Curated by Marcus de Lontra Costa, the exhibition presents 35 works by Mauricio Bentes (1958 – 2003, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), one of the exponents of the 80s Generation, who died early at the age of 45, in 2003.
After studying with Celeida Tostes (1929 – 1995, Brazil), at the EAV Parque Lage (Rio de Janeiro), and with Haroldo Barroso (1935 – 1989, Brazil), at the Oficinas do Museu do Ingá (Niterói), Bentes was the biggest name in Brazilian sculpture from the 1980s until the year 2000. His sensorial poetics outstrips the limits of the medium and involve more senses other than vision. Initially created in ceramics, later in iron and steel, his production is characterized by an incisive action of the fire, which moulds and transforms the materials. His three-dimensional works comprise sculptures, installations, video installations, public monuments, interventions, and scenography for cinema, theatre and ballet.
By welding materials, the artist produced a poetical metallurgy, where forms emerge in a state of suspension. The introduction of neon and other lighting features provides his sculptures with an unusual potency, sometimes suggesting elements from the depths of the Earth, and others alluding to meteorites from the distant ends of the universe. Bentes also created large dimensions works, scenography and pieces of architectural integration. After Barroso’s death, the was named director of the Oficina de Escultura do Ingá, a position he maintained until 2002.