This is a critical assessment of the foreign presence at the twentieth International Biennial of São Paulo by the critic and professor Lorenzo Mammì. The writer comments on work by French, German, English, and United States artists, which would have a major impact on Brazilian artists in the 1990s. The text allows us to see the links between the works at the twentieth São Paulo biennial and the repercussions on the work produced in Brazil. It brings to light the high degree of circulation achieved by art created in the international sphere after the groundbreaking decade of the 1960s.
Lorenzo Mammì earned his master’s degree in Florence, Italy (Materie Letterarie della Università degli Studi di Firenze, 1984) and his doctorate in philosophy in Brazil at the Universidade de São Paulo in 1998 (USP). He is currently a professor at the same institution. Although his experience was primarily in the arts (especially music), he works in other specialties such as contemporary art and patristic philosophy. As a curator, he distinguished himself with his approach to coordinating the project Arte Concreta Paulista and for curating the exhibition Concreta ‘56 (Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, 2006). He has also published various books: Volpi (São Paulo: Cosac Naify, 1999), Carlito Carvalhosa (São Paulo: Cosac Naify, 2000), and Iole de Freitas: Sobrevôo, as well as organizing an anthology of texts (São Paulo: Cosac Naify, 1999, 2000, and 2002).
As background for a reading of Mammì, there are texts on the two prior biennials written by the curator of the events, Sheila Leirner: her “Introdução” to the eighteenth biennial in 1985 , and her other “Introdução” to the nineteenth biennial in 1987 .