Dionisio Del Santo (1925 - 1999)

Untitled (1991)

Screen print on paper
height: 70cm
width: 50cm

Dionisio del Santo 1997


Since a groundbreaking exhibition of over 300 works shown at Museu de Arte Moderno, Rio de Janeiro in 1973, DionĂ­sio del Santo has been celebrated in Brazil for adding his unique investigation of silk-screen techniques to the achievements of Brazilian abstraction. Thus, within the modern history of Brazilian art, del Santo is recognised for shifting silk-screen from its designation as one amongst many processes of reproduction into a technique specifically refined for the production of post-Concretist abstraction.

Del Santo began to use silk-screen as a method of reproduction while working in advertising design in the 1950s. Initially producing expressionist works in his spare time, he was to achieve success and critical recognition as a visual artist in the sixties, after applying his commercially gained expertise to the production of abstract and optical works.

Del Santo continued to investigate this medium throughout his life and this work dates from 1992, at which time the artist was producing silk-screen compositions that reconciled his earlier geometric language with a looser, more informal technique. Stemming from his parallel experimentation with works in graphite pencil on paper, del Santo produced a series of works which break down the picture plane into a broken and comparatively unstructured space, composed from gestural lines and forms. While his works of the 1960s and 70s drew out silk-screen's close approximation (both visually and technically) to abstract painting, these later works push the medium further by suggesting a relationship between the physical process of printing and the immediate and expressive quality of informal abstraction.

Isobel Whitelegg, 2008

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