Vera Chaves Barcellos | Brazil

Artist. Barcellos is active in several genres, including drawing, painting, engraving, video, installation, and performance. Throughout the 1960s, she devoted herself to engraving after completing her studies in England and Holland. In 1975 she attended London’s Croydon College on a scholarship from the British Council, where she studied photography and its applications in graphic techniques. In the 1980s, she started making installations employing several image reproduction techniques besides photography. In her work, she explores the languages she employs, questioning art categories like originality and authenticity, often through exhaustive image repetition, prompting us to ponder the culture-nature connection. Barcellos was one of the founders of the Nervo Óptico collective (1976 – 78). She has been featured in major group exhibitions such as the São Paulo Art Biennial (1967, 1977 and 1989); the Venice Biennale, Italy (1976); Panorama of Brazilian Art, São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (1997); and the Mercosul Visual Arts Biennial, Porto Alegre (2005). Solo shows include O Grão da Imagem – Uma viagem pela poética de Vera Chaves Barcellos, Santander Cultural, Porto Alegre (2007). Imagens em Migração, São Paulo Museum of Art (2009). She established an eponymous foundation that works to promote contemporary art (2003). Barcellos lives and works between Viamão and Barcelona.

Definição da Arte | 1996, video

Humor and irony are mainstays in the work of Vera Chaves Barcellos. Here, the artist makes a satire of the intellectualized discourse that accompanies contemporary art production, occasionally removing from it the ability to communicate ideas that do not require written language. What could mean despise for academic rhetoric is, above all, a high-spirited commentary on a situation as frequent as it is human – all too human, it is worth noting. 

Artists selected from the artworks call for entries