Two hundred works by Rossini Perez (b. 1932, Macaíba, Brazil) invites MAR’s visitor to his universe of engravings, paintings, sculptures, photographs and objects. Rossini was an active artist during some of the most important moments of engraving in Brazil, including the impact of Concretism and the use of geometric forms as a symptom of modernity.
The artist was one key actor in promoting the practice of engraving in Rio de Janeiro and in other countries. His dialogue with the urban space began on the early 50s, but his partnership with the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro – MAM Rio, where the engraving’s workshops where implemented prior to the opening of the museum, placed him in the centre of debates about the expansion of modern vocabulary and the implementation of abstraction. At MAM, he has been assistant to artists like Edith Behring (1916 – 1996, Brazil) and Johnny Friedlaender (1912, Prussia – 1992, France) and worked with names like Anna Bella Geiger (b. 1933, Rio de Janeiro) and Thereza Miranda (b. 1928, Rio de Janeiro), who will also have works in the show.
On the 1970s, the artist was invited by Brazil Foreign Minister to teach the technique in Senegal. In Africa, Rossini taught to local artists a new form of representation related with their origins, and he himself ended up influenced by the discovery of new worlds of colours and images from African society, other than other elements that were incorporated to his plastic vocabulary. For Marcelo Campos, curator of the show along Maria de Lourdes Parreiras Horta and Marcia Mello, Rossini’s “experience with Africa, teaching engraving, singularized his production, that started to accept vivid colours, now observing street markets, ethnic patterns, hairstyles, re-forging a historical bound between Brazil and Africa”.
In parallel to his work with engraving, the artist witnessed the destruction and renovation of Rio de Janeiro, and recorded constructions that disappeared of the city’s landscape. As if he were an anthropologist and an archivist, he methodically photographed he city and wrote down his impressions on notebooks, collected furniture, tiles, and mirrors that complete the exhibition at MAR.