Three-dimensionality brings together again artists Jacques Douchez (Macôn, France, 1921 – São Paulo, 2012) and Norberto Nicola (São Paulo, 1930 – 2007) in Os pássaros de fogo levantarão voo novamente. As formas tecidas de Jacques Douchez e Norberto Nicola (The fire birds will take flight again. The woven forms of Jacques Douchez and Norberto Nicola), which opens to the public on December 16 at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo. Making his official debut as a curator, assume vivid astro focus (avaf) proposes a posthumous rapprochement between both artists. Furthermore, the exhibition sheds light on important successors of the modernist movement.
With 26 tapestry artworks, 13 by each artist, it is possible to recover and revive the professional and emotional bond between the two friends, who kept the Atelier Douchez-Nicola between 1959 and 1980, but who never showed their work together after dissolving their partnership. One of the exhibition’s concepts is to translate this connection by creating an affective and physical coupling between their pieces.
The three-dimensional aspect of the works is striking, as they are understood by the artists themselves as “woven forms” – this is also reflected in the installation architecture, which is co-signed by architect Eduardo Chalabi and the curator, avaf. The tapestries are suspended from the ceiling and the walls are covered by mirrors, emphasizing a play with the three dimensions. “In this atmic space, we try to present a narrative, which is not historical or retrospective, dedicated to the works woven by these artists”, says the curator. Furthermore, he states that the installation design was conceived as a way of re-contextualizing the artists within a contemporary art setting.
In Os pássaros de fogo levantarão voo novamente. As formas tecidas de Jacques Douchez e Norberto Nicola (The fire birds will take flight again. The woven forms of Jacques Douchez and Norberto Nicola), mam amplifies the reflections on the modernist movement, evincing the artists that followed that generation. “Continuing the debates it has promoted throughout 2021 on the 100th anniversary of the Semana de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (São Paulo Modern art Week) of 1922, mam unfolds its program to discuss artists with significant practices from the following generations. The space conceived for the show brings mirrors and colors that break away from the white cube tradition, reinventing the exhibition setting”, says Cauê Alves, the museum’s curator.
About the artists
Jacques Douchez (Macôn, France, 1921 – São Paulo, 2012) and Norberto Nicola (São Paulo, 1930 – 2007) were part of Atelier-Abstração, founded by Samson Flexor (1907-1971), in the 1950s. The Romanian artist, moreover, influenced both of their practice with his aesthetic and avant-garde ideals.
In 1959, the co-founded the Atelier Douchez-Nicola, but kept their individual creative freedom. Nicola created lyric-oneiric and wild pieces, while Douchez produced austere and ascetic works. In 1980, they ended the activities of the Atelier and never showed their works together again.
About assume vivid astro focus
assume vivid astro focus (avaf), is an artist collective founded in 2001, and can have many different formations, depending on the different projects it engages in. avaf works in a vast array of media, including installation, painting, tapestry, neon, wallpaper, music etc, frequently confronting deep-rooted cultural codes, gender issues and politics through an overabundance of colors and shapes. The pseudonym is a fundamental part of the process of working “collectively”: the central purpose of avaf’s projects is always the creation of a Gesamtkunstwerk [“total work of art”], in which spectators become one with the artwork. Being inclusive is a keystone in their practice. avaf uses color as a universal language, intending to guarantee the spectator’s participation and commitment. The audience is always a central part of their projects.
Os pássaros de fogo levantarão voo novamente. As formas tecidas de Jacques Douchez e Norberto Nicola (The fire birds will take flight again. The woven forms of Jacques Douchez and Norberto Nicola)
Where: Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo
Curator: assume vivid astro focus
Exhibition period: December 16, 2021, to March 13, 2022
Address: Parque Ibirapuera (Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/nº – Gates 1 and 3)
Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 6pm (last entry at 5:30pm)
Phone: (11) 5085-1300
Admission: free admission on December 16 and on Sundays; between December 17 and January 21, tickets are R$12,50 (half-price). Online booking is mandatory.