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Universidade de So Paulo

Biblioteca Digital da Produo Intelectual - BDPI

Museu de Arte Contempornea - MAC Livros e Captulos de Livros - MAC


Csar Baldaccini

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da Universidade de So Paulo
da Universidade de So Paulo





Museu de Arte Contempornea
So Paulo
Marselha, 1921 - Paris, 1998

Ana Magalhes

A nona edio da Bienal de So Paulo, em 1967, no foi a primeira

na qual o escultor francs, nascido em Marselha, Csar Baldaccini
participou. Sua presena no evento acontecera pela primeira vez em
1959, quando o artista apresentara um conjunto de assemblages de
ferro e comeava a se projetar internacionalmente com suas esculturas
criadas a partir do uso de mquinas de compresso de carros descar-
tados em ferros velhos. Ao chegar ao Brasil para sua segunda partici-
pao, a sim na IX Bienal, Csar comeava a experimentar com um
novo material: o poliuretano expandido, com o qual o artista fez formas
em grandes formatos vistas em Paris no Salo de Maio daquele mesmo
ano. Sua Expanso Controlada havia sido, portanto, realizada nesse
contexto, antes de embarcar ao Brasil para compor a sala especial do
artista dentro da Representao Nacional francesa da Bienal.
A Frana, por sua vez, se apresentava como uma jovem represen- Expanso Controlada, 1967
poliuretano 221,5 x 171,4 x 116,7 cm Aquisio MAC USP
tao. A escolha do comissrio e crtico ligado ao Nouveau Ralisme Baldaccini, Cesar / AUTVIS, Brasil, 2015
francs, ao lado de Pierre Restany, Michel Ragon, em expor esse
novo Csar ao lado de jovens artistas no era neutra e vinha para
fazer frente crescente hegemonia da nova arte norte-americana,
considerava a obra feita de um material duvidoso e esteticamente
representada ento pela Arte Pop. A Frana ainda se imps com a pol-
muito ruim. Para fundamentar sua escolha, recorreu aos escritos de
mica que se instaurou no debate em torno do grande prmio, disputado
Herbert Read sobre a escultura moderna, colocando as expanses de
com a Gr-Bretanha e os Estados Unidos e cujos finalistas foram o
Csar numa linhagem de reformulao da linguagem da escultura, ao
ingls Richard Smith e Csar1.
lado de Eduardo Paolozzi.
Csar realizou aqui tambm uma expanso. A ao aconteceu em Em carta ao artista de fevereiro de 1968, Zanini fala sobre a colo-
29 de setembro daquele ano, no Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de cao da obra na mesma sala do dolo Hermafrodita de Paolozzi. Saa
Janeiro (MAM RJ), com a presena de Pierre Restany e Mrio Pedrosa. de cena Unidade Tripartida de Max Bill, at ento exposta no lugar que
E durante sua visita a So Paulo, ele conheceu Walter Zanini, em visita o diretor do Museu escolhera para expor Expanso Controlada. Exposta
ao MAC USP, onde demonstrou apreciao pelo dolo Hermafrodita na I Bienal de So Paulo, em 1951, a Unidade Tripartida, era, para
de Eduardo Paolozzi (aquisio recente para o acervo do Museu). O aquela gerao, emblema do engajamento dos artistas brasileiros nas
resultado desse encontro foi uma proposta de compra de Expanso tendncias da abstrao geomtrica e nas questes da arte concreta.
Controlada pelo Museu, esta tambm no sem polmica. Zanini publica Expanso Controlada permaneceu, assim, vestgio de uma ao de
um artigo na revista Mirante das Artes respondendo crtica local, que Csar no Rio de Janeiro e daquilo que Zanini chamou do tournant da
1 O prmio afinal dado a Richard Smith, mas a direo da Bienal oferece um prmio de honra a Csar, que o recusa. escultura contempornea.
fragments of contemporary culture are not decided on their own or according to the Jonathas de ANDRADE
ruling codes; rather, they evoke a dispersed, floating and anonymous value that is not Macei, 1982
included in the encyclopedia. These are non-accurate images, submitted to the idea of
the maybe yes, maybe no; in other words, what may be endlessly enunciated under the Ronaldo Entler
rule, which is also encyclopedic, of whats undecided.
Every language is formed by rules and gaps. Therefore, words impose a sense
on things and allow them to be deeply transformed. Jonathas de Andrade knows
that learning to read and write always has a political dimension: language includes
gestures of obedience and subversion, and this is the moment when the weights of
Tarsila do AMARAL1 these two potencies will be defined and developed in social practices.
Capivari, 1886 - So Paulo, 1973
Educao para adultos [Adult Education] is a set of 60 posters displayed at the 29th
So Paulo Biennial, in 2010. At first, it is a very simple game consisting of comparing
Paulo Sergio Duarte
photographs and words. The work uses as reference the literacy teaching method
A Negra [The Black Woman] by Tarsila, 1923, does not escape from this created in the 1960s by the educator Paulo Freire, which consisted in associating
consciousness. It is an example that Brazil could be modern. A Negra goes further every-day words to images that could be read based on the experiences of a given
beyond the master Lger; however, not in terms of its formal heritage to which it community. The efforts to introduce the method in governmental literacy policies were
remains faithful, but in terms of giving meaning, in terms of what makes Tarsila not abandoned after the 1964 coup dtat.
follow la manire de. It is a nude painting, whose radical feature is contextualized.
Since the 1980s, Jonathas de Andrades mother was a public school teacher
All stereotypes the ruling class has formed about the black woman are present
in Alagoas State. When she retired in 2006, she gave him 21 volumes of teaching
especially the envy and the jealousy of the white Brazilian woman. Her breasts
material that followed Paulo Freires method and used to be sold in newsstands in
are saggy, maybe for having breastfed all the children of her lady and her lips are
the 1970s. This was the point of departure for the artist to conduct activities with
exaggeratedly thick, but Tarsila lives in another time that is not that of Manet. She is
six illiterate women in daily meetings, for one month. He sought to reconstruct this
the intelligent daughter of Cubism, but remains partially attached to the solutions to
association with them, making the selected set of words act both in the discussion of
which Brazilian art is committed; the detail will not be enough to clear this out. The
their realities and the re-signification of images from recent history.
entire ambivalent and ambiguity of Brazilian modern art are not evident in a different
tension. A Negra, like the Les Demoiselles dAvignon, is a manifesto painting. When More than making a commitment to teach these people, Jonathas de Andrade
we observe the drawings made in preparation for A Negra we see a body reduced to seems to test the Utopian vocabulary of the time of Paulo Freire, in an experience that
one plane, faithful to its time, which is extremely rare around here and not only in is now influenced by other historical times: the coup of 1964, the re-reading of the
the field of the arts. No academic solutions, no concession. The brutality of the figure method in volumes published in the 1970s, the decades in which his mother worked
offends, first of all, because it does not repeat the cubist lesson literally. The deformed as an educator that year of 2006 when the artist learned about the posters and,
body is continuous; it is not fragmented; it is not the object of a destructive effort. finally, the moment in which he worked with the group of women.
The plane is affirmed in a composition in which the body is complete and, without The photo-word play in the new posters continues to call for the opening of both
