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João Turin, Sculptor

02 Apr 2016
06 Jun 2016

APR 2, 2016
JUN 6, 2016

Starting April 2, Pinacoteca de São Paulo, the art museum of the São Paulo State Secretariat of Culture, with the sponsorship of BM&FBOVESPA, opens the exhibit “João Turin, Sculptor,” which highlights of the career of Brazilian artist João Turin (1878–1949), one of the creators and main representative of “Paranismo,” an esthetic movement that emerged in Curitiba in the 1920s, centered on the value of indigenous peoples and regional fauna and flora. The retrospective of the artist held at Museu Oscar Niemeyer received a record-breaking number of visitors, and was the winner of the Paulo Mendes de Almeida award, given by the Brazilian Association of Art Critics, in the category “Best Exhibit – 2014.”

José Roberto Teixeira Leite is the curator of the exhibit, which gathers 50 sculptures and bas-reliefs made by Turin between the 1910s and 1940s, as well as 35 drawings, manuscripts and photos. Two dresses with “paranista” motifs will also be on display, showing his pioneering facet in design.

In all, around 100 pieces will be at the Pinacoteca. These include pieces that mark his career path, noting the influence received during the period in which he was a fellowship recipient in Belgium and in France. One of the most notable pieces is the sculpture of Tiradentes, made while the artist was still living in Europe, representing the famous hero from Minas Gerais. Also highlighted are the sculptures that defined his most “Brazilian” creations, such as the animalistic ones, as in the piece “Luar do Sertão,” which represents a near life-size jaguar.

The indigenous theme, strongly present in the sculptor’s work, will also be represented. Among the sculptures is “Índio Guairacá,” 1.23 meters tall, wielding his bow and arrow next to a maned wolf. The show also will feature a Pietà, made in 1917 for the Church of Saint Martin in Condé-sur-Noireau, Normandy, France. Even after the region was heavily bombed during World War II and the church was seriously damaged, the sculpture remained intact.

“The fact that the exhibit takes place at the Pinacoteca, recognized as one of Brazil’s most prestigious museums, immediately highlights the importance of Turin’s work, and will help to establish him as one of the most original Brazilian sculptors of his time,” commented the curator.

A copy of the biographical book is also part of the show. Written by Teixeira Leite, the book was the winner of the Sérgio Milliet Award for best research published in 2014, an award granted by the ABCA. The book will be on sale in the Pinacoteca gift shop, along with other products inspired by the artist’s works.

The show will run through June 6, 2016, on the 1st floor of the Pinacoteca – located at Praça da Luz, 2. Admission is open Wednesday through Monday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, and visitors are allowed to remain until 6:00 pm. Tickets cost R$ 6 (full price) and R$ 3 (half-price for students, seniors, etc.). Admission is free-of-charge for children under 10 and adults over 60. On Saturdays, admission is free for all visitors.

Eleven sculptures that make up the exhibition will be identified with labels in Braille and can be touched by visually impaired people served by the Pinacoteca’s Educational Program for Special Publics. To schedule educational visits, please call +55 (11) 3324-0945.

Born in Porto de Cima, in the highlands of Paraná, João Turin studied art since childhood. Thanks to the support of local government, he won a fellowship that enabled him to travel to Belgium, where he entered the Brussels Academy of Arts in 1905, and stood out for his work with human and animal anatomy. After graduating, the Brazilian went to Paris in search of work, and there he lived with other fellowship recipients such as sculptor Victor Brecheret and painter Tulio Mugnaini, director of the Pinacoteca from the 1940s to the 1960s, among others. He returned to Brazil in 1922, where he spent the most productive years of his career. João Turin passed away in 1949 and left a complete collection of plaster casts, today preserved by Atelier João Turin.

José Roberto Teixeira Leite dedicates his life to art, and maintains a rich résumé: professor of art history in Brazil – taught at renowned institutions such as UFRJ, Universidade Gama Filho, Instituto de Artes do Rio de Janeiro, and Universidade Estadual de Campinas; researcher – wrote art critiques for major media outlets such as newspapers O Globo and Folha de São Paulo, and magazines such as Bravo! and Veja; curator of numerous exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, contributing author to more than 30 books, director of the National Museum of Fine Arts (1961–1964), held positions at the Brazilian Association of Art Critics several times, member of the Steering Committee of Pinacoteca de São Paulo from 1989 to 2010.

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