Home Arts Brazilian art gets a gargantuan treatment

Brazilian art gets a gargantuan treatment

by Maria Bukreev November 10, 2015
Brazilian art gets a gargantuan treatment

The DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art presents Imagine Brazil in Old Montreal

After France, Norway, Qatar and Brazil, it’s now Canada’s turn to host the successful exhibit Imagine Brazil, presented at the DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art.

Folds by Adriana Varejão looks like an artistic rendering of an autopsy. Photo by Andrej Ivanov.

Folds by Adriana Varejão looks like an artistic rendering of an autopsy. Photo by Andrej Ivanov.

With its two buildings dedicated to the exhibit, the non-profit organization aims to promote contemporary art by making it accessible to everyone. In fact, it is free and also open on the weekends.

Imagine Brazil was brought up by three curators and 45 Brazilian artists. It all started when Gunnar B. Kvaran, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Thierry Raspail—curators working respectively at Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley Museet, London’s Serpentine Galleries and Lyon’s Contemporary Art Museum—became interested in Brazil’s rich culture and particularly the way its art has evolved. After conducting some research and visiting contemporary art exhibits, they chose 14 young artists to recruit. These artists were making original artwork, often denouncing environmental or political issues such as the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest or the horrors of the ‘30s under dictator Getúlio Vargas. The 14 artists then invited 13 more established Brazilian artists that they admired to join them in an exhibit that would promote their culture on a large scale. Given that artist books, which is art presented in book format, are very popular in Brazil, a different exhibit featuring 18 other young artists who use that format was included within Imagine Brazil.

Entre a filosofia e o crime, part I by Paolo Nimer Pjota draws its inspiration from street art. Photo by Andrej Ivanov.

Entre a filosofia e o crime, part I by Paolo Nimer Pjota draws its inspiration from street art. Photo by Andrej Ivanov.

As a complement to the exhibit, the curators decided to write a catalogue that would give the public a better understanding of Brazilian art and the artists featured in Imagine Brazil. As the curators mention in their book, which can be purchased at DHC/ART: “Given our awareness of the fact that knowledge of Brazilian contemporary art in Europe and other parts of the world was quite poor, and that we could never produce an exhaustive presentation of such a complex scene in general, it became imperative at least to produce a catalogue that could reflect the richness of contemporary art in Brazil.”

This catalogue is a very detailed review of current and past art movements in Brazil, but also contains an analysis of each artist’s work as it relates to events unfolding in their country.

Imagine Brazil illustrates well the different forms of art currently popular in Brazil—statues, mural artwork, video art and expressionist paintings can indeed be found mixed together.

In each room, there are so many works presented that the visitor finds himself almost trapped within the installation. Some of the rooms are unlit, which gives them a mysterious appearance, and makes the visitor rely on their other senses to explore their surroundings.

Imagine Brazil is an exhibit that allows you to transport yourself into another reality and a completely different culture. As the curators explained in the book, “In a sense, Brazil inspires the imagination; it is a country of spectacular nature and magic, and of ethnic and social diversity.”

The exhibit will be open to the public until March 13, 2016 at the DHC/ART location in the Old Montreal. Guided tours are available upon request.

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