Big turds greet you as you head into this show by Italian-born Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino. “The five people who work with me, we’re all happy.” At that moment, holding that thought, Maiolino looks truly content. Anna Maria Maiolino and I met for this interview over lunch at her home in São Paulo, where we shared a typical Brazilian meal with a plate of rice and beans. I exorcised it. Bringing the saying “walking on eggshells” dramatically to life, her performance work “Entrevidas” (“Between Lives”) reflected the precariousness of the new political order in Brazil as military dictatorship began to give way to civilian rule. Anna Maria: Do you know how many we were at the table to eat? In this work, I wanted to eat the enemies of freedom. But there wasn’t a reflection on Latin American feminism in Brazil. You don’t want to live too peacefully. Benoît: Do you feel that this baggage – your early experience of hunger in Italy – was ever assimilated to the cultural context of Brazil, and the philosophical concept of cannibalism? I am a woman, I’m Latin American, I’m an immigrant and, now, I’m old. It’s terrible, everything that’s happening in the world right now. Interviews. The striking short film “Y,” from 1974, feels related: it shows the artist, blindfolded, with her mouth open in an endless scream. I don’t know if I’ve answered your question? How do you feel about this work today? 1978/2017 Monumento à Fome (Monument to Hunger) Artist. Anna Maria Maiolino's first major US retrospective is as much about the progression of a career as about the progression of a life. In 1968, she followed Gerchman to New York; in 1971, following a productive artistic stint at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, she left Gerchman and returned to Brazil without him. “. Anna Maria Maiolino, Capítulo II (Chapter II, from the Mapas Mentais (Mental Maps) series, 1976/1999, ink and transfer type on paper, 19 11/16 x 19 11/16 in. But I believe that, for whatever you can put out into the world, there will be an outcome. ), courtesy of the artist. The collective aspect of working with a team — she cannot model three or four tons of clay alone — is clearly gratifying. Featured image: Anna Maria Maiolino – Portrait of the artist, photo credits Alessandro Lentati After those early experiences, she saw Italy as “a wicked stepmother, on a psychological level, that had not looked after me”, she says. When my mother was upset, she told us off in Latin! Anna Maria Maiolino is one of the most significant artists working in Brazil today. In Los Angeles, two years ago, we reenacted the performance with my nephew. Artists of my generation, we never thought about the art market, we just had day jobs. Trailblazer 100 questions with Rachel Morrison, the first female cinematographer to receive an Academy Award nomination. And for my parents, it was important that we had knowledge. This interview has been translated from Spanish to English and edited for clarity. Anna Maria Maiolino’s significance for the history of art in Brazil from the 1960s onward cannot be underestimated. Central to Anna Maria Maiolino’s practice are notions of subjectivity, belonging and place. London, as elsewhere — across the U.K. and the world at large — has had a rough year. Anna María MAIOLINO (1942) is an artist born in 1942 The oldest auction result ever registered on the website for an artwork by this artist is a painting sold in 2006, at James Lisboa Escritorio de Arte, and the most recent auction result is a painting sold in 2020. Benoît: Food and hunger have been central to your work, throughout your career. And yes, I brought it from Italy. Did the feminist movement at the time have an impact on you? That was the greatest university for me, this table where there was never enough food. View Anna Maria Maiolino’s 42 artworks on artnet. For instance, what Brazilian artist Lygia Clark explored, the notion of sensuality, of immanence, it was important. The artist is nonplussed by the assessment. I have a positive memory of that experience. See available works on paper, sculpture, and prints and multiples for sale and learn about the artist. Licensing. I chose to be a mother, like I chose to be an artist. She has created abstract fabrications from folds of paper, such as “Desenho Objeto” (“Drawing Object”) from 1974-76; she has taken transfixing photographs, including “By a Thread” (1976), which shows a single length of string hanging from the mouths of Maiolino, her mother and daughter. Because I feel disrespected in the best of who I am. Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary review – Inspired show by an artist who challenged Brazil's dictators. At the same time, I read philosophy, I write poetry. In 1996, Belgian curator Catherine De Zegher included you in the group show Inside the Visible, alongside 30 other female artists from various backgrounds. Her work reflects her experience of exile, deprivation and survival under authoritarian governments. In 1967, she participated in the seminal exhibition Nova Objetividade Brasileira (New Brasilian Objectivity) at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, alongside neo-concrete artists Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, and Lygia Pape. It is also an interface that facilitates the formation and display of identity and self-awareness. After that, I did Entrevidas, first outside my studio, without an audience, other than my neighbours and the people from the street – a rather strange situation. 