Amelia Toledo: Chromatic Landscape

MuBE (Sao Paulo), Apr-Aug/24

Amelia Toledo: Chromatic Landscape, a comprehensive show of her works, is now on display at MuBE. It is not a retrospective. Instead, it is meant to be a selection of her works that deal with sculpture and nature, according to curators Fernando Limberger and Daniela Gomes Pinto, an artist and a geologist, respectively. It gathers 100 works, from sculptures to paintings, and from installations to a video installation. Although not as famous as Lygia Clark, the artist is relevant for many of her strands of research, including this one on colour and tridimensional objects and another with counterculture art pieces from the 1960s and 1970s.

Partial view of the show. Image credit: Google

MuBE, an acronym in Portuguese for the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture and Ecology, opened in 1995. Its building was designed by world-famous architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha and its garden was projected by world-class visual artist and landscape designer Roberto Burle-Marx. Its high-ceiling premises hosts shows of, mostly, Brazilian artists. It has recently exhibited visual artists Amilcar de Castro, Frans Krajcberg and Regina Silveira, as well as a show devoted to archaeologist Niède Guidon’s research at Serra da Capivara, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

In Toledo’s show, most of the exhibiting area’s floor has been covered with beach sand, transmitting viewers to such a playful landscape. This show follows the artist’s attitude towards art — it should be interactive, and the audience should interact with the artwork in many ways, not only by watching it. Amelia Toledo (1926-2017) was a visual artist, designer and art professor. In a 1999 interview to Cynthia Garcia, she declared, ‘I don’t abide by rules. I am totally independent. There are so many different niches for investigation and expression. So why not express myself freely if I feel this urge inside me?’

Partial view of the show. Image credit: Google

Now, to some of the artworks shown here. It is important to keep in mind what the curators have stated regarding Toledo’s oeuvre, ‘It’s the intelligence and the stone’s intuition that guide the materials, the structures, the colours, the things and even the human beings.’

After you enter the show, you will encounter some concrete plinths with ‘Singing Dragons’ on them. These sculptures are activated by being softly hit with a small stone, creating various songs.

Pathway of the Darkness Colours is an installation made up of an enormous tilted sheet of aluminium and some stones in front of it. ‘Pathways of the Colours’ is an installation comprised of huge many-colours jute sheets hanging from the ceiling. In both, you have to walk within their reach to have a full experience of colours and shapes that emerge from them.

Pathway of the Darkness Colours and Pathways of the Colours. Photo Luis Sandes
Pathway of the Darkness Colours and Pathways of the Colours. Photo Luis Sandes

On the outside part of the museum, you will also find sculptures and installations by Toledo. One of them is ‘Impulses,’ which are different types of stones placed on concrete plinths with different heights. Just like most of the pieces on the show, you can touch them, feel them, and understand what they tell you from the depths of nature.

You have a great reason for visiting this show: it is indeed an immersive show. You will not only feel surrounded by art, just like a standard museum show — you will feel like you are diving into it. In this sense, everybody will love experiencing it, including the kids, it doesn’t matter their age.

Consider booking a bespoke tour with us at London Art Walk. We have local English-speaking guides to help you make the most out of this show. Also, we have expertise in Brazilian art, which will help you understand the local art scene, which is filled with great art museums and galleries. We will be happy to guide you.

Luis Sandes for London Art Walk
June 2024