Featured image: Anna Maria Maiolino – Portrait of the artist, photo credits Alessandro Lentati The iconic triptych shows you crossing a street barefoot, cautiously avoiding stepping on eggs, as if walking through a minefield. All artists, Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, and their Neo- Conrete Manifesto, that’s where they came from. You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all this. Benoît Loiseau: This is not the first time your work has been exhibited at Whitechapel Gallery. I was in a profound crisis of language in the 1980s, with the pace of things in the modern world, I couldn’t understand what I was expecting from life anymore. There are 16,434 drawings online. This dish was the starting point for the artist’s most emblematic works from the late 1970s, Arroz & Feijão [Rice & Beans, 1979] and Monumento à Fome [Monument to Hunger, 1978]. Anna Maria Maiolino. Because I feel disrespected in the best of who I am. I never rejected the various destinies that were presented to me. The immigration crisis and the levels of intolerance, I think it’s horrible. I learned to read manifestos very late, you know. Back then I wanted to talk about hunger – not just for food – but also a hunger for culture and freedom, at the height of the dictatorship. Anna Maria Maiolino. When Bolsonaro appears on TV, I suffer. “Dictators are stupid, they don’t understand your metaphors,” the artist replies. ), courtesy of the artist. In this work, I wanted to eat the enemies of freedom. A ritual which can surprise you, for better or for worse. Anna Maria: Es bellisimo. She came of age as part of the Nova Figuração (New Figuration) avant-garde, a movement concerned with popular art. In our civilisation, there are always people who are famined. She has also made Super8 films: the standout example here, “In-Out” (“Antropofagia”) (1973), features unsettling footage of mouths stuffed with string. ANNA MARIA MAIOLINO - Untitled from the series 'Uns & Outros', 2000-2005. Anna Maria Maiolino's first major US retrospective is as much about the progression of a career as about the progression of a life. I have no problem with that. An Artist Who Made Her Personal Life Central to Her Art Close Anna Maria Maiolino makes drawings, artist books, sculpture, and video, frequently drawing inspiration from her experience as an immigrant growing up in politically unstable Brazil. Anna Maria: I spoke Spanish, which was the language of the descualificados, [‘unskilled’] I couldn’t speak English, and I still can’t really speak it now! Right now, in Los Angeles, Maiolino is the subject of a retrospective at … Some unexpectedly punk videos, featuring extreme closeups of Maiolino, complete the portrait of an artist at once private and confident. Mine swore in Flemish, that’s when we knew we were in trouble. In 1967, she participated in the seminal exhibition Nova Objetividade Brasileira (New Brasilian Objectivity) at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, alongside neo-concrete artists Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, and Lygia Pape. The striking short film “Y,” from 1974, feels related: it shows the artist, blindfolded, with her mouth open in an endless scream. Anna Maria Maiolino's first major US retrospective is as much about the progression of a career as about the progression of a life. It doesn’t exist. The artist who continues to be a prolific producer of new work – sculpture, drawing, performance, photography and beyond – is in conversation with curator and Art Historian Dr Michael Asbury on the occasion of her major exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. When I began to work with more basic shapes, that’s when I started a different conversation. This kind of experience stays with you, inside of you. “I was self-caged because I was prepared to be a wife and a mother.” Her comments bring to mind a quote in the catalogue from the US curator (not of this show) Helen Molesworth, that there’s something of the “housewife gone mad” about Maiolino’s work. But, Oswald de Andrade proposed an art with Brazilian roots, and that is beautiful. Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary (25 September 2019 - 12 January 2020, is the artist’s first retrospective in the UK, spanning six decades of work. In Los Angeles, two years ago, we reenacted the performance with my nephew. Artists of my generation, we never thought about the art market, we just had day jobs. ANNA MARIA MAIOLINO - Untitled from the series 'Outras Marcas', 1999. Another series, the exquisite coloured ink works “Piccole Note” (“Small Notes”) from 1984-89, evokes her subsequent time in Argentina. We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history. “On the eve of Brazil’s first free elections in 1982, brought about by public protest, ‘Entrevidas’ . Art is a political exercise. Maiolino has worked in an innovative way across various media. Anna Maria Maiolino’s significance for the history of art in Brazil from the 1960s onward cannot be underestimated. The artist is nonplussed by the assessment. Bodily cycles preoccupy her: digesting, defecating and hunger — both the starvation she faced in Italy and