1942, Italy ‐ No image available. “I cook very well; I’m good at ironing. Article by Hyperallergic. I did what I could. If you forget, you will repeat. That’s what I brought with me, to Brazil. When Bolsonaro appears on TV, I suffer. She came of age as part of the Nova Figuração (New Figuration) avant-garde, a movement concerned with popular art. But that’s also the danger: youth is always rebellious. Entrevidas, da série Fotopoemação (Between Lives, from the series Photopoemaction), 1981/2010, É o que sobra, da série Fotopoemação ( What is Left Over, from the series Photopoemaction), 1974, Brandon Flynn cover of The HERO Winter Annual 2017. Now, after an acclaimed solo exhibition at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art in 2017, the Italian-Brazilian artist is finally getting the global attention she deserves with a major show at Whitechapel Gallery in London. Civilisation, as I see it, is to have tolerance for one another. Thirteen. Now we have religions and politicians trying to tell us how to live our lives, but it’s absurd. Anna Maria Maiolino makes drawings, artist books, sculpture, and video, frequently drawing inspiration from her experience as an immigrant growing up in politically unstable Brazil. I never knew if I found things or if things found me, but I was very pleased because I quickly found the artistic milieu of Brazil. In 1981, on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Anna Maria Maiolino negotiated a path barefoot across a pavement littered with chicken eggs. When I finished, it looked like a mortuary mask sitting on the table, as if I had killed her. Was she fearful? It doesn’t exist. Benoît: Scary. My unconscious and my memory very much nourished my work. What a time for such a statement: Making Love Revolutionary. Maiolino was born in southern Italy and moved to Venezuela in 1954 with her parents where she began her artistic training. MOCA is pleased to present Anna Maria Maiolino, the Brazilian artist’s first major United States museum retrospective. All artists, Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, and their Neo- Conrete Manifesto, that’s where they came from. I exorcised my hunger. When I touched the clay and put a chunk on the table, it felt like the entire world was contained within it. Benoît: At the height of the dictatorship, upon your return from New York in the 1970s, you made the photo-sequence É o que sobra [What Is Left Over], from the series Fotopoemação, [Photopoemaction] (1974) where you are holding a pair of scissors, as if ready to cut off your own tongue. All of these things mark the production of an artist, their origins. At age 75, Anna Maria Maiolino is having a late-career moment in the United States. That was my apprenticeship in life, humanity and knowledge. Could you tell me about the origin of the work, and the process of documenting it? At once timely and timeless, Maiolino’s exploration of migration, language and labour oddly resonates with Brazil’s current political context, burdened by the rise of far-right populist president Jair Bolsonaro. Installation views. When I discovered the Manifesto Antropófago, I understood that you had to eat your enemies to incorporate their ideals. Back then I wanted to talk about hunger – not just for food – but also a hunger for culture and freedom, at the height of the dictatorship. We are dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. How do I switch from corporate finance to public affairs? As many of you know I quit my full-time position in Early April and was thrilled to have more time for things like blogging and volunteering but, as often happens, the work … Until her participation in dOCUMENTA 13 held in Kassel, Germany in 2012, where she filled a former gardener’s home with abstract unfired clay forms, Anna Maria Maiolino was relatively unknown to international audiences. Follow Artist. Titled Making Love Revolutionary, it surveys six decades of her complex practice spanning woodcuts, drawings, poetry, video and clay (just don’t call it a retrospective: the septuagenarian believes those are best suited to dead artists). Anna Maria Maiolino is one of the most significant artists working in Brazil today. You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all this. Enemies have to be eaten to be dominated but also incorporated. We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history. In 1960 she moved to Rio de Janeiro where she joined the independent studio run by printmaker Ivan Serpa at the Museum of Modern Art. “You have to understand it is a minefield about the fragility of life. The body is an organic vessel for emotions, desires, and physiological mechanisms. We have a president who is utterly intolerant. But I never saw these things as fundamentally female, you know? Born 1942 in Italy, Maiolino’s practice expresses a concern with creative and destructive processes. It was originally published in the 2019 HERO Winter Annual. When I began to work with more basic shapes, that’s when I started a different conversation. Even now that I live from my work, it’s something that touches me deeply. Studio Sunday: Anna Maria Maiolino Anna Maria Maiolino was born in Southern Italy and later moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This dish was the starting point for the artist’s most emblematic works from the late 1970s, Arroz & Feijão [Rice & Beans, 1979] and Monumento à Fome [Monument to Hunger, 1978]. Artist of the Month February 2020 ANNA MARIA MAIOLINO. In the cultural context of Brazil, the poet Oswaldo de Andrade laid the foundation for these notions with his Manifesto Antropófago (1928), a central text for 20th century Brazilian art, in which he argued that ‘only cannibalism unites us’ – a reference to the country’s colonial past. Anna Maria: You know, with age comes a lot of wisdom. The Whitechapel exhibition has travelled from