Aldo Bonadei

6.11.2013 - 6.12.2013


This show, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the death of Aldo Bonadei (1906-1974), featured about 30 of the artist’s works, including oil paintings, collages and fabrics, made at different periods of his life. Curated by Denise Mattar, the exhibition was opened on November 8, 2013, and included an illustrated timeline, poems and texts by the artist, objects from his studio and his favorite music.

Aldo Bonadei was a rare personality among the São Paulo artists. He participated in the Grupo Santa Helena, made up of artists such as Francisco Rebolo Gonsales, Manoel Martinse, and Alfredo Volpi. Despite his affinity with the group, however, his production is more complex, with an unmistakable style.

His cityscapes, imbued with certain nostalgia, depict a São Paulo that was growing at an astounding rate, swallowing the bucolic landscapes at the city’s edges. The compositions of his still lifes recall those of Cézanne. He almost never depicted the human figure, and his lyrical gaze created poetry in all the details.

Bonadei was one of the Brazilian artists most committed to artistic research, and the search for innovation was a constant in his career. His first works are nearly academic, but he gradually assimilated the lessons of cubism to create an entirely personal expression, going on to pioneer the paths of abstraction. In the 1940s, when there was an absolute rejection of abstraction in Brazil, he painted his first musical impressions, conveying his sensations through his art. One of these paintings was presented in the exhibition together with the music that inspired the artist to produce it.

Bonadei exercised his creativity in various areas. He created paintings/objects involving various materials, such as embroidery and sewing on canvas, projecting his own background as a member of a family that worked in the embroidery and sewing trades. He made prints using completely new processes of engraving. He changed the support of the painting in an innovative way, eliminating the frame. He painted on fabrics and created patterns for the textile industry. He made graphic designs, and created theater scenes and costumes for Cia Nydia Lícia and for Walther Hugo Khoury. With intense lyricism, he wrote poetry and reflections on the processes of creation.

Aldo Bonadei was an active and participative artist. Together with the Sindicato dos Artistas Plásticos [Visual Artist Guild] he arduously defended the recognition of the profession. He showed his work in various editions of the Salão Paulista de Arte Moderna, receiving the competition’s most important prizes. He participated in the Bienal de São Paulo, represented Brazil at the XXVI Venice Biennale, and showed his work in Japan, Chile, Cuba and Paris, holding solo shows in the most important galleries of the time, such as Domus and Bonfiglioli.

All of these facets were recalled by the exhibition, according to curator Denise Mattar. “This exhibition aims to recover the fullness of Aldo Bonadei, an artist who knew how to harmonize contradictions to produce a dense, lyrical and nostalgic oeuvre that is simultaneously vibrant and nonstrident. A surprising work in light of the innovative and natural way it arose from his artistic practice.”

The many great Brazilian critics who have written about Aldo Bonadei’s work include Pietro Maria Bardi, Mario Schenberg, Walter Zanini, Lourival Gomes Machado, Roberto Pontual, Arnaldo Pedroso D’Horta, Lisbeth Rebolo, and Emanoel Araújo.

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Óleo sobre tela

100 x 130 cm


Coleção Ladi Biezus