A polymath who works across painting, drawing, installation, video and performance, as well as literature and theatre, Brazilian artist Nuno Ramos interrogates the different characteristics embedded in his diverse choice of materials.Read More
Nuno Ramos began his artistic career by writing as a teenager, after which he went onto study philosophy at the University of São Paulo. His decades-long engagement with painting and its materials started in 1984, when the artist joined the Casa 7 studio.
Based in São Paulo, the Casa 7 members—including Rodrigo Andrade, Carlito Carvalhosa, Fábio Miguez, and Paulo Monteiro—were brought together by their shared interest in a spontaneous, impulsive approach to painting. The group attracted critical acclaim in 1985, when they held a joint exhibition at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro and were featured in the São Paulo Biennial.
Ramos' oil paintings from this period are often large in scale and feature abstracted imagery made up of thick impasto and bold lines, such as in Borba Gato Statue (1985), reflecting the Casa 7 artists' experimentation with Minimalist and German Neo-Expressionist sensibilities.
Continuing to write, Ramos published his writings from the early 1980s in the book Cujo in 1993.
In the 1990s, Nuno Ramos increasingly employed materials such as paint, metal, wood, clay, glass, fabric, resin, paper, Vaseline, water, and sand to construct his assemblages. Ruined Pot Not Broken (1998), for example, consists of broken ceramic jars filled with Vaseline that gather on the floor. In his 2019 interview with New City Brazil, the artist explained his process of testing each material's limit, exhausting it until it comes close to revealing its 'primary physical state.'
Nuno Ramos has addressed Brazil's history of state-sanctioned violence and corruption in politically charged works such as 111 (1992). Created in response to the 1992 massacre of 111 prisoners by the police, Ramos covered 111 cement blocks with newspaper clippings and plaques each dedicated to a victim.
In 2018, Ramos staged Aos Vivos, a three-part performance that involved performers repeating the presidential candidates' speeches as the election debates aired live on TV. The artist added distraction to each part, such as a dancer in the first and recitations from Sophocles' ancient tragedy Antigone in the second, to show the difficulty of reproducing reality and all its subtleties.
Nuno Ramos continues to explore the limits of materials in his large-scale encaustic paintings. The works in the 'Sol a pino' (2018) series are made from a heated combination of oil paint in bold colours and materials such as fabric, plastic, paraffin, and various metals. Compelled to work quickly, the artist faces a constant challenge of losing control over his materials.
Nuno Ramos has developed an active career as a writer alongside art. Known as a poet, lyricist, and a left-wing columnist, he is also a recognised novelist and has received the Portugal Telecom Prize of Literature for Ó (2008) in 2009 and Junco (2011) in 2012. Ramos published Verifique se o mesmo, a collection of essays on Brazilian culture, in 2019.
Nuno Ramos has exhibited across Brazil and internationally. Selected solo exhibitions include Brujas, Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo (2021); Sol a pino, Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel/Galpão, São Paulo (2019); Blazing Sun, Galerie Kogan Amaro, Zurich (2019); Só Lâmina, SESC Caxias, Brazil (2017); Só Lâmina, Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Rio Grande do Sul (MACRS), Brazil (2016); HOUYHNHNMS, Estação Pinacoteca, São Paulo (2015); and Globo da Morte de Tudo, Anita Schwartz Galeria de Arte, Rio de Janeiro (2012).
In 1999, Rio de Janeiro's Centro de Arte Hélio Oiticica presented Ramos' mid-career survey exhibition, which traveled to the Museu de Arte Moderna in São Paulo in the following year.
Selected group exhibitions include Perdona que no te crea, Carpintaria, Rio de Janeiro (2019); Oito Décadas de Abstração Informal, Museu de Arte de São Paulo (2018); Ação e Reação, Casa do Brasil, Madrid (2018); Building Material: Process and Form in Brazilian Art, Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles (2017); The Poetry in Between: South-South, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town (2015); NO SÉ (El templo del Sol), Parque de la Memoria, Buenos Aires (2014); and the 29th São Paulo Biennial (2010).
The artist's website can be found here.
Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2021
The solo exhibition "Sol a Pino," or blazing sun, at Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel/Galpão stages eight vigorous large-format paintings and drawings, as well as a selection of 2018 videos by artist and writ
Pivô launches its new programme Fora da Caixa ('Outside the Box') with the group show Casa 7 no Pivô ('Casa 7 at Pivô'). Eduardo Ortega's curatorship focuses on the production of artists Paulo Monteir