The Biginning, 2012-2103

Nthe early 2000s, Pinakotheke designed a trilogy of books honoring great Japanese-Brazilian artists. The initiative took shape in partnership with BTG Pactual. It began with a collection of Manabu Mabe's work produced during the 50s. The following book paid tribute to Tomie Ohtake's constructivism. To close the trilogy, a dive into Flávio-Shiró's trajectory was produced.

On the occasion of the exhibition that honored the 90th anniversary of Shiró’s birth at the gallery’s São Paulo headquarters – from September 24th in Rio de Janeiro –, Pinakotheke decided to  update the volume, released in 2015, which features the work of the artist born on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. The current version, from July 2018, adds a series of new works by Flávio, including those produced in the current year.

With a presentation by Max Perlingeiro, the gallery's director, the book is guided by a text by Paulo Herkenhoff about the artist, who is also the author of the texts in the other books in the collection. An expert connoisseur of Japanese-Brazilian art, the critic has already produced, in 2008, an exhibition with around 400 works that demonstrate the Brazil-Japan relationship at Instituto Tomie Ohtake. In addition, Paulo has had a close relationship with Shiró for over 40 years, says Perligeiro. Thus, there is no doubt that the presence of Herkenhoff's writings in the book is an essential part.

In the 1960s, the artist exhibited his works in Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro and Chile.

The book takes care to point out, even in a non-explicit way, all the influences that Shiró has from the places he went through. Especially those where he settled as a resident and had an experience which he passes on to his works. France, Japan and Brazil are remarkable in their production. In this way, having these points defines the artist's ability to place himself in a space.

For Max, it is important to return to a path like that of Shiró, who “is an indescribable artist, with incredible erudition”. And therein lies another important point of the book, which spares no effort to offer the public a privileged view of paintings by an artist who, throughout his life, was nourished by images from theater and cinema, including having contact with names like Akira Kuroswa.

Sold out since 2015, the first edition of the book could even be found at auction. This demonstrates the importance of the work of an artist like Shiró to be catalogued. Above all, without a doubt, the book update and the tribute exhibition at this moment in Shiró's life show, above a compilation of his work, the grandeur of an artist who, at 90 years of age, continues to paint with a conscience indisputable what it does.

“I chose you to do my last book and my last exhibition”, this is how, according to Perlingeiro, Shiró talks jocularly when they meet. The gallery owner replies: “Every last one is the penultimate one”. With Shiró's energy constantly producing, there's no denying that this is just the first update to this book.

Flavio-Shiró, Edições Pinakotheke, 216 pages, R$90


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