Galeria Millan will hold, from November 22 through December 20, 2017, the exhibition Décio Pignatari – Na Arte Interessa O Que Não [In Art Matters What is Not], curated by João Bandeira. The uniqueness of the show is characterized by the presentation of a majority of lesser-known works, including some that were long out of circulation, produced between the 1950s and the 2000s, without leaving out examples of the classics by Décio Pignatari in a selection featuring around fifty works.
Also displayed are original manuscripts and typed writings, letters, photographs and other documents, some of them never seen publicly, as well as audio and audiovisual material. The exhibition, which occupies both floors of the gallery, proposes to give a concise but multifaceted panorama of Pignatari’s artistic production, which extends the understanding of his work beyond his recognition as one of the founders of concrete poetry, alongside the brothers Augusto and Haroldo de Campos.
Over more than half a century of activity in Brazil’s cultural milieu, Décio Pignatari explored not only the semantic dimension in his works, but also the aural and especially the visual language. A key name in Brazilian visual poetry, he was known for his creative restlessness; he also wrote plays, short stories and a novel––which were always highly experimental––as well as a series of texts in the areas of semiotics and communication theory.
Part of his rich artistic production can be seen at the exhibition, including period-original poems such as Terra (1958) and the iconic Beba Coca-Cola(in a serigraphic version signed by Décio in 1991), as well as works like Pelé and Agora, from the series Poemas Semióticos (1964) and a facsimile print of Cr$isto é a Solução (1967)––which visitors can take home–– that dialogue closely with the country’s current context. Amidst a variety of techniques and mediums––prints in offset and silkscreen, objects, audio recordings and others––visitors will have access to two important book-poems, Life (1958) and Organismo (1960), available in replicas that can be touched in the exhibition space.
The curator, João Bandeira, considers Décio Pignatari’s work as being “like a continent that is still not well-known.” He adds: “Décio’s work alongside the Campos brothers in the creation of concrete poetry in the 1950s, and the discussion on what he took up with them is, undoubtedly, a fundamental inheritance. But the originality and breadth of his production does not end there. He had a courage for taking risks that I find admirable. In addition to the “Décio language designer” in that best-known Swiss standard, there is also the “Décio udigrudi,” who exchanged ideas with people like Hélio Oiticica and Júlio Bressane, and created the priceless ‘Marda – Movimento de Arregimentação Radical em Defesa da Arte’ with Rogério Duprat, governed by the most acidic irreverence, which resulted in screenplays for photo-comics and things like happenings to the jingle Brazil, My Mother (from 1970), which, incidentally, will also be in this exhibition at Galeria Millan.”
Galeria Millan (press release)