exaggerating, we would say it is constructive. And this is an element of tension. languages: to the public, the proposed relations can seem didactics, or random, or
Because in painting the straight lines are part of the environment, which is not deep, poetic, or ironic... They may point to contingent facts or form allegories that transcend
but they are accessories; the straight lines would be the constructive elements per any established time. But the set is always disturbing. Whereas it does not aim at
se, as they are in various other works by Tarsila, a student of Lger. In Negra, just as establishing new utopias, at least it breaks with the inertia that is left of the awareness
in Tarsilas 1928 Abaporu, the curves are the elements that apparently construct. that the most sincere expression will not make the word perfect.
But in Negra we have a more complete architecture that is less provocative at first
Educao para Adultos refers to late literacy, which is a social issue that has to
sight, though. Her breast juxtaposed to her arm intends to be a sort of a foreground
be addressed. But it also refers to the possibility of continuously renewing the role of
that cannot exist. Besides this superimposition, there is no illusion of depth, despite
languages through art. To educate is to enable that sharing of a tradition while confronting
the representation of volume, which makes it more radical ma non troppo. Whereas
it with the need of each place and each time. When the automatism of language results
the lines of the drawing are curved, a system of absent straight lines organizes the
in silence, its gaps allow communication to regain a critical and aesthetical dimension.
entire painting, which produces meaning. Her oblique lips indicate a malaise or a
certain dgout and her arrow-shaped eyes seem to express proudness and boredom
instead of hatred. The image of the Negra occupies the entire painting; it is not a
figure in the composition. Csar BALDACCINI
Sitting on the floor, the Brazilian Gioconda does not smile. It is a marvelous Marseille, 1921 - Paris, 1998
modern monster.2
Ana Magalhes
The ninth edition of the So Paulo Biennial, in 1967, was not the first one in which
1 In: DUARTE, Paulo Sergio. Anos 60 Transformaes da arte no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Campos Gerais, 1998, p. 19.
2 Paulo Sergio Duarte, Emblemas do Corpo - o Nu na Arte Moderna Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, the French sculptor Csar Baldaccini, born in Marseille, participated. He first took part
1994, pp. 14-15. in the event in 1959, when he presented a set of iron assemblages and was beginning
to be recognized internationally with sculptures created from the use of cars crushed between communication and contemporary art discussed within the field of
in junkyards. When Baldaccini arrived in Brazil to participate again in the So Paulo politics of subjectivity.4 NBP is nearly a program for actions, and it is developed
Biennial, he was starting to experiment with a new material: expanded polyurethane, around 3 vectors: the immateriality of the body (organic matter dissolved in the
with which the artist made large-scale pieces seen in Paris, in the Salon de Mai that immateriality of technological rhythms, such as in the network), the materiality
same year. Therefore, his Expansion Controle had been made in this context, before of thought (which has plastic potentiality, can be shaped, as defended by Beuys
he came to Brazil to take part in the special room dedicated to him in the French social sculpture) and the instantaneous Logos (ravishing, sudden, involving,
National Representation of the Biennial. immediate, instant visual knowledge).5
France, in its turn, brought a young representation. The choice made by Michel In the MAC USP collection, one NBP category is a large wood sculpture that
Ragon, curator and critic connected with the French Nouveau Ralisme, together with reproduces the basic form used in many works of the NBP project: a rectangle whose
Pierre Restany, to display this new Csar side by side with young artists was not four vertices are cut and that contains a hollow circle in its center. This form is a
neutral; the aim was to respond to the increasing hegemony of the new American stylization of the human eye, even though it is not limited to established meanings.
art, which was represented by Pop Art that year. France was also involved in the Indeed, it is a work that fulfils the difficult task of not looking like anything, as if it
controversial debate regarding the grand-prize disputed with Great Britain and the proposed the need to renew our repertoire of signs. In the wood plank, there is the
United States the finalists were the English Richard Smith and Csar3. screen-printing of the acronym of the project that, since the 1990s, guides Basbaums
Csar also conducted an expansion here in Brazil. The action took place on work: NBP. According to the artist, the acronym is organized around 3 concepts:
September 29th that same year, at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM N - News: modern obsession and needs
RJ), with the presence of Pierre Restany and Mrio Pedrosa. During his stay in So Paulo, B - Bases: structures, why not?
he met Walter Zanini, when visiting the MAC USP, where he expressed his appreciation
for Eduardo Paolozzis Hermaphrodite Idol (recently acquired by the Museum). The result P Personality: discussion that includes the fields of psychoanalysis, biology,
of this meeting was the Museums proposal to purchase Expansion Controle, a fact anthropology, behavioral and statistic analysis, socio-economical mechanisms, etc.,
that was also controversial. Zanini published an article in the magazine Mirante das together with artistic issues (...), a large and unstable terrain.6
Artes in response to local critics, who considered the piece to be made of doubtful and So, the acronym reveals the genetics of the work, from its modern heritage
aesthetically bad material. To justify his choice, he evoked Herbert Reads writings on that seeks whats new (and social transformation) to the valuing of the artwork as
modern sculpture and located Csars expansions in a lineage that aimed at renewing structure or basis, which was dear to 1960s and 1970s artists, as well as to the
the language of sculpture, together with Eduardo Paolozzi. multidimensionality of post-modern art, which is certainly not after whats modern,
In a letter to Csar of February 1968, Zanini mentions his intention to put it in the but attached to whats modern, multiplexing the work in various axes and various
same room as Paolozzis Hermaphrodite Idol. Max Bills Tripartite Unity, which until fields of knowledge.
then had been located in the room the Museum director had chosen to put Expansion In the work that belongs to the MAC USP collection, NBP appears as a landmark
Controle, was removed. To that generation, Tripartite Unity, which had been displayed gravestone or pole? that signalizes a new cycle of understanding the individual,
in the 1st So Paulo Biennial, in 1951, was a symbol of the engagement of Brazilian the relationship of the individual with the collective and, therefore, a new cycle of
artists in abstract geometric trends and in the issues of concrete art. So, Expansion understanding what art is. This is certainly not a work that may be interpreted based
Controle remained as a vestige of an action by Csar in Rio de Janeiro and of what on the valuing of the object: what is part of the MAC USP collection is a category,
Zanini called the tournant of contemporary sculpture. embodied in wood, of a conceptual motto for transformation.7

