For the first time in Australia, Brazilian graphic artist Rogério Duarte will exhibit original examples of art and design including his acclaimed album covers and film posters at The Narrows, a contemporary art gallery in Melbourne, within the 2009 Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Rogério Duarte, a graphic designer, musician, composer, poet, philosopher and professor, is considered to be the one of the main intellectual forces behind the Tropicália/Tropicalismo movement. Duarte co-wrote songs with key figures of the movement including Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso and produced the album covers for other great names in Brazilian popular music, such as Gal Costa, João Gilberto and Jorge Ben.
The Brazilian artistic movement ‘Tropicália’ arose in the late 1960s, during a time of international cultural and political upheaval, with civil rights movements and anti-Vietnam protests in the US, riots in Paris, and the 1964 military coup in Brazil. The movement was truly global in its perspective, reflecting the chaos and anti-authoritarianism that seemed to be sweeping the world. The movement redefined Brazilian arts and re-shaped Brazilian society.
Although the original movement was crushed by an authoritarian regime, the influence and irrepressible spirit of Tropicália is far reaching. Many musicians including David Byrne, Beck and Kurt Cobain cite the influence of Tropicália on their work, and the ground breaking nature of the visual arts has only recently begun to be fully appreciated.
Tropicália launched the careers of many of Brazil’s most famous musicians and was Duarte’s closest association with fame. A true polymath, his work spans numerous fields and decades but he is best known as a designer of record covers for many of the great names of Brazilian popular music, such as Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, João Gilberto and Jorge Ben, posters for some of the signal films of Brazilian cinema, including Black God, White Devil, as well as book covers and works in other media. This exhibition showcases the range of Duarte’s creative endeavors in Brazil during his period.
As part of the 2009 Melbourne International Arts Festival, the exhibition will be launched on Thursday October 15 at 6pm and will continue until Saturday November 14.
OPENS 6PM THURSDAY OCTOBER 15 2009
Curated by Warren Taylor and James Hibberd
Warren Taylor has an ongoing interest in the work of Rogério Duarte and as founder and director of The Narrows, has initiated, curated and toured exhibitions by distinguished graphic artists such as Ronald Clyne (2007), Experimental Jetset (2007), Roma Publications (2007), Ed Fella (2008), John Melin (2008) and Tobias Frere-Jones (2009).
James Hibberd has a longstanding interest in Tropicália specifically, and South American cultures more broadly, including history, literature, indigenous cultures and music.