Tuneu. Hexacordo

2 Feb — 25 Mar 2017 at the Galeria Raquel Arnaud in Sao Paulo, Brazil

17 FEBRUARY 2017
Tuneu, Untitled, 2016. Courtesy of Galeria Raquel Arnaud
Tuneu, Untitled, 2016. Courtesy of Galeria Raquel Arnaud

To open the 2017 calendar, Galeria Raquel Arnaud is presenting a major individual exhibit individual by Tuneu, who is celebrating 50 years of making art. The artist chose the title Hexachord, a musical term that refers to a diatonic series of six consecutive tones of the basic scale, for the show bringing together his most recent works, including some never shown before. Curated by Caroline Menezes, the exhibit features some 20 paintings on canvas and paper, as well as sculptural objects, a medium in which the artist has not worked since the beginning of the 1970s. All of the works emerge from the figure of the hexagon, and can be understood as an unfolding of what Tuneu has been creating in recent years, in a quest for a synthesis of form.

In the case of the drawings, the hexagonal figures are filled in with color, with no blank space inside them, like the works he presented in his last show at this gallery in 2013, when he opted for watercolor applied to Arches paper, creating empty internal spaces, superimposing fine watery layers of color. The break here only occurs when white lines surface inserted into blocks of color, which alternately either adhere to the drawing or break up the hexagonal pattern. According to the artist, this new series comes closer to painting than drawing, mainly as a result of the chromatic force imposed by the acrylic paint.

For the objects produced in corten steel, in their original color, Tuneu makes use of a resource that comes from the constructivist tradition of the 1950s, the cut-and-fold, of which Luiz Sacilotto and Amilcar de Castro are the masters. The artist has made countless studies of this technique with hexagons, which has brought him finally to the four sculptures presented here now.

A teacher, painter and draftsman, Tuneu (Antonio Carlos Rodrigues, born in São Paulo in 1948) studied with Tarsila do Amaral between 1960 and 1966, and absorbed the influence of Wesley Duke Lee. He served as an assistant to Willys de Castro and Hércules Barsotti for a number of years. Notable among the exhibits he has taken part in are: the Salão de Arte Contemporânea de Campinas (several editions between 1966 and 1974, First Trip to Europe, 1970, and First Acquisition, 1974); the 16th and 17th Salão Paulista de Arte Moderna (São Paulo, 1967 and 1968); the Bienal Internacional de São Paulo (several editions between 1967 and 1975), the Itamaraty Acquisition Prize, 1971 and 1975; the Panorama da Arte Atual Brasileira, at the Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo (several editions between 1971 and 1989); 3rd and 6th Salão Paulista de Arte Contemporânea, at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (1971 and 1975); Street Art 2 (São Paulo, 1984); and Off Bienal, at the Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (São Paulo, 1996). He presented an individual exhibit at Galeria Raquel Arnaud in 2008, and in 2010 at the Casa de Cultura de Paraty in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The publisher BEI has compiled a substantial catalogue on the career and works of this artist. Galeria Raquel Arnaud has been representing him since 2008.

Caroline Menezes, born in Rio de Janeiro, is a curator and art critic who currently lives between England and Germany, where she is engaged in the project, Die Brücken (‘Bridges’): Network for Art and Technology which began in 2016 at ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe. She is the co-author of The Permanence of the Transient: Precariousness in Art, and has written articles for catalogues such as 30 X Bienal: Transformações na arte brasileira da 1ª à 30ª edição (‘30 x Bienal: Transformations in Brazilian art from the 1st to the 30th edition’). Since 2006, she has been part of the permanent staff of critics for the English magazine, Studio International. She has authored exhibits in England, Spain, Portugal and Brazil. Here in Brazil, she has curated for the Museu de Arte Contemporânea, in Niterói, and the Museu Nacional de Brasília; her most recent curatorial project was for the Festival Mais Performance, in September of 2016, featuring live performances and two exhibits, including a retrospective of the Austrian artist Peter Weibel, at Oi Futuro Ipanema, in Rio de Janeiro.