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FT-61616-14
The Emergence of Abstract Art in Postwar Brazil
Adele Nelson, Temple University

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FT-61616-14

“There is No Repetition: Hélio Oiticica’s Early Practice" (Catalog)
Title: “There is No Repetition: Hélio Oiticica’s Early Practice"
Author: Nelson, Adele
Abstract: An essay regarding the early work of Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica included in the exhibition catalog "Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium," edited by Lynn Zelevansky, Elisabeth Sussman, James Rondeau, and Donna De Salvo with Anna Katherine Brodbeck.
Year: 2016
Primary URL: http://firstsearch.oclc.org.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/WebZ/FSPage?pagename=record:sessionid=fsapp6-58372-irwjpm98-i0jghp:entitypagenum=7:0:entitycurrecno=1
Primary URL Description: Worldcat.org
Catalog Type: Exhibition Catalog
Publisher: Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museum of Art; Munich: DelMonico/Prestel

Art as Real, Direct Construction: Waldemar Cordeiro and Grupo Ruptura (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Art as Real, Direct Construction: Waldemar Cordeiro and Grupo Ruptura
Author: Adele Nelson
Abstract: Grupo Ruptura (Rupture Group), the abstract and Concrete art group established in São Paulo in 1952, is commonly characterized by its dismissal of all but the most stringent practice of geometric abstraction. This paper asserts that the crux of the group's approach entailed the conception of art as a form of knowledge and social relation more so than a claim to stylistic unity or hard-and-fast antagonism to figuration. The group's leader, artist and critic Waldemar Cordeiro, was, along with critic Mário Pedrosa, one of abstraction's most significant interpreters in Brazil in the decade following World War II. I analyze the parallels Cordeiro constructed between non-representational abstraction and day-to-day, material reality and his criticisms of the private, exclusionary nature of the new modern art institutions in Brazil in relationship to his engagement with the discourses of Marxism and formalist art theory. Challenging an account of the history of Brazilian abstraction that centers the international contact fostered by the first São Paulo Bienal (1951) and the influence of Max Bill, I explore Cordeiro and his contemporaries' manifold immersion in the history and theory of modernism and the heterodox early abstract practice of Cordeiro and fellow Grupo Ruptura members, including Geraldo de Barros.
Date: 11/5/2017
Primary URL: http://153.10.241.9/museum/programs/lectures/media/pst_symposium_program.pdf
Primary URL Description: Program for Getty Center Conference
Secondary URL: http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/en/events/event/view/getty-pst-la-la-symposium
Secondary URL Description: Announcement of event on site dedicated to the Pacific Standard Time initiative of the Getty Foundation.
Conference Name: Encounters, Utopias, and Experimentation: From Pre-Columbian Tenochtitlan to Contemporary Buenos Aires, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Symposium, The Getty Research Institute

There is No Repetition: Hélio Oiticica's Early Practice (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: There is No Repetition: Hélio Oiticica's Early Practice
Author: Adele Nelson
Abstract: "There is no reason why my pre-1959 work should be taken seriously," Hélio Oiticica stated in 1972, dismissing the hundreds of works he produced in the mid- to late 1950s as an unoriginal working through of other artists' ideas-"infinitesimated mondrianstructure." Oiticica's thinking about European modernism and the art and ideas of Paul Klee, Kazimir Malevich, and Piet Mondrian, in particular, was indeed paramount in his production of these years, as he expressed in a gouache on cardboard work from 1958 he retrospectively titled MALEKLEDRIAN in Four Positions (MALEKLEDRIAN em 4 posições). Scholars have persuasively interpreted Malevich and Mondrian as key interlocutors for Oiticica in his abandonment of painting and pictorial space in favor of three-dimensional and social space, but Klee's significant role has gone largely unanalyzed. Klee was among the first modern artists whose work Oiticica viewed in significant quantities in person, at the National Gallery of Art and possibly the Klee Room at the Phillips Collection when his family lived in Washington, D.C., between 1947 and 1949, and at the remarkable historical displays at the second Bienal de São Paulo in 1953-54. He also acquired numerous Klee monographs during the 1950s. Moreover, Klee's stylistic heterodoxy was central to the expanded conception of modernism put forward by critic Mário Pedrosa, whose writings and ideas were foundational to Oiticica's own. As I will argue, Oiticica's interest in Klee - documented in sketches, writings, and works over the course of the 1950s - encompassed more than formal concerns and extended to the foundations of Oiticica's conception of art making as an ethical, nonlinear practice.
Date: 9/25/2017
Primary URL: http://spanish-portuguese.berkeley.edu/events/event/critical-interventions-on-latino-american-art-beatriz-balantas-natalia-brizuela-claire-fox-esther-gabara-adriana-johnson-suzanne-li-puma-china-medel-adele-nelson-fernando-rosenberg-2/
Primary URL Description: Program of conference at University of California, Berkeley
Conference Name: Critical Interventions on Latin/o American Art Conference, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Berkeley

Lygia Pape, Fields, and Language (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Lygia Pape, Fields, and Language
Author: Adele Nelson
Abstract: In the early 1960s, Pape exhibited the two works, both unbound books, in tandem in the and she and critics discussed the works as interconnected projects. One was Book of Creation (1959-60), widely considered a landmark work in postwar art history, now held in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and as an embodiment of the participatory principles of Neo-Concretism - the movement that has received more attention than any other of Brazil's contributions to contemporary art. The other is the lesser known Poemas-Xilogravuras (Poems-Woodcuts) (1960), composed of fourteen sheets of cardboard printed with poems and woodcuts on cardboard. And indeed Poemas-Xilogravuras soon receded into the background of Pape's representation of her production and the work has been little studied by historians. Placing the works back into relation to one another, I argue, reinforces an original and radical component of Book of Creation, namely the withholding of language. The juxtaposition of the two projects allows us to perceive the different representational and expressive labor Pape assigns to language, touch, and vision in the description of nature.
Date: 5/4/2017
Primary URL: http://www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/met-speaks/symposia/lygia-pape-symposium
Primary URL Description: Program of conference at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Secondary URL: http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/video/lectures/lygia-pape-symposium-afternoon
Secondary URL Description: Video of conference proceedings
Conference Name: To Live is to Invent: Perspectives on the Art and Life of Lygia Pape, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


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