UK monthly graphic design magazine Grafik features in its December 2009 issue (#180) a review by Dan Honey of Rogério Duarte’s exhibition in Australia’s The Narrows Gallery:
It is impossible to comment on the work of Rogério Duarte from a purely visual perspective. It carries complexities that you can’t begin to grasp until you first understand the environment in which it was created. Duarte was born in Brazil in 1939. He is a graphic designer, poet, songwriter and professor and recognised as an intellectual force of the Tropicália movement of the late 60s, dominated by musicians such as Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso.
This autumn, The Narrows in Melbourne, Australia showed an insightful retrospective of Rogério Duarte’s work with curators Warren Taylor and James Hibbard carefully positioning the collection within this broader context. The exhibition vibrantly brought together iconic works created during the Tropicália movement and included record covers created for resistance musicians Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and Gil Jorge, original posters designed for experimental Cinema Novo films, book covers, poetry and other media.
Duarte chaotically mixes styles and influences. He cannibalises and re-elaborates popular-culture references. Duarte devours and spits out The Beatles’ Let It Be cover for Veloso’s 1975 album, Qualquer Coisa, and his artwork for Gilberto Gil’s self-titled release is heavily influenced by Peter Blake’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (but features Gil in military-style art-school uniform).
Grafik magazine can be purchased here.