Luiz Sacilotto

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Cecilia Brunson Projects is delighted to announce their exhibition of works by highly acclaimed Brazilian artist Luiz Sacilotto (1924-2003), a pioneer of Concrete art and an early proponent of Op Art in an international context. The exhibition will take place from the 15th of September until the 30th November. 

Luiz Sacilotto stands alongside artists such as Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely in the international development of Op Art. Originally one of the innovators of Concrete art in Brazil - art defined as images strictly without any basis in reality and without any symbolic meaning - Sacilotto’s works, with their precise geometrical sequences, were described by Waldemar Cordiero, leader of the ‘Ruptura’ group as the ‘main beam’ of Concretism. This accuracy became a calling card for his exploration of geometric forms in the canvases and studies on show.

The works in this exhibition come from the later period in Sacilotto's career, starting in 1973 when, after a decade-long hiatus following the establishment of the military dictatorship in Brazil which had forced him into artistic silence and obscurity, Sacilotto finally returned to the studio. Yet even in the year before his death in 2003, Sacilotto was able to paint exacting shapes with only a brush and sometimes a matchstick, supporting his hand with a wooden bar to guide it carefully across the surface of a work. His skill for exactness came in part from his day-jobs: living in the post-war industrial suburbs of ABC São Paulo, he worked as a typeface designer for Hollerith do Brasil, a designer-draftsman in a number of architecture firms and even ran his own metal-working business before becoming a full-time artist in 1977. Art historian Nelson Aguilar has pointed in particular to Sacilotto’s admiration for architecture as the source of the discipline and the orthogonal design which characterised his work.

This exhibition will unite the artist’s large-scale paintings with the smaller gouache studies which he made throughout his career to play with possibilities on paper before them committing to canvas. One gouache study in the show, from 1982, shares the compositional principles, of Concretion 8068, in which he inserts carefully rotated wedges of negative space into 625 wonderfully exact discs, creating the effect of three visual diagonals traversing the surface of the page in wave-like form. In the gouache study from two years later, Sacilotto almost perfectly inverts the image, as blue triangles pull waves out of the negative space around them. Other works in the exhibition absorb the viewer into an optical illusion wherein innovatively used geometric forms of sumptuous colour seem to sink into themselves.

As CBP say "It is a privilege to be showing work by Luiz Sacilotto, whose part in a global movement linked the Brazilian art scene with artists such as Bridget Riley, and whose works testify to his significance as a visionary Concrete artist."