Aluísio Carvão

  • Born 1920 in Belém, Pará, Brazil
  • Died 2001 in Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Brazilian artist Aluísio Carvão began his career as an illustrator and figurative painter. After receiving a government scholarship for art teachers, he moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1949. There he attended free classes with the geometric abstractionist Ivan Serpa at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro. Under Serpa’s influence, Carvão joined the avant-garde Grupo Frente in the 1950s, producing rigorous works such as the black-and-white linear spiral Ritmo Centrípeto-Centrifugal (Centripetal-Centrifugal Rhythm, 1958), and Cromáticas (Chromatic, 1957–60), a series of paintings without frames. In 1959, Carvão signed the Neoconcrete Manifesto, along with such artists as Lygia Clark (1920–1988) and Lygia Pape (1927–2004). In his Neoconcrete period, Carvão explored color as matter. He participated in the 1960 group show Konkrete Kunst (Concrete Art): in Zurich and the Neoconcrete Art Exhibition in Munich, and was a visiting professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (College of Design) in Ülm, Germany. After returning to Brazil in 1963, he was active as a teacher and graphic designer. During the 1960s and ’70s he produced kinetic works incorporating everyday materials, such as bottle caps, nails, and string. He returned to canvas painting in the late 1970s; his pictures of the 1990s reference the “pure geometry” of graffiti and other objects.

Artworks by Aluísio Carvão in the exhibition