Espaço Aberto/Espaço Fechado

Open Lecture

Curator Stephen Feeke discusses the exhibition Espaço Aberto/Espaço Fechado: Sites for sculpture in modern Brazil at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2006). This exhibition returns to the first São Paulo Bienal of 1951, and proceeds to the present day. It reveals how events have helped shape ideas about sculpture as well as how sculpture represents those events. It opens with the two award-winning sculptures from the first Bienal, which marked the beginnings of a period of optimism in Brazil, and reflected a growing interest in Modernism. Later works reflect the unofficial and temporary nature of work carried out under the censorship imposed during the country’s military dictatorship (1961-1985); taking advantage of the fact that sculpture, by its very nature, could readily be sited beyond the confines of the official museum or gallery, artists arranged ‘happenings’ and interventions in alternative venues and on the street. Sculptors working today retain this dynamism, supported by re-invigorated commercial galleries and buoyed by a return to democracy and prosperity. The exhibition’s title (open space/closed space) is taken from a contemporary photograph by Rubens Mano of the Niemeyer pavilion used for the Bienal since 1957. Unusually, Mano shows the pavilion empty and, as such, invokes the limitless potential of the unfilled site.

Related People

  • Stephen Feeke

    Guest Speaker - 2006

    Stephen Feeke is Assistant Curator at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, where he involved in all aspects of exhibition making. As well as realising the diverse programme at the Institute, he has initiated a number of projects with contemporary artists ranging from Helen Chadwick to Marc Quinn.
    Find out more about Stephen Feeke