what she calls the “hunger in the belly” of her radical 1978 installation “Monumento à Fome/Mitos Vadios” (“Vagabond Myths”). As you get older, you want to be at peace with yourself and with life [pause]. That was the greatest university for me, this table where there was never enough food. That’s what I brought with me, to Brazil. What a time for such a statement: Making Love Revolutionary. Her work reflects her experience of exile, deprivation and survival under authoritarian governments. Revealing each artist’s choice of subjects and sources, their influences and awareness of the global reach of pop, the following interviews reveal why artists in different parts of the world turned to this new artistic language to challenge artistic and political orthodoxies. Anna Maria Maiolino is one of the most significant artists working in Brazil today. I exorcised my hunger. They’re dynamic works. Titled Making Love Revolutionary, it surveys six decades of her complex practice spanning woodcuts, drawings, poetry, video and clay (just don’t call it a retrospective: the septuagenarian believes those are best suited to dead artists). Through June 21. Anna Maria: At the time, I didn’t think of feminism as a political stance. Because with clay, the more you touch it, the more it loses its vitality. Benoît: At the height of the dictatorship, upon your return from New York in the 1970s, you made the photo-sequence É o que sobra [What Is Left Over], from the series Fotopoemação, [Photopoemaction] (1974) where you are holding a pair of scissors, as if ready to cut off your own tongue. Trailblazer 100 questions with Rachel Morrison, the first female cinematographer to receive an Academy Award nomination. I exorcised it. I have a positive memory of that experience. The show brought her full circle: she left Italy in 1954, aged 12, when her family, who lived in Calabria, set sail for Venezuela from Naples, destitute and hungry from the economic downturn of the postwar years. Anna Maria Maiolino: The world has changed a lot. One of her most provocative woodcuts, “Glu Glu Glu” (1967), shows an open-mouthed, dismembered female figure sitting at a table. Ideas, for me, are never finished. That was my apprenticeship in life, humanity and knowledge. “Art is the activist. Established in 1979, we are the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles. 39. My unconscious and my memory very much nourished my work. “I never rejected the various destinies that were presented to me. But having worked on the show in Milan, Maiolino is now “at peace” with the country. Speaking primarily in Portuguese, but also in English and Italian, she is instantly warm and receptive. I didn’t know what to do with the clay, so I started sculpting my own face, like autoportraits. Benoît: Scary. It featured some of your work with clay, but it was also the first time that the documentation of Entre Vida (Between Lives), originally performed in Rio in 1981, was exhibited. It was seen as a bourgeois concern, pertaining to the personal and distracting from the political attention required by the dictatorships that burdened much of the continent. But that’s also the danger: youth is always rebellious. Have you ever been to a coop and picked up an egg? When I finished, it looked like a mortuary mask sitting on the table, as if I had killed her. Civilisation, as I see it, is to have tolerance for one another. I chose to be a mother, like I chose to be an artist. That was the greatest university for me, this table where there was never enough food. Thirteen. And yes, I brought it from Italy. Photographs of the work are included in Making Love Revolutionary, a survey spanning six decades of the Brazilian artist’s career at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. For instance, what Brazilian artist Lygia Clark explored, the notion of sensuality, of immanence, it was important. But there wasn’t a reflection on Latin American feminism in Brazil. Being a mother and a wife didn’t leave me much time, I didn’t have anyone to help me with the children. Everybody wants to belong somewhere, you know? When my mother was upset, she told us off in Latin! It’s beautiful — you’re taking the world in your hand.”. Interviews. The collective aspect of working with a team — she cannot model three or four tons of clay alone — is clearly gratifying. I meet Maiolino, now 77, at the gallery with a translator. After that, I did Entrevidas, first outside my studio, without an audience, other than my neighbours and the people from the street – a rather strange situation. After those early experiences, she saw Italy as “a wicked stepmother, on a psychological level, that had not looked after me”, she says. It’s terrible, everything that’s happening in the world right now. We didn’t have much food but we had knowledge. Anna Maria Maiolino is one of today’s most political women artists. She has always connected her art with life. Benoît: In 1968, you moved to New York with your then-husband, the artist Rubens Gerchman, and your two young children. Anna Maria Maiolino: ‘I’m not an artist you can pigeonhole’ As a six-decade survey opens at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, the