The Museu de Arte do Rio – MAR, under the curatorship of Priscila Freire, Marcelo Campos and Paulo Herkenhoff, presents the exhibition Guignard and the Orient, between Rio and Minas, which gives continuity to its curatorial programme of historiographical interest, devising exhibitions that revise narratives of art history in order to problematize its eventual simplifications and activate its critical dimension. So, after exhibitions such as Constructive Will in the Fadel Collection, Experimental Pernambuco and Pororoca – The Amazon at MAR, Guignard is presented to the museum’s public especially through his relationship with the Chinese aesthetics, with the assertion that you cannot interpret a work by Guignard without passing the Orient.
The singularity of the contribution of Alberto da Veiga Guignard to the modernity of art produced in Brazil passes through his interest in China. While a large part of the country’s modern artists have cultivated a dialogue with references from Japan, Guignard demonstrated himself to be prolific in conceiving his work beginning from an interlocution with Chinese art, crisscrossed with the colonial aesthetic that marked his area of operation, Minas Gerais, as well as his sensitive training, equally challenged by the landscape of Rio de Janeiro. His work became capable of triggering and harmonising disparate pictorial systems in time and in space, configuring an important contribution to the modern Brazilian thinking because of its both local and plural simultaneous nature.
The exhibition brings together drawings, objects, documents, engravings and other pieces which establish dialogues capable of underlining the richness of exchange between the painting of this Brazilian artist and the references to oriental art and iconography, crossing the fertile field of Brazilian baroque – and, in a broader sense, of the colonial aesthetic. Beyond a philosophy of landscape, it is a set of works that alerts us to the politics of representation and of the image, which, today, constitute one of the cores of the symbolic life of a society. The MAR would like to thank Hecilda and Sergio Fadel for the generous loan of these gems from their collection. This exhibition honours the Fadel family, which now shares with society their loving gaze over the universe of Guignard.