Starting April 14, Pinacoteca Estação hosts a retrospective of the Pará-born artist Emmanuel Nassar (Capanema, PA, 1949). Sponsored by Credit Suisse, Emmanuel Nassar: 81-18 opens the exhibition calendar of the Estação building, which is part of the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, a museum operated by the São Paulo State Secretariat of Culture.
Through his artwork, Nassar provokes reflections on the “erudite” and the “popular”. His paintings and objects are marked by apparently banal interactions: from the logos painted on street façades to the rigorous geometry that refers to Brazilian concretismo; from popular painting of circuses and amusement parks that travel throughout the country to the irony of American pop art. Additionally, the use of symbols such as the Brazilian flag, the Coca-Cola logo and reference to Hollywood are also present, shown without hierarchies but rather with an ironic sense of humor.
“Emmanuel Nassar’s work is very powerful. He made art critics of the southeast rethink the idealized notion of the so-called naive painter,” explains curator Pedro Nery.
The show features four decades of his production, gathering works connected by themes that are recurrent throughout this period. Questions about identity, pop art or circus iconography will be addressed. There will be more than one hundred works on display, including Receptor, from 1981, the oldest one present in the retrospective and that marks a turning point in his artwork. There is also Fachada, part of Pinacoteca’s permanent collection that represents, in life-size scale, the portico of a street circus that was made to serve as entrance to the artist’s hall at the 1989 Biennial.
It is worth reminding that this individual show continues the program of exhibits intended as a review of artists who began their careers in the 1980s, and established a prominent trajectory in the context of contemporary Brazilian art.
“What is most perennial in the whole of Nassar’s work is possibly the ambiguity of two Brazilian worlds – the informal one of the streets and mundane experience, in contrast to geometric and utopian formality,” adds Nery.
Pinacoteca is preparing a catalog that will bring together two unpublished texts written by authors Pedro Nery and art historian Thierry Dufrêne. The book will also include reproductions of the works on display.
“EN: 81-18” remains on view through July 02, 2018, on the fourth floor of Pina Estação – Largo General Osorio, 66. Admission is open Wednesday through Monday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, and visitors are allowed to remain until 6:00 pm – and free admission. Pina Estação is located next to the Luz Station of the CPTM.