Geraldo de Barros was one of the most relevant figures of the Brazilian art scene of the 20th century, and, though he began working as a painter, he remains an indisputable pioneer of abstract photography. Displayed here is a selection of his series of photographs ‘Fotoformas’ (1946-1951) in which de Barros experimented with a variety of techniques: solarization, manipulation of the image, drawing with ink on negatives, and multiple exposures. Also on display is a small selection from the ‘Sobras’ (remains) collages of old family snapshots from the 1950s on glass plates. The series is his last, which he began in 1996 and worked on up until his death in 1998. This kind of concrete photography is not completely divorced from his work of the 1940s and 50s, but rather represents an evolution from that period and shows the merging of photographic experiment and painterly collage.
Geraldo de Barros (Born 1923 in São Paulo) – as a draftsman, engraver, painter, photographer, graphic and industrial designer – contributed to the revival of Brazilian artistic thought and practice in the second half of the 20th century. In 1952, he participated in the Grupo Ruptura, consisting of artists associated with what came to be known in Brazil as the Movimento de Arte Concreta (Movement of Concrete Art). Barro’s work is featured in some of the most prestigious public and private collections, including the MoMA, New York, the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, the Museum of Modern Art, Paris, and the Tate Modern, London. He died 1998 in São Paulo.