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Hudinilson Jr.: Explicit

15 Oct 2020
28 Dec 2020

The Pinacoteca de São Paulo museum, managed by the São Paulo Culture and Creative Economy Secretariat, presents from October 15th to January 4th, 2021 the show Hudinilson Jr.: Explicit, which brings together 77 works drawn from a recent (and very significant) donation of 95 items handed over to the museum collection by the artist’s family and Jaqueline Martins Gallery. Under the curatorship of Ana Maria Maia with the assistance of Thierry Freitas, both members of the museum team, the choice of works intends to throw a panoramic light over different aspects of the life path of this “total artist”, deceased in 2013 at 56, favoring an understanding of the relationship between his artistic activity, the museum and the city – the leitmotif for the institution’s 2020 program.

The exhibition brings together photographs, woodcuts, drawings, documents, notebooks, objects and xerography works. The latter include one of his most widely known series, Self-Seeing Exercise (1980-1984), part of his pioneering activity in the use of photocopy as an artistic medium in Brazil in the early 1980s. Between 1975 and 1981, Hudinilson Urbano Jr. (1957-2013) coordinated Pinacoteca’s Xerography Hub, where he enabled the production of practical, theoretical and editorial works in that medium. He also held four solo shows at Pinacoteca and curated two collective exhibitions of xerographic works.

During the same period and often working from his own nude body, Hudinilson used a photocopying machine belonging to Pinacoteca to create actions that mingle performance and documentation and which came to be seen as important artistic landmarks of the period. With his family’s donation, the series comes back to the place it was conceived in. In Detailing Details (1981-1983), an offshoot from Self-Seeing Exercise, Hudinilson magnified small sections of the earlier work and turned them into almost complete abstractions, eluding the potential censorship that could come as a result of the work’s erotic and pornographic intent. It is also from this constant need to expose oneself, to make oneself explicit, that Intra Narcissus (1990) was born – referencing the Greek mythological character who fell in love with his own image. This figure, which the artist adopted as a codename throughout his life, is present in a significant part of his works.

Beyond centering on self-representation, homoeroticism and the countercultural gesture, Hudinilson took interest in other media, such as stencil (whose use he learned from artist Alex Vallauri), mail art, performance, graffiti and urban intervention. To make the latter, he used to roam São Paulo by night and teamed up with Mario Ramiro (1957) and Rafael França (1957-1991) to put together the group 3NÓS3, celebrated for its transgressive actions in the public space of São Paulo between 1979 and 1982.

According to curator Ana Maria Maia, it is this “public commitment” that best defines Hudinilson’s trajectory. “Although intimate, private and always based on the artist’s personal experiences, his work has put to the test, and has possibly yielded an understanding of, the effects of being on display, subject to the relationships and conflicts that derive from a shared repertoire”, she ponders. The museum and the city, therefore, were two instances of public life with which the artist was involved. This interest appears in projects developed by Hudinilson throughout a career spanning more than three decades. Now, thanks to his family’s generous gesture, these projects can be reunited with four of his works that already belonged to the museum’s collection, paving the way for Pinacoteca to become one of the main research hubs on Hudinilson’s legacy.

The exhibition’s title is a reference to Explicit (1980s), a graffiti painted with stencil and spray on São Paulo’s street walls. The term is also applied to a small work, done on paper, which is exhibited in the show and can offer some keys for understanding the behavior and artistic conduct of an artist who carved out his life path in the face of, and regardless of, all forms of conservatism and prejudice.

This exhibition was held thanks to the Federal Culture Incentives Law.


Hudinilson Urbano Jr.  (São Paulo, Brazil, 1957 – 2013)

Hudinilson studied visual arts at Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado – FAAP between 1975 and 1977 and in 1979 founded with artists Rafael França (1957 – 1991) and Mário Ramiro (1957) the group 3NÓS3, which made artistic interventions in the city of São Paulo up to 1982. His works were exhibited at Galeria Chaves, Porto Alegre, and at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo – MAC-USP in 1983. In 1984, Hudinilson took part in the 1st Havana Biennale and in the exhibition Arte Xerox Brasil, held at Pinacoteca de São Paulo and curated by himself. His work was also exhibited at the 16th and 18th São Paulo Biennales (1981 and 1985) and at the 3rd Mercosur Visual Arts Biennale in 2001. In 2017, works were presented in significant collective exhibitions, such as Histórias da Sexualidade, MASP – São Paulo; Copyart in Brazil – 1970-1990, University of San Diego; and The Matter of Photography in Americas, Stanford University. His works are still present in important collections, such as MoMA (New York, EUA), Museu Reina Sofia (Madrid, Spain), Migros Museum (Zurich, Switzerland), MAGA Museo d’Arte (Gallarate, Italy), MALBA (Buenos Aires, Argentina), MASP (São Paulo, Brazil), Centro Cultural São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil), Pinacoteca do Estado (São Paulo, Brazil) and Museu de Arte Contemporânea da USP (São Paulo, Brazil).


While the exhibition is on display, the NAE – Núcleo de Ação Educativa da Pinacoteca organizes educational visits which can be schedule by phone (+55 11-3324-0943 or 11-3324-0944). It also makes available pedagogical support materials with images of the works, information on the context of their creation and proposed activities. A training course for teachers will be provided on a yet-to-be-defined date.


Hudinilson Jr.: Explícito [Explicit]
Curated by Ana Maria Maia
Assistant curator: Thierry Freitas
Opening: October 15
Open for visitation: From  October 15th to January 4th, 2021
Pinacoteca de São Paulo:
Edifício Pina Estação
Largo General Osório, 66 – Luz – 2º andar
Free access every day.

Indicative classification: 16.