Antonio Dias – negative art

Photo by Carmela Gross


Commentary on the trajectory of the plastic artist, whose works can be seen in two precursor exhibitions of the 34a. São Paulo Biennial

For Neil Davidson (1957-2020) [I]

Since the works of Winckelmann (1717-1768) and Herder (1744-1803) in the middle of the 18th century, universalism, on the one hand, and nationalism, on the other, claim the superiority of their artistic values ​​over those of the opponent. Although dating back to the Enlightenment era, the quarrel still unfolds today, as in part – unconsciously and despite its own terms – it reflects the uneven rhythms and consequences of the systemic and globally combined development process of capitalist modernization, underway from mercantilism. Thus, to assess the persistence of the quarrel, it is enough to remember the polemic of postmodernism and multiculturalism against the North American formalist art critic Clement Greenberg's (1909-94) conception of modernism.

Despite the acrid and fierce character of the confrontation between “universalists” and “localists,” both sides have a lot in common and share, for example, the notion of aesthetic autonomy, founded on the belief in the immunity of aesthetic form to the materiality of the historical process. general. This work will not enter into this dispute, whose arguments are markedly anti-dialectical on both sides.

Instead, I will start here with a commentary by Trotsky (1879-1940), from 1922, on Futurism. In it, Trotsky noted that the "backward countries" more than once reflected - "with greater force and brilliance" - the achievements of the "advanced countries" than the latter did. The distinction, even without development or proof, appears as one of the initial arguments of the essay entitled “O Futurismo”, signed on 08.09.1922.

The essay was included and prominently referred to in the September 1923 introductions as well as the July 1924 second edition of Literature and Revolution. In it, Trotsky stated: “we observe a phenomenon repeated more than once in history; backward countries but with a certain level of cultural development reflect with greater clarity and strength in their ideologies the conquests of advanced countries. Thus, German thought in the 2015th and 285th centuries reflected the economic achievements of the English and the political achievements of the French. In this way, futurism reached its clearest expression not in the United States or Germany, but in Italy and Russia” (TROTSKY, XNUMX, p. XNUMX, my emphasis).

What is at stake in this brief, unfollowed remark of Trotsky's? The appropriation of advanced forms by the so-called “backward countries” and their reuse in peripheral molds and with superior power of clarification. In fact, and as is well known, peripheral countries suffer the impact incessantly and in all domains of the forms generated in the advanced capitalist economies and are forced to respond to them. In general, they do so by importing advanced forms on a lower scale, thus buying outdated technology or for other contexts and purposes, as well as inappropriate or fragmented and incomplete ideas, using them improperly and imprecisely.

But it is not the moment of subordination, but the opposite case, that I want to discuss here. That is, precisely the one suggested by Trotsky in the 1922 essay on futurism, when observing the superior critical and reflective benefit extracted in certain cases by “backward countries” from “advanced forms” appropriated to hegemonic countries. To do so, I will extract examples from the work of Brazilian visual artist Antonio Dias (1944-2018).

It was at the show Opinion 65 (MAM-RJ, 12.08-12.09.1965), in Rio de Janeiro, that his work erupted with great impact not only for responding frontally to the coup, but for doing so avoiding the trap of nationalism that had captured most of the left pre-64, previously weakening it before the imminence of the coup.

What did the new synthesis proposed by Dias consist of in the face of the national x foreign dualist scheme? Precisely in the dialectical appropriation of the materials of pop art to reintroduce them combined with signs of violence and tragic outcomes, in peripheral molds. Please note that the notion of “negative art”, according to a note made in Dias’s notebook, three years later, is already intuited and realized in these 1965 paintings, as well as another idea also formulated and noted in 1968, that of “painting as art criticism” – a denomination possibly parallel to that of “negative art” (DIAS, 1967-69; MIYADA, 2019, pp. 234-7).


Figure 1: Antonio DIAS, Notebook, 1967-69/Paris-Milan, 20 x 30 cm, col. of the artist.


Figure 2: Antonio DIAS, Notebook, 1967-69/Paris-Milan, 20 x 30 cm, col. of the artist.

 Let us concretely examine the example of an operation of negative painting, in a work belonging to the series called dazibao (1972) (DIAS, 2010, pp. 126-7). In this series, the color red works as a cutting tool. In fact, through red, the newspapers are reconstructed, and Dias not only builds a painting that comes from negations (as he announced in the 1968 note referred to above) but also elaborates syntheses that anticipate, in his own way, the answer that he would come to give. in an interview in Köln (Cologne), Germany, in June 1994. In it, to the interviewer's question – why he used geometric shapes combined with words –, he replied: “(…) to show this totality that exists outside the frame, and which invades it from there” (DIAS, 1994, pp. 54-55).

