Mário Carneiro (1930 - 2007)

Untitled (1953)

Etching and aquatint on paper
height: 21cm
width: 13cm

Donated by Museus Castro Maya 1995


This print is one of a series produced by different contemporary artists for the Museus Castro Maya (incorporating the two Museums Chácara do Céu and Museu do Açude) in Rio de Janeiro. This project, Amigos de Gravura, began in 1992 as a means of introducing the work of significant Brazilian artists into the Museum's exhibition and education programme. The original plate for this 1994 print was produced in 1953. As such it reconciles two important aspects of Mario Carneiro's career. Since the sixties, Carneiro has achieved recognition for his career in film. Before this time, and despite being a graduate of Architecture, Carneiro's most significant formative training was in printmaking and painting.

In 1953, when this plate was produced, he was resident in Paris. Although in Paris on a French government grant to study Urbanism, here Carneiro began to study with Iberê Camargo, a celebrated Brazilian artist who was in the city after winning a travel prize. The two formed a close friendship and Carneiro has described this training as formative for his vision as a cinematographer. Carneiro had become interested in the European avant-garde cinema on a previous visit to Paris (1948), and Camargo's visual language was itself complex in formation, having studied with both Giorgio de Chirico and André Lhote on successive trips to Europe. These various sources fed into the composition of prints such as this one; and the new re-production of this image, after several decades of working in film, allows an audience familiar with Carneiro as a cinematographer to consider the significance of this formative period anew.

Isobel Whitelegg, 2008

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