Engraving as sculpture

20 Years of the Curatorship Study Group

Genuflexóno (1998/1999) by Elias MuradiMuseu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo - MAM São Paulo


What is an engraving? What is a sculpture? What are the printing plate and the woodblock? What r is printing? Could a mould also be regarded as sculpture? These issues have been extensively l discussed in recent international art shows.

Jogo (1995/1996) by Lina KimMuseu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo - MAM São Paulo

ln the case of this exhibition the theme came from my observation of the MAM-SP Collection itself. Actually, the collection includes numerous moulds that can be seen assculptures. MAM conserves approximately two hundred moulds donated by the Núcleo de Gravura de São Paulo and the print studio Impressão Atual, in addition to a collection currently being built from donations from the Clube da Gravura do MAM created in 1986.

The first collection includes works by Livio Abramo, Anna Letycia Quadros, and other famous artists less known as engravers such as Flávio de Carvalho, Samson Flexor, and Tarsila do Amaral. A few moulds in this collection caught my attention for showing the vigor of the artist's gesture as they carved the coarse material, a piece of wood or metal. The result is a series of grooves, streaks, and lines that reveal the rigidity of the material and the necessary physical effort to execute the work. Retired from their original role as moulds, these pieces gain independence and appear in this exhibition as sculptures.

Still (1987/1997) by Iran do Espírito SantoMuseu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo - MAM São Paulo

The second collection, of works originated from the Clube da Gravura do MAM, is being built by contemporary artists committed to experimentation, who discovered in engraving, a new possibility for broadening and communicating the scope of their works. Taking advantage of engraving's versatility, they devise multiple l destinations for their works: artist's books, modeling, multiples, ready-mades, photogravure, etc.

The more recent “engravings” of the Clube da Gravura do MAM clearly show a tendency for tridimensionality that reverses the conventional notion of engraving as printed image. The Works of Elias Muradi, Iran do Espírito Santo, Claudio Mubarac, Marco Buti, and Marco Paulo Rolla exemplify this rupture from traditional print making.

This realm of contemporary issues includes multiples, an artwork category situated somewhere between sculpture and engraving. Here l refer to Marcel Duchamp and the concept of ready-made manufactured goods or a series of pieces produced with the same mouid. The works of Nazareth Pacheco, Lina Kim, and Regina Sposati belong in this category.

Pequena suíte sobre E O. (1996/1997) by Cláudio MubaracMuseu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo - MAM São Paulo

These artists gather ready-mades to produce installations (Pacheco) and sculptures (Kim and Sposati). Rosana Monnerat's moulds also form installations, even though the artist does not recognize them as such. In fact, they are old moulds discarded in a box that exposes, in this casual storage place, the intimacy of the artist's creative process.

Delving deeper into the issue, We come across the important contribution by Laurita Salles, na engraver who has been tirelessly researching this art language. At present, she is involved in her master's degree thesis, working at small print shops that supply parts made of textured plastics for use in the automotive and electronics industries. Her engraving doubles as a mould, a cylindrical sculpture of engraved copper that the artist insists to call a print plate.

Finally, the two pieces by Rosângela Dorazio possibly summarize the guiding principle of the entire exhibition. Her sculpture sends us back to printing (the more generic term for engraving), cave "drawings," or even Father Anchieta, the Jesuit missionary who taught religion in colonial Brazil by writing on the beach sand. In another work Dorazio took and transformed into sculpture three pieces shaped as corroded metal dies, but that actually never served as dies or source of print reproduction. This work is one more accomplishment within the broad range of possibilities this medium has to offer.

Credits: Story

MAM-SP Sala Paulo Figueiredo
28 de abril a 10 de maio de 1998


Cláudio Mubarac
(Rio Claro, SP, 1959)
Pequena suíte sobre E O., 1996
Ponta seca e bu ril sobre chumbo, 17,5 x 52,7 em
Doação do artista por intermédio do Clube de Colecionadores de Gravuras do MAM-SP
Pequena suíte sobre E. O., 1996
Ponta seca, buril e água-tinta sobre chumbo, 17,5 x 52,7 cm
Doação do artista por intermédio do Clube de Colecionadores de Gravuras do MAM-SP

Elias Muradi (Mogi Mirim, SP, 1963)
Genuflexóno, 1998
Litografia e liga de metal cromado, 192 x 72x 90cm
Doação do artista por intermédio do Clube de Colecionadores de Gravuras do MAM-SP

Iran do Espírito Santo
(Macaca, SP, 1963)
Still, 1987/97
Serigrafia sobre madeira, 15 x 21,4x 5,3 cm
Doação do artista por intermédio do Clube de Colecionadores de Gravuras do MAM•SP

Laurita Salles
(São Paulo, SP, 1952)
Sem título, 1998
Latão gravado, 6,5 x 50 x 6,5 cm
Aquisição MAM-SP

Lina Kim
(São Paulo, SP, 1965)
Jogo, 1995
Chumbo, 43 x 40 x 40 cm
Doação do artista

Marcela Hara
(São Paulo, SP, 1973)
Visual refletion murders, 1996
Fotogravura, vidro e ferro, 15 x 24 cm (cada doze peças)
Coleção artista

Marco Buti
(Em poli, Itália, 1953)
Sem tftulo, 1997
Serigrafla sobre ferro, 40 x 43 cm
Doação do artista por intermédio do Clube de Colecionadores de Gravuras do MAM-SP

Marco Paulo Rolla
(São Domingos do Prata, MG, 1967)
Confortávels, 1998
Serigrafia cm cores e plástico moldado em poliestireno (vaccum forrn), 65 x 65 x 2 cm
Doação do artista por intermédio do Clube de Colecionadores de Gravuras do MAM-SP

Regina Sposatti
(São Paulo, SP, 1975)
Bloco-ploc, 1997
Empilhamento de chicletes não mascados, 30 x 40 cm
Coleção artista

Rosana Monnerat
(Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 1967)
Sem título, s. d.
Caixa de metal com matrizes de cobre, dimensões variáveis
Coleção artista

Rosângela Dorazio
(Aragua ri, MG, 1963)
Pleno, 1997
Caixa de madeira e gesso, 100 x 111 x37cm
Doação artista
Sem título, 1997
Chapa de cobre corroído, 42x90x13cm
Doação artista

Credits: All media
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