Two Brazilian Photographers
Miguel Rio Branco and Marion Cravo Neto

November 4 -  December 15, 2000

The University Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of Massachusetts Amherst is pleased to present the work of Miguel Rio Branco and Mario Cravo Neto, two Brazilian photographers whose work offers very different yet complimentary views of Brazilian life and culture. Miguel Rio Branco's cibachromes with their sensuous color and light capture scenes from Rio de Janeiro's underworld and the ritual aspects underlying everyday life. Mario Cravo Neto works in black and white, creating mysterious images, which offer a poetic sense of the exotic ritual and myth of Afro-Brazilian culture.

Two Brazilian Photographers
Miguel Rio Branco, Swift Blues,
1998, 12 cibachrome panels,
overall dimensiona: 97 x 73 inches
Miguel Rio Branco was born in 1946 in the Grand Canary Islands but has since adopted Rio de Janeiro as his own, in part because of this city's lush color and vibrant life. Rio Branco studied at the New York Institute of Photography in 1966, and subsequently became a cinematographer with strong interests in combining still photography and film. He now lives and works in Rio, capturing its sensual color in the context of the poverty and violence that have become part of contemporary life in Brazil. His works are often composed of several parts, drawing attention to the relationships between form, color, and texture. The color red plays an important role in his work, symbolizing the very pulse of life. Many international and American venues have shown the artist's work in solo exhibitions including the Foundacion "la Caixa" Centre Cultural, Barcelona, Spain (1999), London Projects, London (1998), and the Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro (1996). His work is featured in numerous collections including those at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo, and the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. He is represented in New York by D'Amelio Terras.

Two Brazilian Photographers
Mario Cravo Neto, detail, Silence,
1992, gelatin silver print,
15 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches
Mario Cravo Neto was born in 1947 in Salvador, Bahia, the northeastern region of Brazil which is also one of its poorest areas. He studied at the Art Students League in New York City in 1969. His training there as a sculptor translates into the formal language of his work with its dramatic lighting that emphasizes structure and volume. He often juxtaposes animals with fragments of the human body, emphasizing the connection between man and nature. The obstruction of significant bodyparts, often orifices such as eyes, mouth or ears, with animal parts or other objects from nature allows the viewer a glimpse into exotic ritual - yet the viewer observes the form without penetrating the mystery. The artist's work has been featured in solo exhibitions in many international and American venues including Photo Espana, Madrid (1998), the Witkin Gallery, New York (1997), and the Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro (1995) and the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt (1994). His work is featured in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Cartier Foundation, Paris. He is represented by Yancey Richardson, New York.


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