Spring Arts Preview: Don't miss Histórias/Histories: Contemporary Art from Brazil

The compellingly eclectic new show opens Fri., Jan. 18.

click to enlarge Sandra Cinto's "Encounter of waters"  (2012) features an installation of permanent pen on wall, vinyl cut on wooden boat and variable dimensions, at the Seattle Art Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park Pavilion. - ROBERT WADE
Robert Wade
Sandra Cinto's "Encounter of waters" (2012) features an installation of permanent pen on wall, vinyl cut on wooden boat and variable dimensions, at the Seattle Art Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park Pavilion.

Histórias/Histories: Contemporary Art from Brazil
Sandra Cinto: Chance and Necessity
Jan. 15-March 5
USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa
ira.usf.edu

"Brazil is a really big country ... confronted by this, how the heck do you present a coherent picture of art in a nation that  so diverse?" lamented curator Noel Smith of her challenge coordinating a comprehensive but thematically cohesive exhibition on Brazilian art at the University of South Florida's Contemporary Art Museum.

The university's curator of education and Latin/Caribbean art had worked with prominent Brazilian artists Sonia Gomes and a few others at Graphicstudio in the past and noticed a pattern starting to emerge as she observed their recent works: They were telling stories of lives in Brazil — hence the name of the show: Histórias.

The expansive collection of visual narratives includes the textiles and sculpture of Gomes; the poignant, oil-painted photographic portraits of poor people in Sao Paulo by Virginia de Medeiros; a thought-provoking video work by Jonathan de Andrade that juxtaposes high-rises and country folk on horses and buggies; an incredible mixed-media triptych by Luiz Zerbini, and the environmentally explorative photos of Caio Reisewitz, who's also creating a site-specific piece. The work will comprise an assortment of images to be printed at Graphicstudio, and when he arrives, he's going to assemble them on the wall.

Installation artist Sondra Cinto will also provide an on-site installation that incorporates paintings from Brazil and a sculptural element. Cinto's incredible intricate wall pieces depict brilliant blue waves and star-filled skies. "They deal with our relationship to water and nature, our relationship to time," Smith said of Cinto's works.

"In some ways, they're very meditative and philosophical," Smith said of Cinto's aquatic wonders. The curator also shared that a number of concerts and lectures will be presented in tandem with the show at USF Tampa, including a 10 a.m. symposium and 7 p.m. opening reception on Friday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. USF CAM can be found at 3821 USF Holley Drive, Tampa. Admission is free, but USF parking permits are required and available in the CAM parking lot. 813-974-4133.

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