Alberto da Veiga Guignard | Almeida & Dale

Alberto da Veiga Guignard

Nova Friburgo - Minas Gerais, 1896 Belo Horizonte - Minas Gerais, 1962

Alberto da Veiga Guignard's work explored the formal issues of modernism in a profoundly original way. Recognized as the painter of a simple world, one in a state of suspension, Guignard dedicated himself to practically all types of painting - portrait, self-portrait, landscape, still life, religious and genre painting. Guignard's landscapes feature the mountains and towns of Minas Gerais, depicted as distant, silent views, with a fluid and subtle quality. When working with landscape and nature, which are among his favorite themes, Guignard approaches the fantastic, the imaginary and reveals an interest in decorative motifs and a certain modernist orientalism.

Throughout his career, the artist produced paintings, drawings, collages and decorative panels. He was also one of the most active painters of his time, participating in the training of many artists through his teaching activities at the School of Fine Arts in Belo Horizonte. His students included Wilma Martins, Lygia Clark, Amilcar de Castro and Farnese de Andrade.

Guignard's work is a fundamental reference for the formation of the Brazilian painting. As much as he claims to be modern, his work, characterized by transparencies and blurriness, goes against some of the principles of modern art, which shows the uniqueness of his art. In a well-known reading, art critic Rodrigo Naves observes circumstances in which Guignard's work revealed impasses in the Brazilian modernization process. Other readings, such as that of artist and theorist Carlos Zílio, highlight how he assimilated the main avant-garde references, such as Fauvism and Expressionism, through a very particular lens. The fact is that Guignard was directly involved in the discussions surrounding modern Brazilian art, especially from the 1930s onwards, but not from a nationalist point of view. His work drew on avant-garde experiences, such as surrealism, while at the same time cherishing the legacy of a "cultural memory of the West".

In his youth, he experienced European artistic education, first in Germany, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, and then in Florence, where he came into contact with the works of the great Renaissance masters. He was an admirer of Matisse and Impressionists such as Raoul Dufy.

Returning to Brazil and settling in Rio de Janeiro in 1929, after about twenty years living in different European countries, Guignard encountered an artistic environment that was still quite limited and found his main interlocutor in Ismael Nery. In 1944, at the invitation of Juscelino Kubistchek, then mayor of Belo Horizonte, Guignard taught a painting course at the Escola de Belas Artes de Belo Horizonte, now called Guignard School.

He began taking part in group exhibitions in the 1920s and held his first solo show in 1930. He took part in important exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, including several editions of the Salões de Arte at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes; exhibitions at the Sociedade Paulista de Arte Moderna; the 1928 and 1952 Venice Biennales; as well as several editions of the Bienal Internacional de São Paulo. In addition to the Museu Casa Guignard in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, his works are part of the main Brazilian collections, including: Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo – MAM SP; Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro – MAM Rio; Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP; and the Museum of Modern Art - MoMA, New York, among other institutions.

Paisagem Mineira, 1952

oil on wood
63 x 28 inch [160 x 71 cm]

Ouro Preto Paisagem, 1949

oil on wood
11 ¾ x 19 ¾ inch [30 x 50,2 cm]

Untitled, 1961

oil on wood
11 ⅛ x 13 ⅜ inch [28,3 x 34 cm]

Noite de São Pedro, 1961

oil on wood chipboard
18 ⅛ x 10 ⅝ inch [46 x 27 cm]

A Colegial, 1955

oil on canvas
23 ⅞ x 15 ½ inch [60,5 x 39,5 cm]

Untitled, 1953

oil on canvas
13 ¾ x 10 ⅝ inch [35 x 27 cm]
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