Jandyra Waters

27.08 – 23.09 / 2015






short term long in meaning

term of yesterday and hence forth.

Always is also now.


the stable center of the ball of wool

which unravels

rolling, rolling eternally.

(published in the Rhythm of Time collection, 2001)

The Almeida & Dale Gallery presents, from 27 August to 23 September, the exhibition Jandyra Waters – Ritmo do Tempo (Rhythm of Time) a tribute to the artist, who at 94 years of age and with enviable energy, continues to write, paint and produce surprising works. The show is curated by Denise Mattar and comprises 45 works by the artist produced between 1957 and 2015. The exhibition consists of a mixture of paintings and poems from different points in the artist´s career, breathing life into her pictorial and poetic journey. The title of the show, taken from her last book of poems, alludes to an issue which permeates Jandyra´s work, a constructivist artist - yet never concrete.


The oeuvre

The exhibition presents historical works including some figurative pieces which display the questioning quality of the artist, her period of informal abstractionism, shown briefly, and likewise her participation in the 9th São Paulo Biennial. The largest group of works represents sensitive geometry, the style she is best known for characterized by the use of geometric elements of strong colors and intense rhythm. If Jandyra Waters had been in Rio she would have adhered to Neoconstructivism. Her work has stylistic similarities to Aluísio Carvão, both in the use of color, in which they are both masters, and dynamic nature of the construction of the artworks. Experimentation is also part of her development. The artist created three-dimensional works: the Templos (Temples), and also boxes and mobiles, which address the abandonment of the plane.

Over her six decades of art, Jandyra Waters built up a pictorial body of work characterized by intense luminosity and potent color vibration – in which nothing is superfluous. Her work, lauded by critics such as Theon Spanudis, Mário Schenberg and José Geraldo Vieira among others, can be found in some of the most important private collections in the city and at institutions such as the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art of USP, the Pinacoteca of the State of São Paulo, the FAAP Museum of Brazilian Art, among others.


The Artist

Born in 1921 in Sertãozinho, São Paulo´s hinterland,  Jandira moved to Europe in 1945 as a member of the Brazilian team chosen to aid International organizations in assisting victims of the Second World War.

In 1947, she began studying painting at the County Council Art School in Sussex, England, where she lived until 1950.

Upon her return to São Paulo, amidst a period of great artistic and cultural ebullience in the city just prior to its 4th centenary, the artist studied painting with Yoshiya Takaoka (1909 - 1978); sculpture and ceramics with André Osze; engraving with Darel (1924) and Marcelo Grassmann (1925), and mural painting with Clóvis Graciano (1907 - 1988) at the FAAP. In 1952, she began studying the history of art at the University of São Paulo – USP.

Jandira held her first exhibition in 1956 at the 21st São Paulo Salon of Fine Arts, the year of the National Exhibition of Concrete Art, which marked the formal beginning of concretism in Brazilian art and would in some ways permeate the work of Jandira.

Initially a classic figurative-style painter in 1966, according to the art critic Theon Spanudis, Jandira broke abruptly with the school and “developed a totally novel and original formal abstractionism with mysterious enigmatic signs and strange shapes in perpetual motion. Over time, her signs became richer and more numerous, her color more solar, an effervescence and hot restlessness emanated from her works. Later, the signs began to vanish and the odd shapes grew in size and circular dancing movements emerged with Dionysian impetus and ecstatic frenzy.” The following year, the artist took part in the 9th São Paulo Art Biennial.


At the peak of “her Dionysian and orgiastic phase”, in the words of Spanudis in 1971, Jandira discontinued her abstractionist phase  and began employing geometric rigor. “whether to dominate the excessive Dionysian impetus or start a fresh, more structured and Apollonian phase”, which characterizes her work to this day.

In the words of Olívio Tavares de Araújo, Waters would be considered by concretists as a heretic, both for her use of color and lyricism that permeates her work, constructed, however, with geometric rigor.

In the 1970s the artist began her literary career as a poet. Her three collections of poems  – Pedras Nuas (Naked Stones) (José Olympio Publishers,1974), Desvendador (DAG Publishers, 1977) and Ritmo do Tempo (Rhythm of Time) (Scortecci Publisher, 2001) – were well-received by critics. Her poems, like her painting, were synthetic and stripped down yet devised in multiple layers like the Japanese Haikai.

Rua Caconde 152

01425 – 010 São Paulo, Brazil

+55 11 3882 7120


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