07/09/2011 | Exhibition shows 11 works by Master Aurelino in A TARDE (a Bahian newspaper)

A rare artist. This is the least that can be said about the work of Master Aurelino, who is now presenting 11 of his paintings in the hall of the A TARDE newspaper, in partnership with the Prova do Artista Art Gallery, through to 2 November. On the eve of completing his threescore years and ten, the artist still is little known locally, despite the respect he has enjoyed among art collectors. Of humble origins, Aurelino does not have a site or even a blog, and neither does he promote his work on social networks or even attend vernissages. Maybe this situation may be reversed thanks to a series of documentaries about primitive and naïve artists that is now being prepared for the TV Cultura television station. São Paulo collector Vilma Eid, from the Estação Art Gallery, who takes part in the project, has intense praise for Aurelino’s work. In her opinion, unfortunately popular culture tends to be marginalised. “When this issue is addressed, it is still placed as a parenthesis to, or in parallel to, popular art, which is very sad. It is now time to put an end to this distinction”. Invited to collaborate with the documentaries that shall highlight 10 Brazilian artists, Vilma Eid shall also launch the book “Stubbornness of Imagination” in March, with the selected artists, and an exhibition is also planned, probably at the Tomie Ohtake Institute. “What is common between them is the fact that they are not erudite artists, that they are still alive, and that they have quality work”, says the gallery owner, for whom Aurelino’s work has “incredible sophistication”. Extraordinary. “He is an extraordinary artist, reinforcing a theory that these artists carry out their work thanks to a need of the soul”, says Vilma. For artists like this, she adds, there are no market elements, neither collection nor a need to please. “They do what they want”, she sums up. The works by Master Aurelino have always been associated to Brazilian modernists. “There are moments in his work that remind me of Tarsila, and others, of Volpi. The signs, geometry, symbolism, it’s all there. This is almost a synthesis of Brazilian art from the dawn of the 20th Century through to the 1960s. This is an artist with a capital A, and which must be taken seriously. He cannot be seen in any other way”. For some 25 years, the Prova do Artista gallery has been working with Aurelino, having promoted exhibitions such as that of 2008, at the Sofitel Sauípe Hotel, and included him in the book: Artists of Bahia: +100 Names. Aurelino also has works on show at the Afro-Brazil Museum (SP), and at the Popular Art Museum (RJ), and the Laumier Museum in St Louis, United States. “This is an artist who has developed and who is well tuned to whatever happens around him”, says gallery owner Veranice Gornik, of the Prova do Artista Gallery. Marcos Dias

Galeria Estação