the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Milan, boosting Maiolino’s profile in Europe, where she has been somewhat overlooked. Her “Mental Maps” series (1971) is made up of meticulously plotted grids dotted with formative places, emotions and experiences. “Do you know how many we were at the table to eat? . It was a particular cultural moment for the US, the year of Martin Luther King’s assassination, soon after the summer of love and just before the Stonewall riots. In a career spanning five decades and a diversity of disciplines and mediums, ranging from drawing, sculpture, and artist books to video and performance, she expresses through her art a bottomless concern with creative and destructive processes and, above all, the never-ending search for identity. The first one was Arroz e Feijão [Rice & Beans, 1979], an installation which involved a table with frijoles and rice – the elementary meal of Brazil and Latin America – germinating in plates. Make that a rough few, no several years. The artist who continues to be a prolific producer of new work – sculpture, drawing, performance, photography and beyond – is in conversation with curator and Art Historian Dr Michael Asbury on the occasion of her major exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. Right now, in Los Angeles, Maiolino is the subject of a retrospective at … She has always connected her art with life. Artprice.com's price levels for this artist are based on 73 auction results. Revealing each artist’s choice of subjects and sources, their influences and awareness of the global reach of pop, the following interviews reveal why artists in different parts of the world turned to this new artistic language to challenge artistic and political orthodoxies. Anna Maria: Humanity forgets. Ana Maria Maiolino. On display at the Whitechapel is a major installation in unfired clay, which was created on site. Anna Maria Maiolino: the Brazilian artist who took on dictators and won polemical practice. This kind of experience stays with you, inside of you. Thirteen. Find an in-depth biography, exhibitions, original artworks for sale, the latest news, and sold auction prices. ... Anna Maria Maiolino b. It’s like there is no way out. “I was married to another artist, an Argentine [Victor Grippo] — it was impossible to make art with him,” she says. Speaking primarily in Portuguese, but also in English and Italian, she is instantly warm and receptive. We didn’t have much food but we had knowledge. Eso fue una riqueza [That was a luxury]. T here are phallic images all over the place in Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino’s witty and weird show, but this is no triumph for the male member. Benoît: In part, yes. She has also made Super8 films: the standout example here, “In-Out” (“Antropofagia”) (1973), features unsettling footage of mouths stuffed with string. In 1960, she decamped to Rio de Janeiro, immersing herself in classes at the engraving studio of the Rio de Janeiro National Art School, and marrying the artist Rubens Gerchman. Anna Maria Maiolino. Get the print edition and steer from crisis to recovery. “I was self-caged because I was prepared to be a wife and a mother.” Her comments bring to mind a quote in the catalogue from the US curator (not of this show) Helen Molesworth, that there’s something of the “housewife gone mad” about Maiolino’s work. Anna Maria Maiolino Was an Artist Who Made Her Personal Life Central to Her Art. Photographs of the work are included in Making Love Revolutionary, a survey spanning six decades of the Brazilian artist’s career at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. It was installed in a space lent to me and other artists by the Alliance Française. Benoît: In 1968, you moved to New York with your then-husband, the artist Rubens Gerchman, and your two young children. 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(50 x 50 cm. View items sold at auction. $50 for your first 3 months Established in 1979, we are the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles. The iconic triptych shows you crossing a street barefoot, cautiously avoiding stepping on eggs, as if walking through a minefield. Anna Maria Maiolino. As you get older, you want to be at peace with yourself and with life [pause]. ANNA MARIA MAIOLINO - Untitled from the series 'Outras Marcas', 1999. There are 16,434 drawings online. They’re dynamic works. Anna Maria: Ah, si! “I never rejected the various destinies that were presented to me. Just like in the United States, it’s worrying. But, Oswald de Andrade proposed an art with Brazilian roots, and that is beautiful. I am a lot more tranquila now than when I was in my twenties and thirties. It is a work that speaks to censorship and political resistance, at a time of profound turmoil, and it feels more relevant than ever in the contemporary context of Brazil. “Dictators are stupid, they don’t understand your metaphors,” the artist replies. She embraced the material in the 1980s. Anna Maria Maiolino is one of the most significant artists working in Brazil today. When you enter in contact with art, it is like a ritual. The show brought her full circle: she left Italy in 1954, aged 12, when her family, who lived in Calabria, set sail for Venezuela from Naples, destitute and hungry from the economic downturn of the postwar years. It’s beautiful — you’re taking the world in your hand.”