Cybèle Varela: Tropicalismo Remixed

  • Entidades Organizadoras

    The Brasilea Foundation
  • Cybèle Varela: Tropicalismo Remixed is the first retrospective in Europe to be devoted to Brazilian artist Cybèle Varela (b. 1943, Petrópolis), one of the key figures of the Brazilian Pop Art and Tropicalismo movements. Investigating all main aspects of Varela’s artistic production, the show explores the role played by identity and personal history, social and political issues, as well as transnational experiences in the definition of the artist’s oeuvre. Cybèle Varela: Tropicalismo Remixed presents a selection of the artist’s most emblematic paintings, objects and videos from the 1960s to the present day. By shedding new light on the artist’s many achievements, it investigates Varela’s contribution to both Latin American and international artistic discourses, from Pop and Conceptual Art to Narrative Figuration and Video Art. Introduction to the exhibition* ‘Tropicalismo’ (or ‘Tropicàlia’) was a short-lived artistic movement which emerged in Brazil towards the end of the 1960s. By 1972, it was already over. The term is directly derived from an environ-mental installation created in 1967 by Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980), at the time one of the main pro-tagonists of the Brazilian visual arts scene. During its time, Tropicalismo was an all-encompassing cultural phenomenon which reverberated within every creative sector in Brazil, from art to music, from theater to fashion, united by a common sense of experimentation and social critique. It was grounded in the idea of ‘antropofagia’, literally a cultural cannibalism that had emerged in Brazil in the late 1920s as a reaction to cultural colonialism, and envisioned the blending of traditional Bra-zilian culture and art with international Optic and Pop Art. It is this vibrant artistic context in which Cybèle Varela (b. 1943, Petrópolis) kicked off her career in Brazil. The artist participated in the most relevant exhibitions and biennials of the time, soon be-coming one of the key figures of Tropicalismo and Brazilian Pop Art, before moving to Paris in the early 1970s. Engaging in a prolific artistic exchange with many colleagues and peers both in Brazil and abroad, over the years Varela has developed a critical, but never ideological language of her own tinged with irony. Among her preferred subjects are the common people and their relation to the urban environment, the anonymity of life in the big city and the roles imposed by gender re-strictions and social expectations. First and foremost a painter, with her box-form objects and puz-zle-paintings on wood she engages in the same cheerful and interactive approach which has made Brazilian artists internationally respected. At the same time, experimentations with video and pho-tography have been fundamental for her research on the interaction of light, shadow and move-ment. The title of the present exhibition Tropicalismo Remixed is a playful reference to music and seeks to recall the fresh and youthful atmosphere of optimism which characterized the beginnings of Varela’s long artistic journey, leaving a clear trace also on her subsequent production. A “remixed” Tropicalismo is a Tropicalismo which has been altered, modified from its original state in order to create something new and audacious. This well-balanced sense of continuity and renewal is pre-cisely what characterizes Varela’s oeuvre. Cybèle Varela: Tropicalismo Remixed presents a selection of the artist’s most emblematic paintings, objects and videos from the 1960s to the present day. The exhibition at the Brasilea Foundation in Basel is Varela’s first retrospective in Europe. It is also the occasion to reassess the artist’s relationship to Switzerland, where she lived between 1978 and 1993, and to examine how the encounter with and appropriation of European culture impacted her work. By exploring the main stages of Varela’s artistic development and by presenting them in chapters organized in chronological order, the exhibition aims to shed new light on the artist’s many achievements. Furthermore, it investigates Varela’s contribution to both Latin American and international artistic discourses, from Pop and Conceptual Art to Narrative Figuration and Video Art.

  • Dónde

    The Brasilea Foundation / Basel, Basel-Stadt, Suiza
  • Inauguración

    18 ene de 2018  /  18:45
  • Publicaciones

    Cybèle Varela: Tropicalismo Remixed


  • Artistas que participan en Cybèle Varela: Tropicalismo Remixed


    Comisarios/Curadores de Cybèle Varela: Tropicalismo Remixed


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