Os amigos da gravura

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height: 20cm
width: 30cm

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Donated by Museus Castro Maya 1995

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Lins' use of line, which may be located between cartography and calligraphy, began to draw attention from Brazil's leading critics soon after his participation in the São Paulo Bienal of 1960. Mário Pedrosa, one of the most important critical voices of the Brazilian sixties, commented at this time that Lins' mastery of the line placed his work in close approximation to the methods of Japanese calligraphy. Like Japanese ink drawing, movement is paramount to Lins' method, as becomes evident in looking at the dense, surface of interconnections that make up Topográfias. Also close to oriental modes of vision is this image's location in between abstraction and figuration.

These lines evoke an expressive, inward gesture at the same time as they trace the image of a landscape. The concentration of lines at the centre suggests a city, a concentration of people and of landmarks; thus this image also stands as a mapping of intensity, from the centre of a settlement to the land beyond it: where the lines open up and clear space is re-established.

This print is one of a series produced by different contemporary artists for the Museus Castro Maya (incorporating the two Museums Chácara do Céu and Museu do Açude) in Rio de Janeiro. This project, Amigos de Gravura, began in 1992 as a means of introducing new work by Brazilian artists into the Museum's exhibition and education programme. Every year, selected artists are invited to participate in the project by producing a new print, the original plate of which is held in the Museum archives. In line with the aims of this project, many of the artists involved have produced works that distil and encapsulate their signature mode of working. This etching by Darel Valença Lins is a characteristic example.

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