[artinfo] Kinetic and Op Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America 1950s - 1970s

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Fri Aug 3 11:39:43 CEST 2018

The Other Trans-Atlantic:

Kinetic and Op Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America 1950s - 1970s

August 9-October 28, 2018


Sesc Sao Paulo, in keeping with its aim of 
raising public awareness and constructing a 
critical and democratic platform for the 
dissemination of the visual arts, is bringing to 
Brazil another exhibition focused on a critical 
and historical review of 20th-century art, 
shedding light on chapters left out of the 
official history already established along the 
axis between North America and Western Europe. 
This is the project of the exhibition The Other 
Trans-Atlantic: Kinetic and Op Art in Eastern 
Europe and Latin America 1950s - 1970s.

Now in its third version, the show is being held 
in the exhibition spaces of Sesc Pinheiros, 
spotlighting a vast experimental production that 
flourished during the postwar period in countries 
at the fringe of the hegemonic centers of 
culture, especially in South America and Eastern 
Europe, with a special focus on the repertoire of 
kinetic art and op art. Conceived by the Museum 
of Modern Art of Warsaw, where the exhibition was 
initially held, then realized in a second version 
at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, 
the exhibition is now being held by Sesc São 
Paulo in partnership with Instituto Adam 
Mickiewicz and Casa Sanguszko de Cultura 
Polonesa, in a new version featuring artists and 
artworks not in its previous two stagings.

Curated by Marta DziewaŸska, Dieter Roelstraete 
and Abigail Winograd, the overall exhibition 
design involves more than 40 artists and artist 
collectives, with more than 100 artworks of the 
most diverse natures and media, including kinetic 
sculptures, paintings, drawings, films and 
installations, besides a vast archival material. 
For the Brazilian context, the curators have 
relied on the collaboration of researcher Ana 
Avelar, who enlarged the participation of local 
artists with artworks that clearly reveal their 
pertinence to the exhibition's thematic scope. 
This underscores the seminal importance of the 
local initiatives of concretism and 
neoconcretism, which resignified the legacy of 
the historical constructive avant-gardes with 
their painstaking investigation of vision and 
movement, integrating the artwork with the 
surroundings and including the spectator as an 
integral element of the artwork's meaning.

As pointed out by the curatorship, these 
productions that arose from constructive and 
abstract origins aimed to symbolize a new 
subjectivity, different from the abstract 
expressionism, informal art and lyrical 
abstraction then in vogue, by incorporating 
scientific progress and industrial development 
within a utopian social agenda of art. They thus 
constituted a specific programmatic agenda which 
in aesthetic and political terms ran counter to 
the critical approach and formal vision of art's 
hegemonic axis then in place.

Another international geopolitical circuit of art 
was thus spontaneously established, among artists 
from Warsaw, Budapest, Zagreb, Bucharest and 
Moscow, in Eastern Europe, and Buenos Aires, 
Caracas, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, in South 
America. Moreover, all of these locations were in 
a certain way immersed in relatively analogous 
socioeconomic and political realities, thus 
allowing for the rise of artistic strategies with 
similar programs and intentions.

To convey an idea of these approximations, the 
curatorship proposed thematic axes that mix 
artists from the two regions: Ways of Seeing, 
Ways of Participating; the Dynamics of Artworks 
Versus the Dynamics of Surrounding Reality; 
Utopias South and East, and Collective Endeavors. 
Therefore, in a wider critical perspective, the 
production of these artists and of many others 
raised public engagement and participation to 
another qualitative level, transforming the ways 
that art is exhibited, intensifying the sensory 
experience, and promoting a direct association 
between artwork and spectator, an indispensable 
dyad for the definition of an art of this nature. 
These interpretive keys are the reason why the 
selected artworks are being presented to the 
Brazilian public.

Servico Social do Comercio - Sesc
Sesc SP | Visual Arts and Technology Department
991 Álvaro Ramos Avenue
Sao Paulo-03331-000
Hours:	Monday-Friday	10am-8pm
T +55 11 2607 8024
F +55 11 2607 8024
<MAILTO:exposicoes at sescsp.org.br>exposicoes at sescsp.org.br

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