Exhibition "Rubem Valentim (1922-1991) – Sacred Geometry"

Mon13November(Nov 13)10:00Sat16dez(ten 16)18:00Exhibition "Rubem Valentim (1922-1991) – Sacred Geometry"Curated by Max Perlingeiro and consulted by Bené Fonteles, the exhibition presents around 75 works and celebrates the legacy of the artist “genuine representative of Afro-descendant art in the country.Pinakothek Rio de Janeiro, Rua São Clemente 300, Botafogo – Rio de Janeiro - RJ


Rubem Valentim: sacred geometry is the first book dedicated to the artist in more depth, according to its author, Bene Fonteles. In the year of its centenary, the pinakotheke rescues his work from the perspective of his spirituality. Valentine wanted this sacred connection in addition to aesthetics.

Rubem Valentim is an essential artist for a better understanding of the Afro-Brazilian tradition; and Bené Fonteles, his main scholar and interlocutor for his spiritual connection. At the artist's request, Bené becomes the Ogã (a word that comes from Yoruba and means “Lord of my house”) of Valentim's terreiro. He who takes care of his life and, consequently, his work. It's another case of friendship that Pinakotheke makes visible!

In 1963, Valentim went to live in Europe, precisely in Rome, where he met Giulio Carlo Argan (1909-1992), the great theoretician of modern art. At the time, the Museum of Modern Art in Rome was being created, in which Valentim had three works acquired by the new institution. Upon returning to Brazil, he began a series of works, transforming his paintings into reliefs.

Bené Fonteles met Valentim in 1977, both participating in the XIV Bienal de São Paulo. Valentim was exhibiting the “Templo de Oxalá”, an installation made up of a blue background panel with white reliefs and movable sculptures in white painted wood, based on symbolic elements of popular culture and the Afro semiotics of Candomblé. Without a doubt, his most emblematic work belongs to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia.

In 1978, Bené moved to Brasília and, in this way, was able to participate in the defining moments of his career, becoming his intellectual heir. According to the author, “the artist’s house was a sacred place. Its architecture was in the shape of a cross. Its interior was more reminiscent of a monastery. He lived a monastic life, from his diet to his way of resting. His room was a cell, extremely simple. He had a life completely devoted to the spiritual. His books were basically spiritual and philosophical, in which the artist created the foundations for his production”.

The artist always wanted to have a space dedicated to his work. To this end, throughout his life, he allocated 157 works to form the main nucleus of this collection under the care of Lúcia Alencastro, his wife, pioneer in art education and founder of the Escolinha de Arte do Brasil together with Augusto Rodrigues (1913- 1993). In order to make his dream come true, he bought a large plot of land in Asa Sul in Brasília to build the cultural center. Unfortunately it was not possible, which caused him great frustration.
He also got closer to the concretists. He was a friend of Hélio Oitici-ca. Valentim exhibits with Waldemar Cordeiro in Rome. His production was obsessively based on the construction and deconstruction of the symbols he invented. There was, for example, the kitonic alphabet (which means energy from the center of the Earth), made up of 15 symbols, which explains Brazilian religious syncretism, but always in an abstract and geometric way. Elements from Umbanda and Candomblé populate parts of it and help to build a very particular universe, formed by straight lines, triangles, circles and squares.
Throughout his artistic life, he participated in Biennials and exhibitions in Brazil and abroad. She always had respect and recognition for her work. Pinakotheke is honored to publish this essential book for a better understanding of the artist as we celebrate the centenary of his birth.
The edition also features an exquisite photo essay by Christian Cravo, carried out with works from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia during the pandemic, which provided a striking drama at the time of its production. And, with the support of Itaú Cultural, we delivered this publication, which, without a doubt, will constitute an essential bibliographic source.


Exposure | Rubem Valentim (1922-1991) – Sacred Geometry
November 13th to December 16th
Monday to Friday from 10am to 18pm | Saturday from 10pm to 16pm


November 13 (Monday) 10:00 - December 16 (Saturday) 18:00


Pinakothek Rio de Janeiro

Rua São Clemente 300, Botafogo – Rio de Janeiro - RJ