José Rufino

(this page was last updated in February 2018)

João Pessoa, Brazil, 1965.
Lives and works in João Pessoa, Brazil.

PIPA 2010 and 2012 nominee.
PIPA 2011, 2016 and 2018 Nominating Committee member.

José Rufino uses in his artworks objects related to his family history like documents, letters, desks and chairs that appears in his installations, objects and drawings. A whole affective repertoire is presented in his work. The field of art becomes a place for a reinterpretation of the entire personal and family narrative.

José Rufino teaches in the Visual Arts course at the Universidade Federal da Paraíba and in the Visual Arts post graduate program from UFPB/UFPE. He developed his artistic journey passing from poetry and visual poetry to postal art, and then to drawing and painting. In the 90’s, he started to work on a series on installations, such as “Espaço colonizado”, “Respiratio”, “Laceratio”, “Lacrymatio”, “Plasmatio”, “Faustus” (Prêmio Bravo! Prime de Cultura), “Memento Mori”, “Silentio”, “Divortium aquarum, Ulysses”, usually dealing with social and political themes. The discussion of opposite notions – memory and forgetfulness, opulence and decadence – often appear in his production. Over 33 years, he participated in about 250 exhibitions, including the São Paulo, Mercosul and Havana Art Biennials and two editions of the Panorama da Arte Brasileira. He has also exhibited his works in solo shows in important art spaces such as Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, Museu Oscar Niemeyer (Curitiba, Brazil), Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Casa França Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Museu Andy Warhol (Pittsburgh, EUA) and Palácio das Artes (Porto, Portugal).

Currently, Rufino is working in a project in the interior of Pernambuco, “Usina de Arte”, that is transforming an old sugar and alcohol factory into a cultural space, where he has been carrying out series of works with former employees of the factory (Ligas, Opera hominum), as well as acting as curator of artistic residence programs and festivals. In 2017 he received the Mário Pedrosa (Contemporary Artist) Award from the Brazilian Association of Art Critics.

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