Galeria Estação opens the year with an individual exhibition of Ceará born artist João Cosmo Felix (1920-2002), known as Nino. The opening features the release of the documentary "Nino" directed by André Parente, also the curator of the show. The exhibition brings together 20 works produced by the artist between 1980 and 1990. Despite living very precariously, nowadays Nino’s works are recognized in Brazil and abroad
Before becoming a sculptor, Nino worked as a blacksmith and sugar cane cutter, but to better ensure his livelihood, he worked as a craftsman, making custom pieces. In the 70s his style was already unmistakable and Nino won the status of master craftsman, when his art works began to appear among galleries and popular art collectors.
Using a few tools (knife, ax and sometimes a chisel and gouge for completion) the sculpted forms are simple. Some pieces come in the form of a single figure - man or animal- and others bring a narrative, always using vibrant colors and little intervention in the slot.
According to the curator, the pieces are presented as a network of heterogeneous elements that blend in together to form objects that vary depending on the viewer's perspective without being able to define the predominant theme. "Figures are sometimes painted, in bas relief or they are tridimensional in which the original trunk can either be revealed or hidden only to be seen at the bottom of the carved wood."
Parente also points out that the use of color, both primary and secondary, the mix of tridimensional figures and figures in bas relief or even drawn in the pieces - in addition to the relationship between the figures - are aspects that require the viewer to surround the works to thorough understanding.
According to Nino the wooden trunk would carry within itself the figures that the artist could draw from it. For the curator, the sculptor's style, the shapes and colors as well as the material applied easily distinguishes Nino’s work: wood - usually from the region - and paint. "Usually his universe has nothing to do with the religious and mythical universes, it is, in most cases, men and animals, which, except for the elephant, are part of the northeastern universe," he adds.
João Felix Cosmo (Nino) - 1920 - 2002 Juazeiro do Norte, CE Brazil
The work of Nino is featured in the collection of great popular art collectors, galleries and museums, such as the African Museum (São Paulo), the Casa do Pontal Museum (Rio de Janeiro), Centro Cultural Dragão do Mar (Fortaleza) Fondation Cartier Pour l'Art Contemporain (Paris), among others. His first solo exhibition took place at Galeria Pé de Boi in Rio de Janeiro in 1989. The presence and participation of Nino at the exhibition contributed greatly to its success. Mostra do Redescobrimento Show (Sao Paulo, Ibirapuera Park, 2000) also featured various pieces by Nino. In 2001, Pinacoteca de São Paulo held the exhibition “O essencial em estado bruto” (The essential in raw state), under the curatorial work by great expert of folk art from Cariri, Dodora Guimarães, which gathered a significant number of pieces of art by Nino (over sixty). In 2003, a huge posthumous exhibition in tribute to Nino curated by Germana Coelho Vitoriano was held in the Centro Cultural Dragao do Mar, at the entrance of the Memorial da Cultura Cearense, Nino also participated in a major exhibition held at the Fondation Cartier, in 2012, called Histoires de voir which brought together pieces of popular artists from Asia, Africa, Europe and America.
Curator: André Parente
Opening: March 15, at 7pm (by invitation only)
Exhibition: from March 16 to April 30, 2016
Monday to Friday: 11am to 7pm
Saturday: 11am to 3 pm
Rua Ferreira de Araújo, 625 – Pinheiros SP
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Contact: Martim Pelisson e Luana Ferrari
Phone: 55 11 3032.1599