Figure 3: Antonio DIAS, THE ILLUSTRATION OF ART / DAZIBAO / THE SHAPE OF POWER, 1972, silkscreen and acrylic on canvas, 121 x 317 cm, col. particular.

In fact, contemporary with the note on “negative art”, Do It Yourself: Freedom Territory (Do It Yourself: Freedom Territory, 1968),[ii] a work prior to dazibaos, also brought negative operations – not in isolation, but combined with the affirmation of its intrinsic connection with reality. Thus, between 1968 and 1969, Dias, alongside Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980), established principles and the detailed program of a way of working linked to what Oiticica called “environmental art”, precisely to allude to the permanent permeability of work. from art to reality.

Figure 4: Antonio DIAS, Do It Yourself: Freedom Territory (Do It Yourself: Território Liberdade), 1968, adhesive tape and typography on the floor, 400 x 600 cm. In the lower details, Antonio DIAS, TO THE POLICE (FOR THE POLICE), in DO IT YOURSELF: FREEDOM TERRITORY, bronze, 3 pieces, 14 cm each (diameter).

Note, please, that such a notion is strictly contemporary and responds to the so-called “language tour (linguistic turn)”, underway at that time in the Anglo-American university environment and with parallels also in French post-structuralism, not to mention, of course, the peripheral echoes of such vogues. well, in Do it Yourself: Freedom Territory – whose structure was clearly expropriated from so-called minimalist art – both, the ground of artistic practice as well as that of the observer’s experience, were combined, as well as the work itself, in the form of a piece of flooring checkered by means of an adhesive tape. Included in the work space, designated as free territory, but exposed to attacks, were some stones that carried a metal tag hanging, recalling the identification pieces that soldiers wear around their necks. On the plaques – a sign of origin converted here into a sign of finality – was written: to the police (1968)

In such a way, inversion and irony – that is to say, things taken away from others – were converted into the artist's weapons and, therefore, also the public's. During the act of expropriation, the perspectives of freedom and combat nourished each other.

Do it Yourself:…, beside Anywhere Is My Land (1968), as well as some other works along similar lines – and very different from the works of the previous cycle in the key “againstpop”, so to speak – were all made in the early years of exile in Europe. In short, in addition to alluding to exile, such works were clearly based on poetic structures openly conflicting with the chosen themes.


Figure 5: Antonio DIAS, ANYWHERE IS MY LAND, 1968, acrylic on canvas, 130 x 195 cm.]

In this way, Dias, instead of seeking the unique and adequate form for his work, as is usual in art, captured hostile or at least inhospitable forms, which he appropriated or kidnapped from conceptual art and minimalist art. He used them to dialectically smuggle memories and observations of a Third World exile. The result of such an antithesis was contradictory and simultaneously distanced and dramatic.

Figure 6: Antonio DIAS, THE ILLUSTRATION OF ART / ONE & THREE / STRETCHERS / MODEL, 1971-74, lacquered wood, 110 x 550 cm.]

A série The Illustration of Art, developed from 1971 to 1978 basically in exile, was analogously made up of analytical art procedures, incessantly exposed, affected and altered by external factors or “invasions”, to borrow Dias’s own term again – visibly complicit in the phenomenon that converted all his works in acts of an incessant process of sabotage of the “pure form”.

A série The Illustration of Art it even extended beyond a three-month trip to Nepal in 1977. There, Dias settled in rural communities that made paper by hand. But I only briefly and summarily evoke the immersion of Dias' work in a pre-capitalist or primitive mode of production. Likewise, I will only briefly evoke the next stage that took place in Brazil – therefore, in a context other than that of a pre-capitalist mode, and more properly called, in my view, “development in underdevelopment”, according to the formula elaborated in other circumstances by the economist André Gunder Frank (1929-2005).

In fact, my objective here, while guided, as I pointed out at the beginning, by reflection on the contradictions of the process of uneven and combined development, is mainly to establish the nexus between the negative operations, which are provocatively reiterated by Dias, with the main historical vector of his work, according to the strategic commitment to rebuilding realism.[iii]

In this sense, let us examine the new productive cycle of Dias' work after his return to Brazil in the late 1970s, which began in Milan in 1980. In many ways, the Brazilian internship (at the Núcleo de Arte Contemporânea of ​​the Federal University of Paraíba, co-acting with the critic and partner Paulo Sérgio Duarte), still took place in the field of the project The Illustration of Art, which had been, as we saw, created against the grain of analytical line art. Already at the beginning of the next cycle, now in focus, we face crucial tactical changes not only with regard to the direction of negative operations, which target new targets – but also in the visual content of objective forms designed by Dias.