Brazilian artist looks back on a many-faceted career 1978/2017 Monumento à Fome (Monument to Hunger) Artist. London, as elsewhere — across the U.K. and the world at large — has had a rough year. “The five people who work with me, we’re all happy.” At that moment, holding that thought, Maiolino looks truly content. Born 1942 in Italy, Maiolino’s practice expresses a concern with creative and destructive processes. Anna Maria Maiolino and I met for this interview over lunch at her home in São Paulo, where we shared a typical Brazilian meal with a plate of rice and beans. Entrevidas was my second installation which featured organic elements. Find an in-depth biography, exhibitions, original artworks for sale, the latest news, and sold auction prices. Anna Maria Maiolino is an Italian-Brazilian artist who makes books, video art, sculptures, and drawings. The body is an organic vessel for emotions, desires, and physiological mechanisms. One of the arguments made in the show was that, for female artists across Latin America during that period, feminism was a bit of a dirty word. Did the feminist movement at the time have an impact on you? My husband had received a grant, we were living humbly, but we got by, we had two young children of two and four. Installation views. I incorporated my hunger. In 1996, Belgian curator Catherine De Zegher included you in the group show Inside the Visible, alongside 30 other female artists from various backgrounds. Benoît: In 1989, something important happened in your practice… you discovered clay. Anna Maria Maiolino has 31 works online. Anna Maria Maiolino’s significance for the history of art in Brazil from the 1960s onward cannot be underestimated. In 1981, on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Anna Maria Maiolino negotiated a path barefoot across a pavement littered with chicken eggs. In her artistic practice, Maiolino is known for works in a variety of media, including clay, cement, printmaking, film and performance. I’m an avid reader, but not always of art. It’s like there is no way out. Benoît: In part, yes. Entrevidas, da série Fotopoemação (Between Lives, from the series Photopoemaction), 1981/2010, É o que sobra, da série Fotopoemação ( What is Left Over, from the series Photopoemaction), 1974, Brandon Flynn cover of The HERO Winter Annual 2017. At age 75, Anna Maria Maiolino is having a late-career moment in the United States. If you forget, you will repeat. When you enter in contact with art, it is like a ritual. Gerchman, an artist, too, had won a … Anna Maria Maiolino is one of the most significant artists working in Brazil today. Was she fearful? Get the print edition and steer from crisis to recovery. View Anna Maria Maiolino’s 42 artworks on artnet. It is also an interface that facilitates the formation and display of identity and self-awareness. The discriminatory politics around gender have radicalised to such an extent, it’s awful. We are dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. Follow Artist. MOCA is pleased to present Anna Maria Maiolino, the Brazilian artist’s first major United States museum retrospective. That is a historical problem which humanity has never been able to resolve. It’s only after I returned to Brazil [in 1971] that I realised how much I enjoyed being in New York. When I arrived in Brazil from Venezuela, aged eighteen, I was looking to identify with a land, a place. Text Benoît Loiseau; 8th January 2020 . To a certain extent, the Manifesto Antropófago proposed to leave out European art. Anna Maria: Yes, that’s where I started. K2 in winter — climbers reach for mountaineering’s last great prize, Millions set to benefit from leasehold property reforms. Back in Brazil, she abandoned figuration — a “great turning point” — creating her own strain of abstraction. There are some incredible paradoxes in this notion. “I was married to another artist, an Argentine [Victor Grippo] — it was impossible to make art with him,” she says. “When I put my hand in the clay, that was a turning point because it’s such a primary thing; clay is matter,” she says. In the cultural context of Brazil, the poet Oswaldo de Andrade laid the foundation for these notions with his Manifesto Antropófago (1928), a central text for 20th century Brazilian art, in which he argued that ‘only cannibalism unites us’ – a reference to the country’s colonial past. Anna Maria: Humanity forgets. Even now that I live from my work, it’s something that touches me deeply. . You don’t want to live too peacefully. 