Images of a Pop Youth – Political Paintings and Jail Drawings

Nara Roesler Gallery, Sao Paulo

Galeria Nara Roesler presents “Images of a pop youth – political paintings and prison drawings”, Sérgio Sister's fourth solo show at the gallery's São Paulo headquarters. Accompanied by a text by Camila Bechelany, the exhibition brings together for the first time a significant number of works that are little known to the public – produced between 1967 and 1971 –, including drawings made during the 19 months in which the artist was detained in the Tiradentes Prison, in São Paulo , during the military regime (1964–1985).

About 35 drawings are part of the exhibition, mostly in watercolor ink, pastel chalk and felt-tip pen on paper, in different sizes and formats. Very colorful, with caricatural and psychedelic traits, the drawings functioned, at the time, as a documentation of prison daily life. Today, on the other hand, production is seen by the artist as an important tool for recovering his own identity and appropriating a spiritual space during a period of darkness.

With no expectation of freedom and displaced from the roles played outside prison – Sister was a student of Social Sciences and also worked as a journalist –, the artist started to draw every day after receiving from Bela, his wife and then girlfriend, a box of crayon and a sketchbook. Later, thanks to daily interaction with artists and architects in the Tiradentes prison – such as Alípio Freire, Carlos Takaoka and José Wilson, Sérgio Ferro, Rodrigo Lefèvre, Julio Barone, Carlos Henrique Heck and Sérgio Souza Lima –, a kind of large atelier, with a prolific exchange of ideas and materials. It was at this moment that Sister, in contact with several theoretical issues brought up by her new companions, began to intend with her drawings a greater connection with the world of art.

Prior to Tiradentes' production, the 15 paintings on canvas present in the exhibition – made between 1966 and 1967 – bring particularities that denote a strong influence of pop-art. Unlike North American pop, which had the trivialization of the image as a starting point and turned its attention to common everyday objects, the assimilation of the movement in Brazil reflected the existing tension as a result of the military regime imposed in the country. Like other artists of his generation, Sérgio Sister intuitively appropriated the aggressiveness and irony inherent in pop to address social and political issues.

Images of a Pop Youth – Political Paintings and Jail Drawings
08/10/19; 11 am
Visitation: until 9/5/19; Monday to Friday, 10am-7pm; Saturday, 11am-3pm
Nara Roesler Gallery: Avenida Europa, 655, São Paulo. Free entrance

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