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Claudio Tozzi: New Figuration and The Rise of Pop Art 1967 – 1971 is the first solo exhibition of this important Brazilian artist in the United Kingdom. A highlight of The World Goes Pop exhibition in Autumn 2015 at Tate Modern, Claudio Tozzi’s work shines a particular light on the politics of pop art in the late 1960s and early 1970s around the globe.
Building on Tate Modern’s revision of pop art to include its global and political dimension, our show at Cecilia Brunson Projects focuses on a key moment in Claudio Tozzi’s own artistic journey: the short period between 1967 and 1971. This was a highly charged political time in Brazil, some of the harshest years of the 1964 - 1985 dictatorship. To be able to produce art that could survive censorship or, even worse, punishment, Tozzi and others were forced to adopt differing artistic stances that often polarised artists as well as curators.
We are extremely grateful to Carlos Dale and Antonio Almeida for making the material available to us and contributing to the planning and execution of this important exhibition. The opportunity to work with such key historical material and present it to the British public has truly been enormous. The revelation of an artistic interface lying between emerging mass consumerism and national censorship is no less relevant in the twenty-first Century London where consumerism has reached dizzying new heights, and the power of the state to monitor, analyse and censor is exponentially higher (if less repressive). Our deepest thanks extend to Claudio Tozzi himself and curator Ricardo Camargo, who brought life to the exhibition. And we would like to thank the Bienal de Sao Paulo for all their help with the research and source materials that went into the development of this exhibition.
We are also most grateful to Lecturer and Curator Dr. Isobel Whitelegg for sharing our enthusiasm in bringing this project into being and for her invaluable contribution and knowledge of Brazilian art and history. We thank her for introducing us to an important history of the Sao Paulo Biennial and for recounting the artists’ positions in face of a government supported institution in the midst of a repressive dictatorship. And for turning it into such a poignant read.
Cecilia Brunson Projects’ mission is to bring important international artists to the attention of the British public, often offering them the opportunity to see works by these artists for the first time in London. This could not be made possible without the support of critical collaborators in the UK. We would especially like to thank Matt Jameson Evans for his unrelenting support to our project from its very first moment of being, and to Zoë Foster and Jason Tann for their key contributions to our programme.
Cecilia Brunson Projects