Galeria Luciana Brito

Waldemar Cordeiro: Jardins de Vanguarda ltda.

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After his awarded retrospective in 2013, the investigations by Waldemar Cordeiro (1925-1973) – which involved painting, drawing, photography, pioneering experiences with digital media, objects, and close relationship with landscaping and architecture – now deserve a new outlook at Luciana Brito Galeria, with curatorship by Givaldo Medeiros and Analívia Cordeiro. Featured documents, photographs, models, and reproduction of objects at the exhibition hall are rich additions to this new outlook.


At the apex of Concretism Waldemar Cordeiro stated that "the connections between art and architecture are downright awful in Brazil," and considered that "only its cultural and artistic content can characterise architecture as distinctive from engineering and  self-standing. Architecture, therefore, emerges from a setting of cultural and psychological contradictions."


Author of academic research on the artist’s landscaping, Givaldo Medeiros argues that Cordeiro truly merged the two lines of investigation – artistic and architectural landscaping. To do that, the scholar invoked a concept forged by philosopher Alain Roger -Artialisation - thus considering that art and landscaping would be two sides of one same project, both aesthetically and ideologically-based.


Analívia Cordeiro comments on how that happens: "The idea of painting as theme or subject basis for landscaping is false, since they are parallel research fields resorting to distinctive languages. The principles are indeed common to both. As an example, the principles of similarity and proximity of Visual Gestalt used in Concretism can be observed both in painting and in the gardens."


Although Waldemar Cordeiro geometrized gardens seem to follow strongly formal thought, the concrete human action of disposing nature (a key element of landscaping) combines empirical observation and rational judgment - and thus urban and architectural spatialisation involves art, nature and functionality simultaneously. In his landscape designs, Analívia Cordeiro emphasizes, "Graphic solutions are never merely decorative. The dialogue among elements – plants, water, construction items –  is intentional, in addition to the specific architecture of the main building. "


His rigorous equation reflects an intricate artistic personality, whose profound coherence is not very obvious to the accidental viewer. For instance, it is unclear to the wide public how artists such as Waldemar Cordeiro and Geraldo de Barros conciliated deep political engagement and abstract expression. However, as Waldemar Cordeiro made ​​clear on the occasion of a compliment to Alfredo Volpi’s oeuvre, rather than his literal engagement to Realistic art, he was mostly interested in elevating "the visual outlook of Brazilians to the level of universal language."


A distillation of this idea would lead artists to translate visual values ​​into the Concretism repertoire forged in the 1950’s and 1960’s, with Waldemar Cordeiro being one of its greatest exponents. But this was just one of the relevant stages of his work, which also travelled through classical learning, the rupture of the abstract, and informal reverie, among others, but never entirely apart from landscaping and architecture.

Waldemar Cordeiro: Jardins de Vanguarda

Aug 23 - Oct 11

curated by Analívia Cordeiro and Givaldo Medeiros