I believe, Dr. Nise Da Silveira and the Museum of Unconscious Images have always been icons to follow and study.
The artists forged in that environment of disease of the psyche and art were and will always be a source of wonder. This is because of the aesthetic quality extracted from the spontaneity and sensitivity of each artist. From that painting studio, many artists emerged and got recognition, such as Adelina Gomes, Carlos Pertuis, Raphael Domingues, Emygdio de Barros, Fernando Diniz, among others.
I already knew the work of some of them, but I never thought it was possible to buy them, until one day I was offered a canvas by Fernando Diniz. It was a beautiful still life which I acquired, despite my fear. I took every precaution to make sure the purchase was legitimate. I then learned that Diniz had been ill at some point in his life and that his own family had sold some works to help pay for his treatment. This was my good fortune! This was one of them.
A few years later, at an auction, I bought another picture by Fernando Diniz. It was a landscape with a church, quite different from the first, but of equal quality. They are now in my home but only for a short time.
When I was introduced to Euripedes Júnior and Christina Penna and learned of their fight for the Museum of Unconscious Images, I did not think twice. I donated both canvases. Nothing was fairer than their return to the Museum, which is their rightful home.
This is how the current exhibition was born. All the works are from the Museum. They were borrowed for the show and are not for sale. For us at Galeria Estação, there could be no greater honor. We are proud to have received this gift and provide you, our friends, with the opportunity to get to know and review Fernando Diniz’s work.
Fernando Diniz September 9th - 7pm - Opening | 2o floor Exhibition runs through 9th October Galeria Estação
Fernando Diniz was born in Aratu, Bahia in 1918. Mulato and poor, he never knew his father. At the age of 4, he came to Rio de Janeiro with his mother, who was an excellent seamstress. Living in brothels, he used to accompany her when she went to work in the homes of wealthy families. From childhood, Fernando’s dream was to study to be an engineer. Bright, he was always the first student in his class. He completed the first year of high school when he stopped his studies.
In July 1944, he was arrested and taken to the Judicial Asylum on the grounds of swimming naked at Copacabana Beach. In 1949, he went to the Pedro II Psychiatric Center, where he began attending the Occupational Therapy Section (OTS). Not accepting the violent psychiatric treatments in use at the time, Dr. Nise da Silveira founded OTS, with the main objective of stimulating the ability of its attendees to express themselves.
When he arrived at the painting studio, Fernando Diniz would not raise his head and his low voice was barely audible. When asked about the reason for the beauty of his paintings, he replied: “It's not me but the paints." In his work, he mixes the figurative and the abstract, encompassing from the simplest to the most complex structures of composition. A constant presence in his works is geometrism. This is often marked by the image of the circle, which represents the ordering, healing forces of the psyche.
One of these circular images won him the first prize of his career: an exhibition promoted by the Fédération des Sociétés de Croix Marine inaugurated on October 15, 1957, at the Salle Saint-Jean of the Hôtel de Ville de Paris. A commission of art critics gave the Hors Concours award to Fernando Diniz’s Mandala. The Parisian hebdomadaire Carrefour published an article in which Fernando’s series of paintings is compared to a very common artistic experience among modern painters, ranging from the first attempts at figuration to the structures of geometric abstraction.
At one time, Fernando regressed for adverse reasons. For a long time, his paintings were chaotic doodles. Nise da Silveira then experimented with placing a monitor to act as a catalyst for his feelings. To everyone’s surprise, Fernando began to remove from chaos images related to Japanese themes. Then he told the monitor that she looked Japanese. According to Nise da Silveira, "Aparecida had distant similarities with the Japanese type, but enough to cross the other side of the world, Japan, the inaccessible beloved woman, who was so close." The light and delicate features of the Japanese series contrast with the strong brushstrokes and formal abstractionism of the preceding chaotic designs.
In addition to producing intensively in the museum's studio - from four to six art works per day – Fernando Diniz collected in his room all kinds of paper he found in the hospital and its surroundings. There, he used these materials as a support for his creations, calling them “Recycled”. Old sheets thrown away by the hospital administration were recovered by him. By sewing them together, he built a holder for the large paintings he called Digital Rugs.
Fernando Diniz liked to expose ideas about the making of his works to anyone interested in them. In a painting entitled Tree of emotions he associates each color with an emotion: yellow – glory, pink – love, brown – passion and deep blue – jealousy. In another revelation, he said: “The first drawing I learned was a drop of water, then a pear, a leaf. I thought, one day I’ll learn it from the inside.”
