The Adolpho Leirner Collection is considered as one of the most significant collections of Brazilian Concrete-Constructive art. For the first time in Europe, Haus Konstruktiv in Zürich, Switzerland, showcases the “Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston”. Although individual works from the collection have been shown frequently in the past years, this is the first time the entire collection of Adolpho Leirner is exhibited outside of Brazil or the United States.
The art collection has been assembled by the Brazilian Adolpho Leirner (born in 1935 in Sao Paulo). Leirner studied textile development and design in England from 1953 to 1957. Interested in art, design and architecture, Adolpho Leirner became acquainted during his stay abroad with the legacy of early 20th century Constructivism. In the late 1950s, he returned to Brazil and in 1961 he bought his first artwork, Em vermelho 1958) by Milton Dacosta. In the 1960s, Adolpho Leirner focused his collecting efforts on Brazilian constructive-concrete art. Through his direct contact with living artists and art dealers, Leirner was able to systematically gather exemplary works of these key movements of Brazilian modernism.
“With its numerous masterpieces, the Adolpho Leirner Collection provides a comprehensive and lively documentation of this important chapter of Brazilian Modernism, in which Brazilian artists probed the possibilities of non-representational art: from the beginnings of non-figurative art to works of the “Grupo Ruptura” in Sao Paulo as well as the “Grupo Frente” and Neoconcretismo in Rio de Janeiro up to central works by now internationally renowned artists such as Lygia Clark (1920-1988) and Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980).
The exhibition has been organized in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which owns the Adolpho Leirner collection since 2007.
In this video, we have a look at the exhibition during the opening reception, and the director of Haus Konstruktiv, Dorothea Strauss, and Mari Carmen Ramírez, curator of Latin American art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, provide us with an introduction into Adolpho Leirner’s Collection and Constructive Art in Brazil.
In parallel to the exhibition “Dimensions of constructive art from Brazil”, Haus Konstruktiv is showing works by Rita Ernst (born in 1956) as part of the exhibition series “Visionary Collection”.
A full-length version (11:04 Min.) of this episode is available after the jump.
Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil: The Adolpho Leirner Collection at Haus Konstruktiv Zürich. Opening reception, November 18, 2009.
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Full-length version (11:04 Min.):