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Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil: The Adolpho Leirner Collection May 20–September 23, 2007


Oiticica - Vermelho cortando o branco

Hélio Oiticica, Vermelho cortando o branco (Red Going through White), 1958, oil on canvas, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © César and Claudio Oiticica

Expanding its major commitment to the art of Latin America, the MFAH acquired the celebrated Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art. The collection, which consists of the finest examples of Geometric Abstraction in paintings, constructions, drawings, posters, and graphic materials by Brazil’s foremost artists of the post-World War II era, has long been regarded as a brilliant window into the seminal decades of Brazil’s modernization. 

Although individual objects from the collection have been included in group exhibitions or in individual artists' retrospectives in Europe, Latin America, and the United States, the only complete presentations until now were in Brazil in 1998 and 1999, at São Paulo’s Museum of Modern Art and Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Modern Art. This exhibition at the MFAH marks the first comprehensive presentation in the United States. 

Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil is organized to reveal the innovation and originality achieved by the various Brazilian Constructive tendencies as well as to illustrate specific traits that separate them from related movements in Europe and the United States. Among the artists represented in the Leirner Collection are Lygia Clark, Waldemar Cordeiro, Milton Dacosta, Cícero Dias, Samson Flexor, Mauricio Nogueira, brothers César and Hélio Oiticica, Mira Schendel, and Alfredo Volpi.


This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Generous support is provided by:
Mr. Samuel F. Gorman
Macy’s