In 1992, the Museum of the Unconscious Images held a major retrospective of his work titled The universe of Fernando Diniz. The exhibit included more than two hundred works in the galleries of the Imperial Palace of Praça XV, in Rio de Janeiro. Fernando went to the exhibition daily, where he sat at a table in the entrance and was pleased to oblige the visitors who requested autographs from the catalog. He usually made small drawings by way of dedication, sharing his creativity directly with the public.
Fernando considered himself an eternal apprentice. His eagerness for knowledge led him to imagine the hospital as a university and despite his long seclusion, the amount of information he accumulated was impressive. His passion for books made him constantly up to date with scientific events and discoveries. He expressed an interest in astronomy, chemistry, nuclear physics, and computing, proving to be a tireless researcher.
The graphic result of all this activity is a kaleidoscope of sometimes successive, sometimes overlapping, dynamic and colorful images: from space to time, from inorganic to organic, from geometric to figurative or vice versa, Fernando was weaving his universe. He visited the interior spaces of the dreamed house and the expanse of landscapes. He fragmented or rebuilt the human body subjecting it to the movements of games, sports; schematized objects and beings. He imagined scientific objects, executed true geometric tornadoes pregnant with shapes whose extreme multiplicity sometimes led him to chaos. From there he always returned bringing new and unexpected images, such as his latest abstracts, where logos, chemical formulas, signs and symbols blend together to create a lush universe of things, an inventory of the world.
For Mario Pedrosa, ”Fernando is a new and authentic painter. The decorative force with which the artist is deeply endowed never disarms. Rhythm and colors are always organized, alternating in order and grace. The concentric exercises with which Fernando fills roles and more roles end up organizing true universal gears as systems that, if they come from chaos, look more like watchmakers in search of an intuited order.”1
According to Fernando himself, it was his participation in Leon Hirszman’s movie In search of everyday space that aroused his interest in the movement of the image. He painted and drew a series inspired by cinema using zoom movements and other elements of film language, integrating the dimensions of time and space into the image.
This interest resulted in the award-winning drawing called Eight-point star, from which he made over 40,000 drawings under the guidance of filmmaker Marcos Magalhães. Between comments and excerpts where he plays the harmonica that would look like Lenine’s guitar and dizzying sequences of images that unfold in countless and unlikely transformations, in this animation Fernando makes a synthesis of his work: the final sequence shows a knight, whose gallop runs through the main themes he painted, landmarks of a territory brought into existence by his inexhaustible creative capacity.
Diniz’s production in the Museum is estimated at about 30 thousand works: canvases, drawings, rugs, modeling. The recognition of his work came through exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, awards, publications, films and videos. His work was listed by the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage in 2003.
Fernando fell ill and was transferred to Pedro Ernesto Hospital, State University of Rio de Janeiro, where he was warmly welcomed. Despite the seriousness of his illness, he continued to produce some recurring themes of his rich creation, highlighting the magnificent still lives and the abstract that are part of this exhibition.
Fernando died on March 5, 1999.
1 PEDROSA, Mario. Museum of Unconscious Images. Brazilian Museums Collection, v. 2. Rio de Janeiro, Funarte, 1980.
Solo exhibitions by Fernando Diniz and Josef Hofer, artists whose differences of mind and body find no limits in art
Opening:September 9 at 7 pm
Until October 9, 2019
The two exhibitions unfold the International Seminar that takes place in parallel to “Creation of Worlds - Bishop of the Rosary”, the show at the Marcos Amaro Foundation, in Itu, on September 7th. The event is supported by the Galeria Estação that brings Dr Elisabeth Telsnig as one of the speakers. She is the tutor of Josef Hofer's work and curator of his exhibition.
Fernando Diniz (1918, Aratu, Bahia - 1999, Rio de Janeiro, RJ) is among the forged artists in the environment of Dr. Nise Da Silveira, gathered at the Museum of the Unconscious Images, partner institution of Galeria Estação in the realization of this individual in his tribute. Curated by Luiz Carlos Mello and Eurípedes Junior, the institutional show brings a cut of paintings from Diniz's production estimated at about 30,000 pieces, including canvas, drawings, rugs and modeling. With his work listed by the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage in 2003, the artist's recognition is also hailed by the numerous exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, as well as awards, publications, films and videos.
“It's not me, it's the paints,” was his answer when he attended, from 1949, the Occupational Therapy Section of the Pedro II Psychiatric Center, created by Dr. Nise. According to the curators, Diniz mixes the figurative and the abstract, ranging from the simplest to the most complex structures of composition. "Constant presence is geometrism, often marked by the image of the circle, which represents the ordering, healing forces of the psyche."
In addition to producing intensely - from four to six pieces a day - Fernando Diniz collected all the papers he found in the hospital and its surroundings, taking them to his room. There, he used these materials as a support for his creations, calling them “Recycled”. Old sheets thrown away by the hospital administration were recovered by him: he sewed them up and built supports for the large paintings he called Digital Rugs.