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Artist. It was originally published in the 2019 HERO Winter Annual. “Drawing is a constant practice but in each series, I seek other questions. The first one was Arroz e Feijão [Rice & Beans, 1979], an installation which involved a table with frijoles and rice – the elementary meal of Brazil and Latin America – germinating in plates. “I cook very well; I’m good at ironing. Depending on who looks at the work, with their own psychological, social and cultural sensitivities, the audience completes the work, always. As many of you know I quit my full-time position in Early April and was thrilled to have more time for things like blogging and volunteering but, as often happens, the work … “Do you know how many we were at the table to eat? Anna Maria Maiolino Was an Artist Who Made Her Personal Life Central to Her Art. Central to Anna Maria Maiolino’s practice are notions of subjectivity, belonging and place. I’m not an artist you can pigeonhole,” she says. When the moment asks me to take a position, I use metaphors to speak.” These visual metaphors sometimes turn violent, as in “É o que sobra” (“What is left over”) (1974), which shows her on the point of slicing her tongue with a pair of scissors. Anna Maria Maiolino has 31 works online. Studio Sunday: Anna Maria Maiolino Anna Maria Maiolino was born in Southern Italy and later moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. . Could you tell me about the origin of the work, and the process of documenting it? At a time of repression and censorship, the show set the tone for a generation of artists committed to addressing the region’s political turmoil. Enemies have to be eaten to be dominated but also incorporated. I can make a plate of spaghetti as if it were poetry.”. The next iteration was different, it was set in a pavilion and with an audience. Born in Italy during World War II, she has lived in Brazil since 1960. I spoke Spanish then, not Portuguese. When I discovered the Manifesto Antropófago, I understood that you had to eat your enemies to incorporate their ideals. Anna Maria Maiolino, Capítulo II (Chapter II, from the Mapas Mentais (Mental Maps) series, 1976/1999, ink and transfer type on paper, 19 11/16 x 19 11/16 in. “You have to understand it is a minefield about the fragility of life. I did what I could. Benoît: And that’s also when you started to write poetry? Anna María MAIOLINO (1942) is an artist born in 1942 The oldest auction result ever registered on the website for an artwork by this artist is a painting sold in 2006, at James Lisboa Escritorio de Arte, and the most recent auction result is a painting sold in 2020. I understood that what American feminists were doing was important for us. It was a particular cultural moment for the US, the year of Martin Luther King’s assassination, soon after the summer of love and just before the Stonewall riots. That was my apprenticeship in life, humanity and knowledge. Licensing. This interview has been translated from Spanish to English and edited for clarity. Anna Maria Maiolino, Making Love Revolutionary Whitechapel Gallery, London, U.K., September 25, 2019 — January 12, 2020. My Super 8 film In-Out (Antropofagia) (1973) was inspired by the manifesto. My partner then, the Argentinian artist Victor Grippo, said to me, “Why don’t you try clay?” And you know, I am an artist of experiences – I attach a lot of importance to experiences. Maiolino was born in southern Italy and moved to Venezuela in 1954 with her parents where she began her artistic training. Made of unfired clay, they’re packed, sinuous and sausage-like, into an aperture in a wall. Article by Hyperallergic. T here are phallic images all over the place in Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino’s witty and weird show, but this is no triumph for the male member. I don’t know if I’ve answered your question? Anna Maria: Hunger, for those who haven’t experienced it, is an abstraction. The Whitechapel exhibition has travelled from the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Milan, boosting Maiolino’s profile in Europe, where she has been somewhat overlooked. Does she consider herself an artist or an activist? I never finished my studies – the [institutions] lie and say I’ve graduated but it’s not true, I never finished. We have a president who is utterly intolerant. But you have to be careful never to lose the rage when you need it. But I also wanted to ask you about your own relationship to food and hunger, which doesn’t have its origins in Brazil but in the post-war context of Europe, more specifically of Italy. Anna Maria: You know, with age comes a lot of wisdom. It is a work that speaks to censorship and political resistance, at a time of profound turmoil, and it feels more relevant than ever in the contemporary context of Brazil. Her reputation was boosted by participating in the seminal 1967 show New Brazilian Objectivity at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. She has created abstract fabrications from folds of paper, such as “Desenho Objeto” (“Drawing Object”) from 1974-76; she has taken transfixing photographs, including “By a Thread” (1976), which shows a single length of string hanging from the mouths of Maiolino, her mother and daughter. How do you feel about this work today? Now we have religions and politicians trying to tell us how to live our lives, but it’s absurd. In 1960, she decamped to Rio de Janeiro, immersing herself in classes at the engraving studio of the Rio de Janeiro National Art School, and marrying the artist Rubens Gerchman. I did recognise that female artistic production could be hindered by male curators, for instance. Anna Maria Maiolino: the Brazilian artist who took on dictators and won polemical practice. 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