23/11/2013 | The Incredible Miner | Have fun. Uai

The cool man from Minas Gerais

Lorenzato’s works are highlighted in a project by specialist Laymert Garcia

The curator organises an individual exhibition of this artist, in São Paulo. The painter is compared to Guignard and has watercolours on show at Carlos Prates Gallery, in a Belo Horizonte arcade

"Brazil cannot be foolish enough to ignore a painter of this magnitude” (Laymert Garcia dos Santos, curator)

“Lorenzato is a painter comparable to Guignard and Volpi. He is not a regional artist, and for this reason cannot be known only in Minas Gerais. He is a painter of international class. Brazil cannot be foolish enough to ignore a painter of this magnitude”, says Laymert Garcia dos Santos, a sociologist who has had several books published. He has written about Brazilian artists and also artists from elsewhere in the world, for important institutions of the visual arts, such as the Cartier Foundation and the Tate Modern.

As the curator of the Lorenzato’s second individual exhibition in São Paulo, that shall be on show in March at the Estação Art Gallery, Laymert was in Belo Horizonte to check out the works of this Minas Gerais painter. “He needed a wider view of production, as he worked during half a century”, he explained. Until then, Laymert has become familiar with three dozen or so works, some drawings and watercolours, as well as books about Lorenzato and the unprecedented interview which he gave to artists Germana Monte Mor and Solange Pessoa.

Laymert returned to São Paulo highly satisfied, after checking out some 200 works. “This was the start of a passion. The sheer greatness of Lorenzato appears in what is a kind of paradox: the complex simplicity of composition. Apparently, this is painting coming from a modest and unambitious look, but this is actually a direct view of the world. He paints what he sees, not what he imagines, turning this meeting into a pictorial event”, he praises. This is an artist who cannot be imitated, he sums up.
The researcher compares Lorenzato to Paul Cézanne, who also studies the motifs that he paints through drawings and watercolours, seeking to take in atmospheres with structure and a concrete presence. In the opinion of Laymert, this Minas Gerais painter, with an abundance of pictures and colour, “brings to the spectator, with precision of perception, an enchantment with the world that is his.”

The peculiarity of this visuality is associated with how Lorenzato dealt with painting materials while he worked in the construction trade. A trip to Italy, however, brought him into contact with the works of Michelangelo, Masaccio, Leonardo da Vinci, and particularly Cimabue. From this experience came his contact with the principles of the alfresco painting – a technique which the mineiro painter reworked in a highly personal way.


“Lorenzato is contemporary art that cannot be tagged with a label”, ensures Laymert. Expression signals care in not putting the painter into categories. He draws attention both to the singularity of the Minas Gerais artist as also for types of misconceptions and prejudices which are inside the labels. Currently, stresses the curator, there is a search for a new characterisation for contemporary art. “There is a rethink of the borders between the erudite and the popular, between the peripheral and the mainstream, between what is and what is not ethnic. The hegemony of definitions of art based on Western criteria has now ended”, he says,

In his opinion, the category of contemporary art includes both works coming from the Western tradition and those related to the universe of ethnology and ethnographic institutions. “Current contemporaneity consists of several distinct time moments, coming from different places and cultures”, he stresses. For the sociologist, reactions such as lack of understanding, prejudice, lack of knowledge and the lack of studies about several artistic expressions are due to the fact that this production does not fit in the art system with traditional references. “To change this mentality, there is a need to take creations seriously and in depth, with a look free from prejudice and analysing the general consistency of the work, he concludes.

A former director of the Bienal Foundation of São Paulo and co-ordinator of the Culture and Network Technology Laboratory of the Século 21 institute, Laymert Garcia is part of the world network of specialists from the Humboldt Forum. The institution develops an ambitious project: a centre for non-European cultures to be installed in the main square of Berlin, in Germany.



A son of Italian immigrants based in Minas Gerais, Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato (1900-1995) worked in the construction business in Belo Horizonte, where he was born. He painted decorative themes in houses. In the 1920s he went back to Italy and participated in the Royal Art Academy of Vicenza. In Europe, he had contact with plastic artists Cornelius Keesman and Gino Severini, as well as going to cafés where Picasso and Matisse were habitual customers. He lived in Petrópolis (State of Rio de Janeiro) and also in Belo Horizonte, where he dedicated himself to artistic painting.

An exhibition with a small selection of drawings and watercolours by Lorenzato shall open this Saturday, at 10 a.m., at the Manoel Macedo Art Gallery (Rua Lima Duarte, 158, Carlos Prates). The set brings works of the first half of the 1970s. Published in book form, these records of the wanderings of the artist through Belo Horizonte have never been on show before. The exhibition can be checked out up to 20 January.


Galeria Estação