Cecilia Brunson Projects: Willys de Castro

8.10.2016 - 9.12.2016


Continuing the project, in partnership with the São Paulo-based  Almeida & Dale Gallery, whose aim is to introduce the British public to the great figures of Brazilian modern and contemporary art and which has already taken Claudio Tozzi and Alfredo Volpi to London, the Cecilia Brunson Projects Gallery will present the solo exhibition Willys de Castro:  From Paintings to Objects 1950-1965 from 8 October to 9 December.


Under the curatorship of Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, the show comprises 21 works covering the early years of the artist. The show takes in a variety of works from paintings to the famous Active Objects for which Willys de Castro is renowned as one of the most innovative Brazilian artists and is currently attracting the attention of international critics for its originality and innovativeness.


Willys de Castro

Graduated in Chemistry, Willys de Castro (Uberlândia MG 1926 - São Paulo SP 1988) worked as a technical illustrator and began painting in 1948, soon showing an interest in abstraction.


In 1954, he set up, together with Hercules Barsotti, the Estúdio de Projetos Gráficos, where he worked for 10 years and established a new visuality in Brazilian graphic design.


He worked as a costume and scene designer for the Arena Theater and the Art Culture Theater and in 1957 received the Paulista Association of Theater Critics award.


Also in 1957, in a first, Willys de Castro produced the verbalization scores for the concrete poems of Augusto and Haroldo de Campos, Ferreira Gullar and Décio Pignatari, presented by Ars Nova at the Brazilian Theater of Comedy during the 1st Recital of Concrete Poetry in the country.


In 1958, he joined the Rio neoconcrete movement and surprised the art circuit with his Active Objects which broke with the two-dimensional surface of the canvas as a support for paintings. He took part in the Konkrete Kunst show organized by Max Bill in Zurich in 1960.


He was one of the founders of the Brazilian Association of Industrial Design and of the Arte Novas Tendências Gallery of which São Paulo concrete artists were a part, from 1963.  


Between 1966 and 1967 he designed print patterns for textiles, while from the 1970s experimented with metal and wood creating Pluriobjects.


He passed away in 1988 at the age of 62.


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