“I have several faces. One is almost pretty, one is almost ugly. I'm a what? Almost everything” – Clarice Lispector was known for the psychic depth of her characters, for the intense dose of feelings that overflowed through the lines she wrote, and also for being a woman artist who was almost inseparable from her works. She was what she expressed and felt what she put into her texts, her thoughts, her almost magical reflections, for example, in her famous short story The Egg and the Chicken.
In celebration of her life and her work, Instituto Moreira Salles presents an exhibition that inserts Clarice's works in a dialogue with the work of other artists of her time, such as Maria Martins, Mira Schendel, Fayga Ostrower, Lygia Clark, Letícia Parente, Djanira and Celeida Tostes, among others. Gathering approximately 300 items that include manuscripts, photographs, letters, records and press articles, among other documents from the author's personal collection, the exhibition invites the visitor to walk through the artist's history and production.
To create this interlocution between Clarice's work and that of other artists, the curatorship of the exhibition, which was in charge of the poet Eucanaã Ferraz, literature consultant at the IMS, and the writer and art critic Veronica Stigger, adopted the concept of “ constellation” presented in the title of the exhibition. In 11 centers, works are presented in different supports, such as sculpture, painting, drawing, photography and video. The artists’ works are always in dialogue with excerpts from Clarice’s texts, forming a web of new meanings, as Ferraz and Stigger point out: “Through the approach propitiated by Clarice, a renewed and more complex understanding of that moment in Brazilian art takes place. . On the other hand, from this constellation between plastic works and writing, Clarice’s literature also appears under a new perspective.”
At the entrance to the show, the public will find the sculpture eternity calendar, by the artist Maria Martins, who is also participating in the exhibition with other works. Circular in shape, the work refers to the idea of continuity, a theme present in Clarice's production. Then, 18 paintings by the writer herself, produced between 1975 and 1976, without professional pretensions, are displayed. In the tables, it is possible to identify some recurrences, such as the gestural treatment and the predilection also for circularity.
Another highlight is the section “Everything in the world started with a yes”, a phrase from the novel the star hour (1977). The core addresses the theme of origin, which is recurrent in the author's work, evoked by images such as the egg and the cave. In the book Jellyfish (1973), for example, the narrator asks: “Why do things a moment before happening seem to have already happened?”. In this axis, there are works by Maria Polo, Anna Maria Maiolino, Celeida Tostes and Wega Nery, among others.
The nucleus “I didn't fit” investigates the scenario of the house. In many of Clarice's novels, the banality of the domestic environment is interrupted by moments of strangeness and bewilderment. This questioning of the space of the home, transiting between security and suffocation, also appears in works such as Matchbox, in Lygia Clark, on video I closet myself, by Letícia Parente, or even in the colorful paintings by Wanda Pimentel and Eleonore Koch, which show a strangely empty house, sometimes seen through the cracks.
The exhibition also extends to the remaining nuclei, demonstrating the richness of the collection and the meticulous care taken by the curators in the construction of this dialogue-constellation that unites different voices in the same discourse.
Location: IMS Rio
Address: Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 476 – Gávea, Rio de Janeiro/RJ
Date: From May 21 to October 9, 2022.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, from 12h to 18h. Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 10 am to 6 pm.