Textile Event/ 85, Art Museum of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Itinerate to the Museum of Brazilian Art of the FAAP - Faculdade Armando Álvares Penteado (São Paulo), to the Art Museum of Santa Catarina (Florianópolis), to the Cultural Foundation of Brasilia (DF), to the Cultural Foundation of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte) and the Metro Carioca of Rio de Janeiro (1985-1986). See Catalogue bellow.

sexta-feira, 21 de outubro de 2011

Fiber as medium - Brazilian Tapestry, influence of the past.


The processes of transformation from Tapestry to Brazilian Fiberart started with some pioneers like Regina Gomide Graz (1902-1973), followed by Genaro de Carvalho (1926-1971), Jean Gillon (Romania, 1919-São Paulo, 2007), and Gilda Azeredo Azevedo (1924-1984).

The Brazilian Regina Gomide Graz studied in Switzerland; she was the sister of noted artist Antonio Gomide, and married to the Swiss artist John Graz. When she started working with Tapestry, that was a suitable type of feminine art accepted in Brazil, and in many other countries. Women artists were dominated by the categories of art done by men, specially the academic type of art.

Regina Graz made extensive research in Brazilian indigenous drawings and adapted their designs in mainly textiles she produced such as rugs. Her Tapestries were also influenced by the Decorative Art style, popular in the 1930s (SIMIONI, 2007).

Grazs works, mainly in textile medium, brought to Brazil European techniques of weaving and others, and she was not influenced by our Portuguese inheritance of embroidered tapestry. Many Brazilian textile artists were influenced by the embroidered techniques common in this country, where every woman of older generations knows many types of hand embroidery since childhood. Now this tradition is lost, disappeared in the younger generations.

For many artists around the world, specially South American artists, the processes of evolution from Tapestry to Fiberart and from Fiberart to Fibersculture and Fiberart Installations, or from Plane to Space, was much more difficult and slow than the processes of European and North American artists. Anyhow, and anywhere, these processes were deeply linked to the creativity of each artist, and the techniques and materials applied to the Fiber as medium.

In these personal evolutionary processes from Tapestry to Fiberart was of mainly importance the choice of materials and technique of each artist. The first Brazilian artist to become popular with embroidered Tapestries was Genaro de Carvalho (1926-1971). Born in Bahia, he was a painter with a work most linked to tapestries. Genaro studied in the Brazilian Society of Fine Arts (Rio de Janeiro, 1944) and had his first individual exhibition in the ABI/ Brazilian Association of Press (Rio de Janeiro, 1945).

Genaro went back to Salvador, were he was linked to the most noted artists of the avant-garde, such as Mario Cravo Junior and Carlos Bastos, with whom he exposed in a collective exhibit in the Public Library (Salvador, 1947). Genaro went to Europe, where he was a pupil of André Lhote, and studied in the National Superior School of Fine Arts [École National Supérieure des Beaux Arts] (Paris, 1949). His works participated in many French Salons of Art (Paris, 1948-1950). Back in Brazil, he exposed his works in many individual exhibitions, in Salvador (1953); in MAM (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, 1957), among others.


Genaro’s paintings were exposed in the I and II International Biennial of MAM (São Paulo, SP, 1951; 1953); and tapestries in the BIT/ International Biennial of Tapestry (Lausanne, Switzerland, 1965). Genaros work received Special Space and Aquisition Prize in the I National Biennial of Plastic Arts (Salvador,1966): he was honored with Sala Especial in the I Brazilian Exposition of Tapestry in the Brazilian Art Museum of FAAP (São Paulo, 1st 30, October, 1974). In the decades of 1950-1970, Genaros tapestries were known all over the country; the artist, modernized his design. Genaro started working in different textile techniques such as Collage of fabrics over another fabric or canvas. During a period, Genaros works were influenced by Brazilian tradition of manual embroidery, inherit from our Portuguese colonization. He, also, in his last decade produced tapestries in High Warp Loom, and reached space not with Fibersculpture, but with Abstract wood cut-outs in a box.


Another artist that embroidered tapestries was Jean Gillon (Romania, 1919-São Paulo, 2007). Gillon was a painter, designer of furniture and objects, scenery and figurine designer for theatre and movies, and designer of tapestries. Gillon applied more than one type of point in his embroidered tapestry: the French Petit-point over a very fine mesh canvas, like in the first reproduction of his works; and the other technique called Tuffing, that uses a special needle suitable to make Pile rugs, that he applied in a creative way in the other tapestry showed. This second type of technique make possible to have different types of pile relief, were the artist desires: the called Magic Needle, makes the work much faster than the French Petit Point, but the tapestry needs to have an special design suitable to this type of technique.


The Brazilian artist, carioca Gilda Azeredo Azevedo (Rio de Janeiro, 1924-1984), was a painter of Lyrical Abstractions that transformed many of her paintings in embroidered Fiberworks. In a technical research of her own, Azevedo embroidered a complex back plane of her abstractions, and over it, applied a second plane of volumetric textile material, executed in another technique such as macramée or crochet. Azevedo presented her textile Fiberart in many solo expositions, national and international such as in the La Tangara Gallery (Buenos Aires, 1968), Debret Gallery (Paris), Brazilian Embassy (London, 1972) and the Florimont Gallery (Lausanne, 1978; 1981), among others. The most important presentations of Azevedo works in collective expositions was the traveling exhibit in many countries, Ten Brazilian Modern Painters (1967); and in another traveling exhibit, in Latin American countries, Three Aspects of Brazilian Contemporary Painting,(1968); the I Brazilian Exposition of Tapestry, in the Brazilian Art Museum of FAAP (São Paulo, 1974); in the 1º Encounter of Uruguayan and Brazilian Tapestry (Montevideo, 1975); in the I, II and III Triennial of Tapestry - MAM, (São Paulo, 1976; 1979; 1982); in the 1st Encounter of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazilian Tapestry (Buenos Aires, 1977). Azevedo was honored by the artists that published her photograph with a great smile and an art critics text about her noted work, presented in the catalogue of Textile Event/ 85, realized in the MARGS (Porto Alegre, 1985; see bellow the Catalogue of the exibition of Brazilian artists).

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