I borrow the notion of “objective form” from Roberto Schwarz's literary criticism, for whom objective way comprises a “practical-historical substance” and in this condition aesthetically condenses the “general rhythm of society” (cf. SCHWARZ, 1999, pp. 30-31 and, in general, pp. 28-41).[iv]

I think that, in fact, we are facing the description of a contiguous or parallel reflexive process to what Dias referred to when describing, in his words quoted above, the “totality” that, from outside the canvas, “invades the frame”. That is, the description, according to Schwarz, of the aesthetic translation of a “general rhythm of society” into “practical-historical substance” of an artistic form, then designated as “objective form”, refers to a similar process of communication or passage from socio-historical materials or contents to related aesthetic forms, which, in the terms stated, renewed the debate on realism.[v]

Proceeding with the hypothesis of the parallelism of the formulations, both related to the transition from extra-aesthetic materials to aesthetic forms, the objective forms minted by Dias – in the form of negative operations –, in the case in question, above all stamp the features of the combat between the forces that invade the painting, as Dias said, and the artistic response to them, generating new forms – such as those of two bodies mixed in a physical struggle.

Applied in these terms, the notion of objective way helps to clarify the changes that appeared when Dias returned to settle in Milan, in 1980. Thus, after the “dialectical overcoming” – that is, through the incorporation of the denied object – of the artisanal paper production cycle (linked to the stay in the artisan communities in Nepal, which was expanded with the inclusion of new materials on the return to Brazil), this time on the return to Milan a new set of objective forms, based on packaging cardboard, newspapers, etc. The shift towards cheaper, more quickly processed materials of industrial origin appears combined with a handful of elements that at first sight are inherent in the expressionist lexicon. How to explain such a combination? It is what matters to establish. That is to say, to stay in Dias's terms, what would be the forces that this time (in Milan, 1980) came to take up spaces and occupy the paintings?

In fact, in the world outside the screen, Thatcherism and Reaganomics were the rising forces. Extreme monetarism was at the forefront of a tough offensive against trade union structures and social rights. Furthermore, throughout the Anglo-Americanized West, subjectivity and sociability found themselves under a kind of colonization process by the money-form.

In short, the new situation placed side by side the rise of fictitious capital and a Revival of painting (transvanguard, bad painting, particularly neo-expressionism and so on), always floating in rivers of money. Therefore, what kind of antithesis was there, at that time, between the terms of late capitalism in the process of mutation, and the new pictorial discourse of Dias, also in an accelerated process of mutation? How did they articulate with each other?

Neo-expressionist clichés thus emerged combined with heterogeneous materials: elements of Byzantine painting, residues of various materials – industrial pigments, solvents, oxides and also some emblematic signs: bones, weapons, tools, flags, dollar signs, circuits drawn in gold, etc. Instead of paints/colors, waste materials were used to enhance the opacity of the supports. More than that, the screens were prepared through negative operations, such as washing painted surfaces or removing (by scraping or another process) elements previously added. A laboratory expressionism was thus presented, very controlled and meticulous.

Large surfaces – in which texture accidents and irregularities were configured as particles of a system – recurrently appeared impregnated with the gray-silver powder of graphite, one of the recurring “colors” of Dias' work in this period. As this was, and still is, the general color of weapons (daggers, rifles and planes) and also the dominant color of cars made in the period, it was clear where such objective forms and where was the general reform of the sensibility alluded to going. As can be easily seen on the streets even today, the ostensive use of claws – like new uniforms – incessantly generates “armies of consumers”.

As negative operations they also had Dias' previous painting in their sights. So in the cycle of New Figuration, roughly 1964-67, the works of Dias, when they denied the pop art and they responded to the military coup, they appeared full of broken bodies and signs of pain.[vii] By the way, with Dias operating against the grain of the hegemony of neo-expressionism, the signs and emblems of before were also denied and replaced by tools, bones and dollar signs. Finally, they gave way to stripped-down symbols of work – dead or alive – and primitive accumulation, recalling the little that was left of life under neoliberal hegemony.

