The Amadeo Luciano Project was launched last month Lorenzato, which seeks to identify and catalog the works of the artist from Minas Gerais on a digital, continuous and open platform. With support from Itaú Cultural, the initiative came from gallery owner Thiago Gomide, from Minas Gerais like Lorenzato, who has the artist in the cast and his Gomide & Co. According to researcher Mateus Nunes, who coordinates the project, Gomide “was always attentive to the importance of the artist, whose debates were very restricted to Minas Gerais” and he felt the need to “emphasize Lorenzato's presence in the history of art in a broader panorama”. Nunes holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Lisbon, is a professor at MASP and a researcher at the Institute of Art History at the University of Lisbon.
“Submission through the form aims, above all, to reach a capillarity where the field research we undertake is not enough, like the private collections of many collectors”, Mateus Nunes, general coordinator of the Lorenzato Project
For now, around 300 works have been catalogued, and there are around 100 other works submitted through the site's platform. According to Nunes, Gomide estimates that Lorenzato has between 3 and 4 works spread around the world. The cataloging of the Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato Project based on the submission of forms, he says, has been a minority. For the launch, a database of hundreds of works was created based on field research in galleries and art institutions, in addition to publications, catalogues, exhibitions, etc.
“Submission through the form aims, above all, to reach a capillarity where the field research we undertake does not reach, as the private collections of many collectors”, says the researcher to arte!brasileiros, explaining that, in addition to the three people who work directly in the cataloging, teams from collaborating galleries and art institutions have helped by providing images, fact sheets and research already present in their own databases.
Amadeu Luciano Lorenzato (1900-1995) was born and died in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais. Throughout his career, he acted as a painter and sculptor. He moved with his family in 1920 to Arsiero (Italy), where he worked as a house painter. He studied at the Reale Accademia delle Arti in Vicenza. In 1926 he went to Rome, where he spent two years in the company of the Dutch painter and poster artist Cornelius Keesman, with whom he drew on weekends. In 1928, both began a bicycle trip to Eastern Europe, passing through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey.
In Paris, he participated in the assembly of the pavilions of the International Colonial Exhibition. In the early 1930s, he returned to Italy, where he stayed until 1948, when he returned to Brazil. In BH, he resumed his job as a wall painter until the mid-1950s, when, due to an accident, he started dedicating himself only to painting.
In the release of the project, Mateus Nunes points out that Lorenzato “is an artist who does not follow the usual historiographic molds, such as framing styles, he was outside the Rio-SP axis and used unusual techniques”. The text also highlights opposing aspects in Lorenzato's production: figurative versus abstract, Brazilian versus international aesthetics, imaginary versus authentic. For Nunes, Lorenzato was the very common denominator of his work.
“He brought these opposites together in a hybrid, erudite and intuitive way, to the point of manipulating visual tools, such as perspective, for example, to create a nostalgic atmosphere. The Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato Project reinforces the autobiographical aspect in the artist's production”, he says.
The researcher also points out that Lorenzato's practice, begun in the 1920s, went a long way until 1964 – the paintings prior to 1948, the year he returned to Brazil, were destroyed during the Second World War, he says –, when he presented some works to the art critics Sérgio Maldonado and Palhano Júnior, responsible for organizing their first individual exhibitions. While still alive, in the early 1970s, Lorenzato participated in international exhibitions, in the former Czechoslovakia and in France.
“[Lorenzato's work] was exhibited only in Brazil for more than 40 years, with almost all exhibitions taking place in Minas Gerais. The debates were revived five years ago, when Lorenzato was reinserted into the global discussion scene, with exhibitions in London and New York”, Mateus Nunes, general coordinator of the Lorenzato Project
“After these participations, his work was exhibited only in Brazil for more than 40 years, with almost all the exhibitions taking place in Minas Gerais. Debates were revived five years ago, when Lorenzato was reinserted into the global discussion scene, with exhibitions in London and New York. The aim of the project is that, through cataloguing, Lorenzato has a worthy repercussion for the size of his work both in Brazil and abroad”, says Nunes.
One of the Project's main challenges is knowing that it is a constantly expanding archive. The researcher also recalls that Lorenzato's work is quite dispersed. For example, evidence of the presence of work made by the artist during the period in which he collaborated with Cornelius Keesman was identified, “but still no major discoveries”, according to Nunes, who considers the works made at the time in Italy “very difficult to trace”. Hence the need for the Project processes to take place in part online:
“He asks for an open platform, which asks collectors and researchers to send works for analysis and cataloguing. There are less specific peculiarities, as happens in the cataloging of works by many artists, such as inaccurate dates, lack of photographic records that follow a certain quality standard for a standardized database and very little bibliography about Lorenzato”, he explains. “The general cataloging should last a few years and always remain open to new analysis. It is possible that, in the future, exhibitions and publications will be promoted from the Project, but there are no plans to develop them in the near future”.