. Anna Maria Maiolino's first major US retrospective is as much about the progression of a career as about the progression of a life. One of her most provocative woodcuts, “Glu Glu Glu” (1967), shows an open-mouthed, dismembered female figure sitting at a table. I never finished my studies – the [institutions] lie and say I’ve graduated but it’s not true, I never finished. “On the eve of Brazil’s first free elections in 1982, brought about by public protest, ‘Entrevidas’ . Being a mother and a wife didn’t leave me much time, I didn’t have anyone to help me with the children. Have you ever been to a coop and picked up an egg? “I never went on demos,” she replies. [The woodcut tradition] criticised political situations so it was a medium that, for me, was the easiest way to express myself.”. It featured some of your work with clay, but it was also the first time that the documentation of Entre Vida (Between Lives), originally performed in Rio in 1981, was exhibited. Art is a political exercise. Anna Maria: Es bellisimo. That was my apprenticeship in life, humanity and knowledge. It’s only after I returned to Brazil [in 1971] that I realised how much I enjoyed being in New York. Back in Brazil, she abandoned figuration — a “great turning point” — creating her own strain of abstraction. It was seen as a bourgeois concern, pertaining to the personal and distracting from the political attention required by the dictatorships that burdened much of the continent. I could keep a notebook, while looking after the children. Born in Italy during World War II, Maiolino has lived in Brazil since 1960. Everybody wants to belong somewhere, you know? At a time of repression and censorship, the show set the tone for a generation of artists committed to addressing the region’s political turmoil. I meet Maiolino, now 77, at the gallery with a translator. There are some incredible paradoxes in this notion. Because with clay, the more you touch it, the more it loses its vitality. For me, a work is the product of a situation: economic, social, cultural and political. I incorporated my hunger. Anna Maria: At the time, I didn’t think of feminism as a political stance. When the moment asks me to take a position, I use metaphors to speak.” These visual metaphors sometimes turn violent, as in “É o que sobra” (“What is left over”) (1974), which shows her on the point of slicing her tongue with a pair of scissors. Anna Maria Maiolino has 31 works online. To find a dialogue, in a democratic way. Anna Maria Maiolino, Making Love Revolutionary Whitechapel Gallery, London, U.K., September 25, 2019 — January 12, 2020. Artist. Benoît: And that’s also when you started to write poetry? Anna Maria Maiolino installs clay coils and creates works out of fresh, live ceramic material Absentee blogger alert! Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary (25 September 2019 - 12 January 2020, is the artist’s first retrospective in the UK, spanning six decades of work. The discriminatory politics around gender have radicalised to such an extent, it’s awful. Born in Italy during World War II, she has lived in Brazil since 1960. “Art is the activist. I did recognise that female artistic production could be hindered by male curators, for instance. An Artist Who Made Her Personal Life Central to Her Art Close Benoît: In 1989, something important happened in your practice… you discovered clay. I’m an avid reader, but not always of art. My partner then, the Argentinian artist Victor Grippo, said to me, “Why don’t you try clay?” And you know, I am an artist of experiences – I attach a lot of importance to experiences. “When I put my hand in the clay, that was a turning point because it’s such a primary thing; clay is matter,” she says. I was in a profound crisis of language in the 1980s, with the pace of things in the modern world, I couldn’t understand what I was expecting from life anymore. There are 16,434 drawings online. Anna Maria Maiolino and I met for this interview over lunch at her home in São Paulo, where we shared a typical Brazilian meal with a plate of rice and beans. Painter. I learned to read manifestos very late, you know. Anna Maria Maiolino’s significance for the history of art in Brazil from the 1960s onward cannot be underestimated. Anna Maria: Hunger, for those who haven’t experienced it, is an abstraction. I never rejected the various destinies that were presented to me. In our civilisation, there are always people who are famined. When I arrived in Brazil from Venezuela, aged eighteen, I was looking to identify with a land, a place. I calmed it down. Ideas, for me, are never finished. 39. I have no problem with that. Anna Maria Maiolino has 31 works online. I know, I haven’t responded to your question! That was the greatest university for me, this table where there was never enough food. Maiolino has worked in an innovative way across various media. Depending on who looks at the work, with their own psychological, social and cultural sensitivities, the audience completes the work, always. Bodily cycles preoccupy her: digesting, defecating and hunger — both the starvation she faced in Italy and what she calls the “hunger in the belly” of her radical 1978 installation “Monumento à Fome/Mitos Vadios” (“Vagabond Myths”). “Drawing is a constant practice but in each series, I seek other questions. Standout show: The exhibition at the … But I also wanted to ask you about your own relationship to food and hunger, which doesn’t have its origins in Brazil but in the post-war context of Europe, more specifically of Italy. Anna Maria: Yes, that’s where I started. Anna Maria: I spoke Spanish, which was the language of the descualificados, [‘unskilled’] I couldn’t speak English, and I still can’t really speak it now! Through June 21. In the 1960s Maiolino gained momentum, finding a home in the Nova Figuração or New Figuration movement. Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary is on at the Whitechapel Gallery until 12 January. 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