The recurrent inclusion of newspapers in Dias' canvases produced after his return to Milan came to be a distinctive, striking and emblematic sign at that time, undoubtedly evoking the initial episode of collage in the history of modern art, within the chapter of Cubism. But not only that, because the negative operations also appear here. Thus, while Cubist collage consisted of basically additive operations, already in Dias' works after his return to Milan, the corresponding operations were clearly subtraction. Analogously, instead of the Cubist reconstruction of ancient still lifes and the pleasant paraphernalia characteristic of bohemian life, made of glasses, bottles, musical instruments, pages of sheet music and so on, what stood out in the scenes of Dias were ossuaries and signs of absence or death – in short, traces of planned evictions and extinctions.

In terms of objective forms, Dias' paintings also brought other elements to act as decoys. They were the constructs in gold, copper or shiny metals presented in oval, circular or golden circuit shapes. In addition to such icons or doubles of the halo and the coin-form, there was another family: that of containers and perfume bottles (which were referred to in the titles of the works). The mention of aromatic essences, which was certainly ironic – in view of the famous flatness or two-dimensionality of the painting, celebrated by “language tour” –, also evoked in this case the aura or the fetish of the merchandise. Allusions to vials of poison and death completed this period panoply. All these items, as well as the receptacles or forms of subjectivity and the gilded surfaces, operated as clichés of the mythology of the global supremacy of market forces. Thus, such figures appeared isolated in wide areas or pigmented fields, monopolizing all attention – like the logos and emblems of brands in the skies and urban and road horizons today.

In addition, several “pictorial coins”, such as brushstrokes, impasto or similar things, entered the scene, evoking the way of being of subjectivities. All this ironically alluded to contemporary subjectivity. What kind of subjectivity was thus implied? O I express myself in such an array of symbols was certainly the I calculate. Neo-expressionism in this key consisted of investor expressionism. Thus, their speech resembled that of new managers and managers, that of specialists in “human capital” and other corporate issues, that of journalists specializing in investments and finance.

As objective forms of the neo-expressionism dissected by Dias then appeared stripped of all apparent subjective meaning, to appear as mere phantasmagoria pertinent to a lost and emptied regime of subjectivity. Glacial signs of empty subjectivities circulated again, but only as dead and mechanical work. They represented the expression of capital's automatic subjectivity – a narcissistic subjectivity that calculated bids and simulated risks according to the exclusive rule of its own interest.

In this way, the elements of neo-expressionism captured by Dias's irony as reflections of thoughtlessness emerged, displaying their own emptiness. Thus, according to Dias, neo-expressionism revealed, despite itself, signs of hysteria. As a displaced and represented jouissance, such a style constituted the re-enactment of a manifestation of subjectivity that had not occurred because, in its place, the existing substance was only that of dead work.

To summarize and fix before concluding, awareness of the art circuit, that is, of the economy proper to such a mode of circulation, constantly constituted the immediate strategic objective of Dias' actions. In this way, the endogenous conflicts of fetishized artistic practices precede in his work – as a path or unavoidable crossroads – all the other conflicts found in them. Accordingly, none of his work presents a homogeneous surface or technique. Therefore, incessantly confronted and hit by heterogeneous factors, reception is urged to take leaps and to strive to dialectically conquer different points of view and degrees of reflection.

Thus, Dias' works, rooted in the historical dimension – distinguished either as general history or art history – combine domains that in the dominant formalist tradition of modern historiography were considered as intrinsically distinct or placed as incommunicable continents.

Combining the immanent experience of looking with that of historical reflection, driven by titles or subtitles, the viewer is led to reconstruct the parts of a much broader historical process than the visual works he encounters. That is to say, from such a position, the observer faces “the totality, which exists outside the frame, and which from there invades it”. And invasion – I would like to add – that occurs in an uneven and combined way, as Trotsky's thesis asserted, and also as highlighted by Dias' works (at least since the New Figuration show), by combining elements of visibly heterogeneous historical temporalities.

Finally, I suggest that you consider and observe, to complete this path around negative operations e objective forms, some montages of the last phase of Dias' work:

Figure 7: Antonio DIAS, SUMMARY STORY FOR CHILDREN, 2006, acrylic, pigment, malachite, gold leaf and copper on canvas, 120 × 420 cm.

Figure 8: Antonio DIAS, HOSTAGE: JOHN WAYNE FINDS HARUN AL-RASHID, 2007, acrylic, iron oxide, gold and copper leaf on canvas, 180 × 450 cm.