The curators highlight the artist's eagerness for knowledge, who came to imagine the hospital as a university. “His passion for books made him constantly up to date with scientific events and discoveries. He was interested in astronomy, chemistry, nuclear physics and computing, proving to be a tireless researcher. ” His curiosity for knowledge led him to the cinema. It was his participation in Leon Hirszman's In Search of Everyday Space that sparked his interest in the movement of the image. This interest resulted in the award-winning eight-pointed star cartoon, for which he created more than 40,000 drawings under the guidance of filmmaker Marcos Magalhães.
In 1992 the Museum of the Unconscious Images held a major retrospective of his work, The Universe of Fernando Diniz, that occupied, with more than two hundred works the spaces of the Imperial Palace of Praça XV, in Rio de Janeiro.
“From space to time, from inorganic to organic, from geometric to figurative or vice versa, Fernando was weaving his universe. He visited the interior spaces of the dreamed house, and the expanse of landscapes; he fragmented or rebuilt the human body, subjecting it to the movements of games, sports; he schematized objects and beings, imagined scientific objects, executed true geometric tornadoes with shapes whose extreme multiplicity sometimes led him to chaos, from where he always returned by bringing new and unexpected images, such as his latest abstracts, where logos, chemical formulas, signs and symbols blend to create a lush universe of things, an inventory of the world”, conclude Luiz Carlos Mello and Eurípedes Junior.
Josef Hofer (1945 in Wegscheid, Bavaria), today considered a “classic” by Art Brut, has his work known in Austria, Germany, France, Monaco, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the United States, Japan and now in Brazil. It is hard to imagine how an artist has reached his 74th birthday today in the face of so many difficulties. It began with his birth in March 1945, when, until August of the same year, the German People's Genetic Health Protection Act was in force in Germany. That required doctors and midwives to report immediately the birth of a disabled child. The consequences were the death of the newborn and at the sterilization of the mother to say the least. Although their differing physical characteristics were visible from the outset, nothing was reported to the health authorities. Later, isolated with his family on a farm, also with hearing problems caused by countless ear infections that also affected his speech, he could not attend school, as his older brother. But even with intellectual disabilities, he brought home pencils and crayons that Hofer used to draw on a sheet of newspaper. Upon his father's death, Hofer was taken by his mother to Kirchschlag, near Linz, where he was kept by a niece. He’s been living in Lebenshilfe in Ried im Innkreis. Lebenshilfe since 1992, a social organization for people with physical and intellectual disabilities. That is where in 1977 he met the art historian Elisabeth Telsnig. “About thirty people attended my studio, including Josef, and I immediately noticed his drawings. They were unlike anything I'd ever seen, ”says Telsnig.“Unable to hear or to be understood verbally, Josef Hofer communicates with the outside world through his art. He is creatively involved with himself and his body, just as he is involved with his reflection in the mirror, he engages equally with the postures and positions of the represented body, and overcomes, or even triumphs over his deficiency through the bodies. that he draws, ” she adds.
Elisabeth Telsnig is a curator, Ph.D. in art history and head of the creative activities workshop at the Lebenshilfe Oberösterreich community facility in Ried (Austria), where Josef Hofer participates weekly. She has been his tutor since 1997.
About the International Seminar: Art as a Construction of Worlds ".
Location: Marcos Amaro Foundation / Itu / September 07
The meeting – organized by ARTE!Brasileiros - aims to present to the public the enormous richness and diversity of artists, former psychiatric patients in Brazil and worldwide, linked to the movement initially named by French painter Jean Dubufett as Art Brut, and to debate the beauty and strength contained in the production of works by asylum artists.
Elisabeth Telsnig (representative of the work of the Austrian artist Josef Hofer), Savine Faupin (Chief Curator responsible for Brute Art at the Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Art Brute in Lille, France), Tânia Rivera (psychoanalyst, PhD in Psychology) and professor at the Fluminense Federal University) and Raquel Fernandes4 (general director of the Bishop of the Rosary Museum of Contemporary Art, Rio de Janeiro). The conversation will be mediated by Ricardo Resende (curator of the Marcos Amaro Foundation and the Bispo do Rosário Contemporary Art Museum).
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Exhibitions: Fernando Diniz and Josef Hofer
Opening: September 09 at 19h
Visitation until October 09, 2019
From Monday to Friday, from 11am to 7pm, Saturdays from 11am to 3pm - free admission.
Rua Ferreira de Araújo, 625 - Pinheiros - São Paulo
Phone: 55 11.3813-7253
Pool de Comunicação - Marcy Junqueira / Martim Pelisson / Ana Junqueira
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