Volpi. Pequenos Formatos

21 Jun 2016 – 18 Dec 2016


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To show a different facet of such an acclaimed artist, recognized as a great master in Brazilian painting in the 20th Century: this is one of the objectives of the Volpi: pequenos formatos [Volpi: Small Formats] that Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo presents from June 20.


Seventy four works by Alfredo Volpi (1896-1988) will be exhibited, among canvases and drawings on paper and tiles, done in smaller dimensions, 30 x 20 cm (12’x 8’) on average, which served as studies before he painted his larger works.

Curated by Aracy Amaral and Paulo Portella Filho as assistant, the exhibition comprises paintings made from the late 1930s to the late 1970s, covering his initial Impressionist period, of his homes phase, his period of geometric abstractionism of façades until his final phases, such as his “small popular banners” and his ogives. “All the richness of Volpi’s chromatic studies revealed through the selection as a facet that is not always accessible to the regard of people in the newer generations who are interested; they will be able to appreciate a little of the intimacy of the work process of this great painter,” says the curator.

According to Portella, the works are exhibited in a chronological orientation in order to favor comprehension of the temporal development of the artist’s language. “Volpi’s production has distinct thematic references as time passes. Obeying this natural sequence, the artist’s youth works are presented first, with scenes of urban daily life in the Cambuci District, in São Paulo, works that already point to his commitment to color and spatial organization,” he says. “We can also notice that human figures, present in this period, fade from his production.”

Next, works from the 1940s are displayed, characterized by urban and marine landscapes from the towns of Mogi das Cruzes and Itanhaém (places that were important for the artist), as well as children and religious-themed images. Going ahead with the exhibition’s flow, the 1950s, 60s, and 70s focus on non-figurative and geometric works. “In this segment we find his famous paintings of houses and architectonic façades signaling reduction to not realistic, formal essentiality,” Portella adds.

Conceived by architect Vasco Caldeira, the exhibition setting of Sala Paulo Figueiredo [Paulo Figueiredo Room] highlights works aiming at favoring rigor and simplicity. Presented in small groups, intercalated with texts from the curators, there are works in tempera paint on paper, card stock and canvas; oil on wood and card stock; gouache on paper; drawing on card stock; pastel on card stock; paint on tile; and oil on canvas glued to card stock. The paintings are framed and the drawings are in a window with the set of tiles. This exhibition is sponsored by Banco Bradesco.


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