Figure 9: Antonio DIAS, REFÉM, 2008, acrylic, wax and copper leaf on canvas, 75 × 135 cm.


Figure 10: Antonio DIAS, LÍNGUA FRANCA, 2010, acrylic, iron oxide, gold and copper leaf on canvas, 180 × 360 cm.


Figure 11: Antonio DIAS, MANIVELAS, 2011, acrylic, iron oxide, gold and copper leaves on canvas, 90 × 120 cm.  

Figure 12: Antonio DIAS, HOMEM QUEIMANDO, 2015, acrylic, gold and copper leaves on canvas, 180 x 180 cm.

 In these works, painting abandons all remnants of the traditional quadrangular surface (a form that in itself had a strong power of evoking totality, according to habits rooted in the Western visual tradition), to adopt constructions and schemes instead.[viii] What do these new spatial arrangements suggest? In short, and just to go ahead, I'll just list it, because we are facing things that today stand out to all: special operations and plots – operational fields, in short, in which each portion is constituted as a theater of specific actions. Does anything come to mind along these lines?

I purposely use terms used in the general media to refer to current acts of state terrorism. Indeed, one only needs to revisit the titles above and others of Dias' latest works and it is concluded that this artist – who used newspapers as a material for his current work throughout a good part of his work – was in fact referring to a type of events globally current in the current era.

I can thus outline and risk an interpretation about the roots of the last cycle of objective forms, from the work of Dias? I think that the core of the essential theme of his last cycle – inherent, in short, to what Naomi Klein designated as the era of “shock capitalism” – basically consists of: aerial views of bombing targets; genocidal practices and mass destruction techniques, corrosive bombs and detersive chemical solutions; and interrogation practices similar to those applied in Abu-Ghraib. This is what I can say about the last moment of this work, whose author was, in a constant way, acutely and vividly linked to his time – until he was cut down by the lethal disease that took him to our memory.

* Luiz Renato Martins he is professor-advisor of PPG in Economic History (FFLCH-USP) and Visual Arts (ECA-USP). Author, among other books, of The Long Roots of Formalism in Brazil (Chicago, Haymarket/ HMBS, 2019).

Review and research assistance by Gustavo Motta.

Originally published under the title “Negative Art and dialectical kidnappings in the work of Antonio Dias”, in Aurora: art, media and politics magazine, São Paulo, v.13, n. 38, p. 50-69.


Several dozen important works by Antonio Dias can currently be seen in two exhibitions that preceded the 34a. São Paulo Biennale. Of the two, the largest (Antonio Dias: Defeats and Victories, curated by Felipe Chaimovich) takes place at MAM-SP and is open until 21.03.2021. It features works from the artist's own collection, strategically emblematic of his different cycles, from the first to the last. Synthetic, comprehensive and vigorous, the exhibition offers a clear view of the work as a whole. It introduces the uninitiated to the critical and plastic power of Dias' work. But it also serves optimally, for the already familiar observer, to distinguish and combine the moments of strategic inflection and critical findings of the intelligent and irreverent duel, which Dias always maintained with the dominant international currents, throughout his career.

At the same time, in the main pavilion of the Bienal, the exhibition Wind (preliminary of the 34a. Bienal), curated by Jacopo Visconti and Paulo Miyada, brings together works by 21 artists who will be in the main exhibition of the Bienal in September. Other works by Dias are on display: the set of ten black cubic urns, entitled Heads(1968), and three black canvases, all made in exile in 1970-1. These pieces, which anticipate the tone of the two dozen black paintings by Dias to be shown in September, are also excellent examples of the negative operations with which the artist subverted and corroded the artistic currents that were then dominant. In the case of the works exhibited on the second floor of the Bienal pavilion, the operations were aimed at minimalist art, then in vogue in the USA. In times of enthroned dependency and generalized resignation to the situation of a fragment, each of these works is acidic and tonic at the same time (LRM).


BANDEIRA, João (curator). Between Construction and Appropriation: Antonio Dias, Geraldo de Barros, Rubens Gerchman in the 60s. Show catalog at Sesc Pinheiros, São Paulo 05.04 – 03.06.2018. Sao Paulo, SESC, 2018.

CANDID, Antonio. Dialectics of Malandragem [1970]. In: The Discourse and the City. Rio de Janeiro, Gold over Blue, 2004a, pp. 17-46.

____. From tenement to tenement [1973/1991]. In: The Discourse and the City. Rio de Janeiro, Gold over Blue, 2004b, pp. 105-129.

