Sidney Amaral: one mirror over History
Curated by Luciara Ribeiro
07.30 — 09.24.2022
The exhibition "Sidney Amaral: a mirror in history" presented an unprecedented and comprehensive retrospective of the work of the São Paulo artist, who is still present with an incomparable force, proposing, in a striking and poetic way, a look at the paths, labyrinths and deviations of the our History in search of our own image, however uncomfortable it may be. On this trail, it is impossible to avoid facing the legacy of slavery and the ills of the black people in the country. But, it is important to remember, the artist's work was never restricted exclusively to these aspects: his work also deals with poetry, delicacy and the transcendence of everyday life, reminding us that the exercise of sensitivity is a way of connecting with the world.
The curatorship of Luciara Ribeiro covered the entire trajectory of Sidney Amaral, from his first productions, in which he primarily explored the creation of sculptures that represented everyday objects forged in noble materials such as marble and bronze that, being displaced from their original contexts, were resignified. poetically by opposing banality and delicacy, simplicity and nobility, ephemerality and permanence.
The thematic universe of his pictorial work, which was also highlighted in the show, was characterized by delving into the harsh and raw reality, dealing with the social, historical and political issues that orbit the place of black people in Brazilian society. They are drawings, acrylics and watercolors of a realistic character in which he reveals extreme technical mastery in the use of chromatic compositions, lines, volume and lighting.
Self-representation is a constant in Sidney Amaral's work. By taking himself as the subject or character of many of his paintings and watercolors, he not only attests to his experience as an individual, but brings to light his condition as a black man, father, husband and public school teacher, thus dealing with the deprivations and anxieties of a historically marginalized group and target of prejudice and oppression. By choosing to place his own image - the image of his body - as the field in which these questions are tensioned and rubbed together, the artist reveals the weight that history - and what is historically constructed - exerts on individuals in everyday life. -day. When talking about himself, he reflects on the social place of blacks and Afro-descendants in contemporary Brazilian society.
Sidney Amaral passed away in May 2017, aged 44. The exhibition “Sidney Amaral: in a mirror in History” reaffirmed the relevance of his legacy, urging us to think about Brazil and its ills. In a culture in which, in recent historical times, the black man was represented only as a workforce, subjected and humiliated as a slave and, later, in a folkloric or pejorative way, a production such as Sidney do Amaral, which portrays blacks as individuals mobilized against this oppressive determination, it is fundamental to the understanding and revision of our history.