"Anna", Anna Maria Maiolino, 1967. Photo: Artist's Collection

Psssssssssssssssssssssssssssss... The onomatopoeia – which can be a whistle, a call, a flirtation, a request for silence, a secret, or a sign – gives name to the new solo show by Anna Maria Maiolino, on display at the Tomie Ohtake Institute, in Sao Paulo. A selection of around 300 works make up the anthology curated by Paulo Miyada, and invites us to take a walk through Maiolino's 'life-work' – to use a term coined by her. THE arte!brasileiros visited the exhibition and talked with the curator. Check out:

Opened in May, the month in which the artist turned 80, the show brings together paintings, drawings, woodcuts, sculptures, photographs, films, videos, audio pieces and installations from different periods of his career. For this, the institution reserves the three large rooms on the upper floor – rarely intended for the same exhibition, having previously been jointly dedicated only to the solo exhibitions by Yayoi Kusama and Louise Bourgeois.

Despite its anthological character, Anna Maria Maiolino – pssssssss… it is not organized as a linear retrospective. It is conceived as a spiral that circulates between all phases and supports of the artist's career. “One goes ahead to rediscover the beginning, it takes energy to return things to what they always were”, highlights Miyada. In an interview with arte!brasileiros, completes: “since we are not dealing with the chronology of the calendar, we have been tracing spirals that are reflected in each room, which are not exactly phases, but are recurrent emphases in the artist's work”. These are the cores ANNA, No No No e Material Actions.

The first invites us to understand how life, biography, desire and multiplicity converge in the artist's body of work. Maiolino overlapped multiple roles - as daughter, artist, mother, citizen, woman, lover, writer, Latin American, European and immigrant - and thus mapped her physical and psychic displacements during her life, building an understanding of identity as a constant flow that comes and goes between one and the other, between the self and the crowd. In ANNA, we are faced with these gestures of a woman who can be one or many, who wants and is desired, who cares, who disappears and abruptly emerges again.

“The artist’s trajectory encounters macropolitical problems such as hunger, dictatorship, censorship, repression and state violence” in No No No, explains Miyada. Thus, the section covers works such as the installation Love becomes revolutionary – based on a 1992 project honoring women who organized to pursue truth and justice after they lost their children during the Argentine military dictatorship – and the re-assembly of Rice and beans (1979), which deals with the apparent normalization of poverty and hunger on a global scale.

Pressing, shaping, cutting, gripping, draining and rolling. Perhaps these verbs are the most latent in Material Actions. It is from these actions that Maiolino deals with clay, paint, glass, concrete and other materials, resulting in a visual and sculptural practice strongly anchored in the scale of the body. The section includes works made over 50 years ago alongside recent works, composing a kind of landscape with multiple pieces that relate tactilely and visually.

The three years of intense contact and long conversations between Miyada and Maiolino resulted in the exhibition, which can be visited until July 24, and in an in-depth essay by the curator on the artist’s production, published in the catalog – along with reproductions of all the works on display and of an unprecedented selection of the artist's writings alongside documents, projects, photographs and sketches. 


Anna Maria Maiolino – pssssssss…
Tomie Ohtake Institute | Av. Faria Lima, 201 – Pinheiros, São Paulo (SP)
May 7 (opening from 12:15 to 24:2022) to July XNUMX, XNUMX
Tuesday to Sunday, from 11pm to 20pm

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