Arjan Martins

Rio de Janeiro, RJ,1960.
Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.

PIPA 2010, 2011 and 2014 nominee.

Video made by Matrioska Filmes exclusively for PIPA 2011.

About the artist
by Fernando Cocchiarale, September 2002

The designs of Argentino Mauro, Arjan, born in the actual act of execution. However not based on random procedures whose completion would be casual and without any identity. His set has a clear authorship as not only a view of the production process, as the theme, these images have traits in common.

The clear dialogue between the work of Arjan is based, because, in his creative process. Argentine integrates the legion of artists whose work is conceived not as the result of a project (this is the anticipation of the final results of the work before its effective implementation), but the expression of drives and tensions of his interior universe through the process of making the work. In that sense it would be wrong not link it, provided that certain conditions subject to the genealogy expressionist.

Underlined by from Fauvism French and German Die Brücke, 1905, this genealogy set up as a “ism” in Der Blaue Reiter, of Germany proposed in 1911. As the historian Italian Giulio Argan, “Literally, expression is the opposite of printing. Printing is a movement from outside to the inside, is the reality (object) which records the consciousness (subject). The term is a reverse movement, from indoors to outdoors, is the subject that is manifested in the object (1). ”

In this sense, even before its existence as one of the leading historical “isms” the first half of the last century, the trend toward expressionism was (and still is being) the latent temperament of many artists. Legitimized the sense of tragic-romantic German culture and psychoanalysis, in its emergency scenario pioneer of modern art gave only flow to a choice regarding the atypical aesthetic objectivity of the new plastic-formal languages and thus closer to the invisible inner life of Subject-an artist. Now, however, unlike the last pre-modern, this trend could coexist with their diametrically opposed, in the universe and on plural of vanguards.

Since then, whenever the art sought to break or depart from the aesthetic and artistic issues of feature more cerebral, this trend was resumed on new foundations: the American abstract expressionism (decade of 1950) and the German neo-expressionism (decade of 1980), for example., by revaluing the drives emanating from the insides of the human condition, brought with them the recovery of brushstrokes and traces of gesture agile, whose ordination in the works, does without the project. Exception made to abstract expressionism, the thematic repertoire of genealogy expressionist commonly enriched the tragedies of the human soul through mortified icons of the body or in extreme tension. This is the backdrop for the dozens of drawings in this show by Argentino Mauro.

From an iconic Argentino perspective the expectations of genealogical expressionism do not escape. He focuses on the human body, but never enter it into a kind of composition scenographic typical of his German colleagues centre. The environment in which their bodies graphics appear, almost always the most fragmented in their expressions (as the face, for example), is the very role, smudged by sequels of water spots and design. Even in the work of the fetuses, designed in full, fragmentation is consumed. Separated from the body in which mothers should enroll their embryos floating in a fund without identity. In this repertoire of images add up to other, no less intense, consisting of twitching male faces, skulls and icons alike. So we quickly on the drawings which results in a profuse production almost obsessive that raises a condensed view of tens work as in this exhibition.

A significant part of his work starts up from spots potentially tragic carnal watercolour. They combine an attitude both predictable and random expectations, both ends: that controls their area of focus desirable and what is available to the accident, takes up unexpected results, but favourable to next steps. Then superimposed the spots, the design begins, in a spontaneous and nervous trait that crosses the white of the paper without recovering it, but smudging it with the density of the images it generates. However Arjan not explores the dramatic contrast between areas of intense light and heavy shadows that led, for example, the German expressionists intense research centre to chart the universe, especially the woodcuts. He can fill in the blank of the same role with the preservation of areas without any significant gesture by the occupation graphic designer.


1990/2005 | Escola de Artes Visuais, Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
“Teoria da Arte” prof: Paulo Sérgio Duarte – 2000
“História da Arte” prof: Fernando Cocchiarale – 2000
“Dynamic Encounters” prof: Charles Watson – 1998
“Pintura” prof: João Magalhães – 1997
“Ateliê Livre: Iniciação em Pintura” prof: Elizabeth Jobim – 1994
“História da Arte” prof: Viviane Matesco – 1992
“3D” prof: João Carlos Goldberg – 1991

Solo Exhibitions

- “Américas”, curated by Paulo Sergio Duarte, Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- Galeria Laura Marsiaj Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Urbes”, Sesc Madureira, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- Galeria 90, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- Museu Afro Brasileiro, São Paulo, SP
- Museu da República, Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Group Exhibitions

- “Do valongo à favela”, curated by Clarissa Diniz and Raphael Cardoso, Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Imagens mestiças”, curated by Adriano Pedrosa and Lilian Schwartz, Instituto Tomie Otake, São Paulo, SP
- “Travessias 2”, Observatório das Favelas, Galpão Bela Maré
- “Novas Arqueologias”, IPN, Instituto dos Pretos Novos
- “Novas Aquisições”, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Abre Alas”, Galeria Gentil Carioca, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- Haiti Sculpture, artista convidado, Porto Principe, Haiti
- “Associados”, Espaço Orlândia, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- Bienal de Dakar 2006, artista convidado, Dakar, Senegal
- “Arquivo Geral”, Paralela à 27ª Bienal de São Paulo, Centro de Arte Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Arte Brasileira Hoje”, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- Colônia Juliano Moreira, Museu Bispo do Rosário, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Novas Aquisições”, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Posição 2004”, Escola de Artes Visuais Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Projéteis de Arte Contemporânea”, artista convidado, FUNARTE, Palácio Gustavo Capanema, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Silogismos”, Espaço Cultural Sérgio Porto, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Alfândega Rio”, Armazém 5, Cais do Porto, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Projéteis de Arte Contemporânea”, artista convidado. FUNARTE, Palácio Gustavo Capanema, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Grande Orlândia”, São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Silogismos”, Espaço Cultural Sérgio Porto, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “Rio Trajetórias”, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
- “IX Salão Paulista de Arte Contemporânea”, São Paulo, SP
- “32o Salão de Piracicaba de Arte Contemporânea”, Piracicaba, SP
- VIII Salão Municipal de Artes Plásticas de João Pessoa, PB
- “Plurais”, Escola de Artes Visuais Parque Lage, RJ.
- “Registros, Pinturas e Desenhos”, Galeria Cândido Mendes, RJ
- “UniversidArte”, Universidade Estácio de Sá, RJ
-“Projeto RioArte”, Intervenção Urbana, Cinelândia, RJ


- The Drawing Center’s Viewing Program, NY, USA
- Instituto Goethe, Germany
- XII Documenta de Kassel, Minster Skulptur Projects, Berlin, Germany
- Prêmio Projéteis de Arte Contemporânea, FUNARTE, Palácio Gustavo Capanema, Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Works in collections

- Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand – Novas Acquisitions 2004/2006 and 2007/2010
- Coleção Universidade Cândido Mendes
- Coleção 32º Salão de Piracicaba de Arte Contemporânea
- Banco de Dados do Programa Rumos Itaú Cultural

For the full list with the selected artists click here.

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