“Learning from Dorival Caymmi: a Beach Civilization”, group show curated by Paulo Miyada

(São Paulo, Brazil)

Tomie Ohtake Institute presents, from 3rd March until 1st May, the group show “Learning from Dorival Caymmi: a Beach Civilization”. The artists Cadu, Cristiano Lenhardt, Cao Guimarães, Fabio Morais and Rafael RG take part in the exhibition curated by Paulo Miyada.


Out of beach-loving songs by the famous Bahia state composer, this exhibition seeks to bring to the public the idyllic atmosphere and the extended time that this musical genre invented by Dorival Caymmi managed to perpetuate the Brazilian people collective imagination. To build this poetic territory harbored by the sea breeze, the waves, the softness of the sand, the slow and sweet moving of the seascape, the exhibition adds to the musician’s work other artists who were guided by the contemplation suggested by this first scenery in the nation’s memory.

Paulo Miyada, curator of the exhibition and of Instituto Tomie Ohtake selected artists from different generations and geographical origins to put together a partial picture of what could a praieira [beach] civilization could be. “As such, in addition to music and visual material about Caymmi, the 33 landscapes by sailor-made-painter José Pancetti take the lead in building imagery of an immanence space, in which the notion of progress makes little sense. The furniture items of Rio-de-Janeiro-city-born Sergio Rodrigues, who in the 1950s wanted to set up his Oca shop with his feet in the sand, and the ideas brought by Flávio de Carvalho on an architecture, a design and a fashion set for the man of the tropics complete the core around which the exhibition comes into play”, explains Miyada. Documents, ideas, images and works of other artists put the finishing touch on the route, marked by a synesthetic character as proposed by the curator.

Visitors will be able to listen to the songs of “Canções Praieiras” (1954) throughout the space, and be greeted with three self-portraits: one by Caymmi (1974) and the other by Pancetti (1948 and 1940); Pierre Verger photos which, among other images, feature a picture of Caymmi (1946), and Pancetti painting in sand of Abaeté pond (1946-1950); covers of two records, one of which (Caymmi e o Mar) by photographer and Pancetti painting in sand of Abaeté pond (1946-1950); covers of two records, one of which (Caymmi e o Mar) by photographer Otto Stupakoff; and the book entitled “Cancioneiro da Bahia”, by Caymmi.

Dedicated to Abaeté, the classic Caymmian scenario, a segment of the exhibition brings together Pancetti screens, and photos by Alice Brill, Marcel Gautherot and Pierre Verger. The most robust set of works of Pancetti, however, lies in a large curved wall with about 20 paintings, forming a horizon extended by Patrícia Leite screens “Ato III” (2014), “Revoada” (2014) and “Atalaia” (2013). This scenario can be envisaged by the public from the chairs of Sergio Rodrigues (Poltrona Mole, 1957) and Flávio de Carvalho (FDC1, 1939), on which visitors are allowed to sit and contemplate the exhibition. The two photos by Cao Guimarães from “Gambiarras” series (21001/2012) enlarge the seaside atmosphere, as well as a picture by Otto Stupakoff, which depicts Poltrona Mole [a very comfortable armchair] at sea, since suddenly the waves took over the sand and Sergio Rodrigues studies for their buildup.

Further into the pathway, visitors find the work of Paulo Bruscky entitled “Abra e cheire: Este Envelope contém Cheiro da Praia de São José da Coroa Grande” [Open and smell: This envelope contains the Smell of São José da Coroa Grande Beach] (1976), which dialogue with other works by Pancetti; videos by Nelson Felix “Método Poético para Descontrole da localidade” [A Poetic Method for Decontrolling the Place] [(2008/20013) and “Gênesis” [Genesis] (1985/2014); photos from Capuava Farm, taken by Nelson Kon (2012), birthplace of Flávio de Carvalho’s FDC1 chair, along with pictures of the artist himself published with his ‘man of the tropics’ costume, as well as excerpts from “A Cidade do Homem Nu” [The City of the Naked Man], a text concerning a city created for the tropics and which turned into a motto to invite artists Leda Catunda, Cristiano Lenhardt, Cadu, Rafael RG, Bel Faleiros and Fabio Morais to create a new work (in A1 size support, typically used in architectural projects) for the exhibition.

One day before the opening of “Learning from Dorival Caymmi: a Beach Civilization”, on March 1, musicians Arthur Nestrosvski and William Wisnik will give a concert lecture on the composer that will be filmed and made into video to be exhibited too. And for the public to dive a bit further into this beach-loving universe, Tomie Ohtake Institute prepared a brochure for visitors to accompany the exhibition, including several texts about the artists, their stories, works and productions. Click here to download the brochure.

“Learning from Dorival Caymmi: a Beach Civilization”, group show with Cadu, Cristiano Lenhardt, Cao Guimarães, Fabio Morais and Rafael RG
Curated by Paulo Miyada.
Opening: 3rd March
On view through 1st May

Tomie Ohtake Institute
Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 201 | Pinheiros – São Paulo- SP
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