DAVIDSON, Neil. Uneven and Combined Development: Modernity, Modernism and Permanent Revolution. Trans. Pedro Rocha de Oliveira; org., rev. critique and afterword by Luiz Renato Martins; intro. by Steve Edwards; pref. by Ricardo Antunes. São Paulo, Cheap Ideas / Ed. UNIFESP, 2020 (in press).

DAYS, Antonio. Notebook [Notebook], 1967-69.

____. In Conversation: Nadja von Tilinsky + Antonio Dias. In: Vv. Ah.. Antonio Dias: Works / Arbeiten / Works 1967-1994. Darmstadt/Sao Paulo, Cantz Verlag/Paço das Artes, 1994, pp. 50-64.

____. Antonio Dias: Anywhere Is My Land. Exhibition catalog at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (S. Paulo, 11.09 – 07.11.2010), general curator Hans-Michael Herzog, trilingual edition: English, Portuguese and Spanish, texts by Sônia Saltzstein and Hans-Michael Herzog. Zurich / Ostfildern (Germany) / São Paulo, Daros Latinamerica / Hatje Cantz / Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2010.

____. Antonio Dias. Texts by Achille Bonito Oliva and Paulo Sergio Duarte. São Paulo, Cosac & Naify/ APC, 2015.

____. Antonio Dias: Power of Painting. Exhibition catalog (Porto Alegre, 14.03 – 18.05.2014, curator Paulo Sérgio Duarte). Porto Alegre, Iberê Camargo Foundation.

MARTINS, Luiz Renato. Trees of Brazil. In: The Long Roots of Formalism in Brazil. Edited by Juan Grigera, translated by Renato Rezende, introduced by Alex Potts. Chicago, Haymarket, 2019, pp. 73-113.

____. Far beyond the pure form. In: DAVIDSON, Neil. Uneven and Combined Development: Modernity, Modernism and Permanent Revolution. Trans. Pedro Rocha de Oliveira; org., rev. critique and afterword by Luiz Renato Martins; intro. by Steve Edwards; pref. by Ricardo Antunes. São Paulo, Cheap Ideas / Ed. UNIFESP, 2020 (in press), pp. 283-348.

MIYADA, Paulo (org.). AI-5 50 Years: It's Not Finished Yet. Catalog of homonymous show. São Paulo, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, 2019.

SCHWARZ, Robert. National adequacy and critical originality [1991/1992]. In: Brazilian Sequences: Essays, São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 1999, pp. 24-45.

____. two girls. São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 1997.

TROTSKY, Leon. Literature and Revolution [1923/1924]. Preliminary note, selection of texts, translation and notes by Alejandro Ariel González; introduction by Rosana López Rodriguez and Eduardo Sartelli. Buenos Aires, editions Razón y Revolución, 2015.


[I] Work presented under the title Negative Art and Dialectical Kidnappings in Antonio Dias' Work, on 06.09.2019, within the panel “New Directions in Cultural Analysis”, in conf. Uneven and Combined Development for the 21st Century: A Conference (05-07.09.2019, University of Glasgow), coord. Neil Davidson, support Socialist Theory and Movements Research Network and Historical Materialism Journal.

[ii] The checkered structure, traced with adhesive tape, was assembled for the first time, in 1969, at the National Museum of Modern Art, in Tokyo, as part of the exhibition Contemporary Art: Dialogue Between the East and the West. The installation comprises, as an assembly, another work (described below): to the police, named separately, but almost always articulated to the installation.

[iii] On the construction movement of a new realism, in response to the 1964 coup, see MARTINS, 2019.

[iv] For the origin of the idea of ​​“objective form” and the process of aesthetic translation of the “general rhythm of society” in the Brazilian novel, see CANDIDO, 2004a [1970], pp. 28 and 38; as well as CANDIDO 2004b [1973-1991], pp. 105-29. For the concretely exemplified and discussed formulation of “objective form” as “the social nerve of artistic form”, see SCHWARZ, 1997, p. 62.

[v] For a longer and more detailed discussion of the cultural and artistic dialectic between peripheral and hegemonic countries in the key proposed by Trotsky and the renewal of the realism debate, in the historical context of the Brazilian debate on “formation”, see MARTINS, 2020.

[vii] For images of the instigating works of the Nova Figuração cycle, mainly those on paper, which were generally much less exposed than the already well-known paintings of the period, see examples throughout the catalog DIAS, 2010; see also FLAG 2018.

[viii] For reproductions of other works from the more recent period, see DIAS, 2014; and DIAS, 2015.



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