Av.Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 201, Pinheiros - São Paulo - SP
Tomie Ohtake - Correspondences

From 7 February to 24 March 2013

The first of three exhibitions organized by Instituto Tomie Ohtake to celebrate in 2013 the centenary of the artist it was named after, Correspondences establishes proximity and contrast relations between her production from 1956 to 2013 and the works by contemporary artists, from Mira Schendel and Hércules Barsotti to Lia Chaia and Camila Sposati, through Cildo Meireles and Nuno Ramos, among others.

Curated by Agnaldo Farias and Paulo Miyada, this exhibition underscores intersections between the fields of interest addressed by the pictorial work, such as color, texture and gesture. According to the curators, these core aspects unveil unexpected themes and sensations, both in the works of Tomie Ohtake and those of her interlocutors.

“From gesture, for example, we are driven by the curved lines of Ohtake’s white-painted steel sculptures, which extend over the space and impart movement to them, meeting the ineffable line of Waltercio Caldas drawings and the spatial line made up of the accumulated banknotes by Jac Leirner”, they explain.

The curators further highlight that the curvature of the gesture of Tomie’s hands is announced on indications of circularity present in her early abstract paintings produced in the 1950s, culminating in the full circle and the spiral, which are recurrent forms in the last three decades of her production. This trajectory is presented in tandem with works that go well beyond the constructive interest of the circular shape, seeking relationships with the artist’s body and with space occupation strategies, as in the works of Lia Chaia, Carla Chaim and Cadu.

Once the circle is formed, color comes into play as the skin that embodies all of Tomie’s production and which is critical to the artists who appear in this group. “From unlikely contrasts to variables demonstrating the depth that underlies a simple monochrome painting, examples of paintings from the 1970s are displayed alongside recent works by Tomie and specially subtle paintings by artists like Alfredo Volpi, Paulo Pasta and Dudi Maia Rosa”, curators point out. According to them, the color in Tomie’s works is always materialized through the image texture and materiality, as overtly shown in her “blind paintings” of the late 1950s and never concealed since then, even in her paintings made of delicate acrylic paint layers. 

The thought expressed by the curators is completed by the theory that there is a long line of experiments which break the illusion of neutrality of the pictorial image support, which begins long before cubist collages and relies on a decisive moment in initiatives that dared to break free of the varnish in some of the paintings done in the nineteenth century. “Tomie turned out to be an applied researcher in this line of experiments, having managed to gather around her artists as diverse as Flavio-Shiró, Arcangelo Ianelli, Nuno Ramos, Carlos Fajardo and José Resende.”