South America and Europe (1950-70)

Grant number: 14/01796-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): September 24, 2014
Effective date (End): September 23, 2015
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Art Fundamentals and Criticism
Principal Investigator:Maria de Fátima Morethy Couto
Grantee:Maria de Fátima Morethy Couto
Host Investigator: Michael Asbury
Host Institution: Instituto de Artes (IA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of the Arts London (UAL), England  


The project I intend to develop as visiting fellow in the University of Arts, in London, is related to my research The trauma of the modern: flow between art and art criticism in South America (1950-1970); Texts, works, and exhibitions, which I have been working on since 2008, with the support of the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). My main goal as visiting fellow is to recover the traces and records of the passage of South American artists, of different nationalities, through Europe - especially Paris and London - during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, focusing on how their works were received by the local critics, and comments and observations based on their shows. Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, Mira Schendel, Sérgio Camargo, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jesús Rafael Soto, and Alejandro Otero are some of our artists who showed their work in Paris and London in the period mentioned. Although both the space occupied by these artists and the prominence of their work in those places at the time were relatively small, I intend to evaluate the impact of their art in that context. I also want to study how the place influenced their work, as well as the effects of these contacts in the historiography of Latin American art. Despite all the emphasis given to Hélio Oiticica's time in London, particularly to the Whitechapel Experience, in the historiography of Brazilian art, there is still very little research done here about the connections between Brazilian artists and their counterparts from other South American countries, who also lived and showed their work in Europe from the 1950s to the 1970s; in addition, little research is done about the interaction with the local art community, or in regards to the effects of their work in that specific context. Discussions about the shows here mentioned, or reference to the interest in the work of these artists in Europe, are mostly seen in papers dedicated to each artist individually. By expanding my universe of analysis, I hope to contribute a broader perspective to this net, which was made in a way that was, if not spontaneous, at least very little programmed, and able to shade the boundaries between the so-called central cultures and the peripheral ones. (AU)

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