Grupo ruptura and Arte Concreta
The São Paulo-based Grupo ruptura was founded in 1952 by artists Waldemar Cordeiro (1925–1973), Luis Sacilotto (1924–2003), Lothar Charoux (1912–1987), and Geraldo de Barros (1923–1998), among others. Basing their activities on the theoretical principles elaborated by the Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg in 1930 and the Swiss artist Max Bill, the Grupo ruptura promoted objectivity, seeking to exclude representation and eliminating any trace of subjectivity. In contrast, the principles of Concretismo —established in São Paulo in 1952—were defined more by a mathematical and geometrical logic that determined the final aesthetic form. On one hand, Waldemar Cordeiro’s Idéia visível [Visible Idea] (1956)—a visual ideogram featuring the progressive repetition of vanishing lines that play with the viewer’s perception—illustrates the group’s use of industrial paints, modular elements, and an objective, rational approach concerning the artistic structure. Luis Sacilotto’s Concreção 5942 [Concretion 5942] (1959), on the other hand, is an example of a handmade aluminum construction based on mathematical progressions that have come to identify the group’s impersonal brand of Constructivism. In 1956 these artists were shown in the 1a Exposição Nacional de Arte Concreta [1st National Exhibition of Concrete Art] held at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM-RJ).
The majority of this text accompanied the exhibition Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil: The Adolpho Leirner Collection, presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from May 20 to September 23, 2007. The exhibition was organized by Mari Carmen Ramírez, the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas.
Our sincere thanks go to Adolpho Leirner, Mari Carmen Ramírez, María C. Gaztambide, Marty Stein, Matthew Lawson, Flora Brooks, and the Google Cultural Institute.
Design: Beatriz Olivetti and María Beatriz McGreger, ICAA-MFAH