Joseph BEUYS
Ricardo BASBAUM Krefeld, 1921 - Dusseldorf, 1986
So Paulo, 1961
Marta Mestre
Paula Braga One of the first drawings by Joseph Beuys is the portrait of a Russian nurse made in
The notion of participation in the artwork, very important to artists in the 1960s, his war notebook, in 1943. He drew it after suffering an accident in an isolated region
is expanded to the notion of collective in Ricardo Basbaums work. In wall diagrams of Crimea (former USSR) where he was serving the German army. On the occasion, he
that explore the superpronome euvoc [superpronoun youandI] the construction received help from local nomadic peoples who covered him with felt and animal fat.
of an understanding of the individual as part and cell of a whole, Basbaum builds This episode comes to us with notes about his fascination for Mongolian-Slavic culture,
a model of coexistence that is very particular to the age of networks. Therefore, it for their lifestyles and the harsh conditions in the battlefront.
is aligned with contemporary philosophies that see the collective as a new potency
of whats political in art. Collective thinking is developed in Basbaums work in a 4 BASBAUM, Ricardo. Voc Gostaria de Participar de uma Experincia Artstica? So Paulo: ECA USP, 2008 (Doctoral
project that has various forms, the NBP - Novas Bases para a Personalidade [New dissertation presented to the Graduate Program in Visuail Poetics), 2008. Vol. 2, p.6
Bases for Personality], launched in 1990 and whose theme are the connections 5 IDEM, p. 17
6 IDEM, p. 83
7 APUD. Brett, Guy Arte no plural. Brasil Experimental: Arte/Vida, Proposies e Paradoxos. Rio de Janeiro: Contra Capa,
3 The prize was granted to Richard Smith, but the direction of the Biennial offered special prize to Csar, who refused it. 2005, p. 270.