Geraldo de Barros


Geraldo de Barros Biography


Geraldo de Barros is a seminal figure in Brazilian art whose multifaceted oeuvre, much like that of his contemporary Lygia Clark, is remarkable in its depth and scope. An early leader of Brazil’s Concrete movement, his practice engaged with painting, photography, sculpture and industrial design. De Barros first rose to prominence as a painter and founding member of Grupo XV in the 1940s, and soon after gained notoriety as an innovative and experimental photographer. He explored minimal form in photography through manipulating negatives, superimposing, scratching and painting on them, to create arresting abstractions he called Fotoformas. This technique of distillation and precision was later carried into sculpture, painting, and eventually industrial design. The unity and consistency of his work across decades and disparate media underscore the consistent theme of de Barros’ practice: purity of form.

Geraldo de Barros has been the subject of major solo exhibitions worldwide, including at The Photographer’s Gallery in London, SESC Vila Mariana in Sao Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Instituto Itaú Cultural in Campinas, and Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne. His work has been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Barbican Art Gallery in London, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and Musée d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble. de Barrros represented Brazil at the 42nd Venice Biennale in 1986.