This text was published in the catalogue of a retrospective exhibition held in Rio de Janeiro at the Centro de Arte Hélio Oiticica in 1998. The article provides a bird’s-eye view of the singularity of the artist’s sculptural work, which unquestionably never abandoned the physical and theoretical parameters of modern art. It is worth noting that this work burst forth in the 1960s Brazilian art scene, a period that was heavily influenced by rereadings of historical avant-garde movements.
Beyond his role as an artist, through which he assumed a leading role in establishing an innovative language for sculpture, José Resende (b. 1945) was also one of the founding members of Grupo Rex. This group was formed in 1966 by the Brazilian artists Wesley Duke Lee (1931–2010), Geraldo de Barros (1923–98), Nelson Leirner (b. 1932), Carlos Fajardo (b. 1941), Luiz Paulo Baravelli (b. 1942), and Frederico Nasser (b. 1945). The group entered into the ongoing debate in the Brazilian art world when it joined forces with both a gallery, Rex Gallery & Sons (from 1966 to 1967), and a newsletter, Rex Time. Along with Nasser and Baravelli, Resende organized the Centro de Experimentação Artística Escola Brasil. He also contributed articles to journals such as Malasartes, for example “Ausência de Escultura” (no. 3, April/May/June 1976), and was both cofounder and editor of the newspaper A Parte do Fogo (1980). Moreover, he had countless individual exhibitions throughout his life as an artist, and he participated in several São Paulo biennials (1967, 1983, 1989 and 1998). He also showed work in the Panorama da Arte Brasileira, organized by the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM-SP). In 2003, the publisher Cosac Naify published the volume José Resende, which was a compendium of the artist’s work.
Ronaldo [Correia de] Brito (b. 1951), who is from the state of Ceará, is one of the most important and influential art critics on the Brazilian art scene. He has published his essays in books, journals, and exhibition catalogues, also contributing to the newspaper Opinião. Brito was one of the founders of the journals Malasartes and Gávea. In the 1970s, he was prominent in the art world, and promoted the reexamination of the Neo-Concrete movement and its legacy in Brazilian contemporary art.
Another Brazilian sculptor on whose work Brito trained his critical faculties was Sergio Camargo [see 1110496].