Rossini Perez at his residence and studio in Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro), 2019. Photo: Arturo Bonhomme.
Rossini Perez at his residence and studio in Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro), 2019. Photo: Arturo Bonhomme.

EIn tribute to the artist Rossini Perez, who died at the age of 89, in March 2020, the Lasar Segall Museum reveals the plurality of his work, known essentially for his engraving, in the exhibition Archeology of Creation: An immersion in Rossini Perez's studio collection.

Held in online format, the retrospective can be accessed until July 1, 2021 on the website www.arqueologiadacriacao.org. Through a tour of its virtual galleries, the show proposes immersive paths, with audios, videos and images, “so that the visitor feels close to the artist, as if he were manipulating the drawers of his studio”, as curator Sabrina Moura says. . Archeology of Creation, by the way, arises as a result of an intense work of research and coexistence with the artist, started in 2017 by Moura. 

“I was studying Senegalese art in the 1970s when I found out that Rossini helped set up an engraving workshop at the National School of Fine Arts in Dakar at that time. The first time I visited his studio, I wanted to know the stories of his passage through the African country. But he insisted on showing me the collages he had been making”, says the curator. “In the following meetings, he presented other works and materials that he kept in his collection. When I realized it, I had already been caught in the trap that is the labyrinth of memory and Rossini's artistic production”, she recalls.

Rossini Perez in Paris, 1965. Personal collection
Rossini Perez in Paris, 1965. Personal collection

Rossini Quintas Perez was born in 1931, in the city of Macaíba (Rio Grande do Norte). He moved in 1942 to Rio de Janeiro, where he witnessed important events in the art scene of the then federal capital. In 1951 he attended the Associação Brasileira de Desenho and took classes with the painter Ado Malagoli. The following year, he was a student of Iberê Camargo and, the next year, of Fayga Ostrower. Also in 1953, he participated in the 1st National Exhibition of Abstract Art, at the Hotel Quitandinha, in Petrópolis (RJ). In the 1960s, he moved to Paris where he lived with the avant-garde of Brazilian artists based in France. Among them, Lygia Clark, Arthur Luiz Piza, Sérgio Camargo, Antônio Bandeira and Frans Krajcberg. From 1970 to 1990, the artist was in Portugal, Senegal, Mexico, among other countries, holding exhibitions and setting up printmaking workshops. Back in Brazil, he was a professor at the Creativity Center of the Cultural Foundation of the Federal District, in Brasília, in 1978, and at the Engraving Workshop of MAM / RJ, from 1983 to 1986.

Revisiting his work, according to Moura, has “a remarkable value for institutions, which have sought to review their collections and collections, as it calls into question the very idea of ​​a central modernity”. Furthermore, “the artist kept his records like an archivist. Everything was meticulously identified and ordered. This kind of 'archive fever' raises a crucial debate about Brazilian collections, at a time when our memory spaces have been weakened”, says the curator. 

This care allowed Rossini to make, a few years before his death, a series of donations to various institutions, such as the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, the Rio Grande do Sul Art Museum, the Rio Art Museum ( MAR), the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and the Mário de Andrade Library, among others.

On June 10, a publication created from the organization of the exhibition will be launched, which will address unprecedented aspects of the work of Rossini Perez, with texts by Sabrina Moura, Cláudia Rocha (National Museum of Fine Arts), Maria Luisa Távora (UFRJ), Juliana Maués (Unicamp) and Marisa Ribeiro (UFPB).

Watch Video here to the exhibition's launch event.

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