Heleno Bernardi: Rumors - Janaina Torres

São Paulo Brasil

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Rumors

Heleno Bernardi

In Rumors, Heleno Bernardi stamps words over geometric shapes, in a continuous gesture that seems to find no end. Between language and the accumulation of matter, he creates a completely new grammar: a hiatus that encompasses seeing, thinking and hearing, amplified by the electrifying voltage of color. The artist thus places screams and whispers into the noise of the world, in echoes ranging from ancestral paintings and geometries to the word clouds of the contemporary linguistic vortex.

FEBRUARY 2023

Curator: Daniela Name

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Tempo II

Heleno Bernardi
Tempo II, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
59.40 x 42 cm

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Corpo II

Heleno Bernardi
Corpo II, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
42 x 29.70 cm

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Acaso

Heleno Bernardi
Acaso, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
59.40 x 38 cm

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Horizonte

Heleno Bernardi
Horizonte, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
42 x 29.70 cm

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By rotating a polygon on a paper or fabric surface, filling it with the same word stamped countless times, in a sometimes frantic and incessant movement, Heleno Bernardi obtains monochromatic surfaces loaded with color, which dissolve, through repetition, the meaning that the words carry. By weaving on the surface of the work, the words echo new associations of high graphic and discursive power, from the friction between medium and message.

Detalhe de Desejo (2022), de Heleno Bernardi, que integra a mostra Rumores, com curadoria de Daniela Name

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Ardência

Heleno Bernardi
Ardência, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
56 x 42 cm

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Quando

Heleno Bernardi
Quando, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
42 x 29.70 cm

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I need to talk about red, the color that comes to the fore in Rumors, by Heleno Bernardi. The first hue in the history of art dyed caves walls and metamorphosed into fire and blood in the many odysseys of the image: the flame of flags, of wars and revolutions, the river that flows in ravishing passions, in the cloak of princesses, in the curtains of drama, in the carpets of fame. Its marks are like a surrounding sound that cannot be muffled, a murmur that becomes audible and adds new layers of meaning and memory to the current definitions of each word.

— Daniela Name, curator

 

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Iminência

Heleno Bernardi
Iminência, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
42 x 59.40 cm

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Cagaço

Heleno Bernardi
Cagaço, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
42 x 59.40 cm

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Carcaça

Heleno Bernardi
Carcaça, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
50 x 50 cm

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Many artists have used stamps throughout history. And although each one has its own characteristics, there is a common aspect that is inherent to stamps, which are the flaws, the blots, the smudges. These visual results are usually very seductive, but I stand in partial refusal of this aesthetics. My personal register is saturation and overlapping to create a density from the word, until it disappears.

Heleno Bernardi

MAKING OF | Produced during the pandemic, Rumors met Bernardi’s needs at that time: “a solitary, manual work, confined to the studio and not dependent on other materials or suppliers,” he says.

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Abismo

Heleno Bernardi
Abismo , 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
55 x 42 cm

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Avalanche

Heleno Bernardi
Avalanche, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
59.40 x 42 cm

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Sopro

Heleno Bernardi
Sopro, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
40 x 30 cm

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Matéria I

Heleno Bernardi
Matéria I, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
42 x 29.70 cm

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Cultura I

Heleno Bernardi
Cultura I, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
42 x 29.70 cm

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AGIT PROP | In Rumors, Bernardi converses with broad strands of modern and contemporary art. Heroic modernism, from Malevich’s Red Square to Mondrian’s geometric serialism, echoes in flagship works such as Insurgir, Reparar e Refundar (Rebel, Repair and Refound) – icons that flutter, echoing the agitprop’s call to action, reinforcing the political nature of the word and image.

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Insurgir

Heleno Bernardi
Insurgir, 2022
Carimbo com tinta acrílica sobre tecido de algodão
210 x 140 cm

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Reparar

Heleno Bernardi
Reparar, 2022
Carimbo com tinta acrílica sobre tecido de algodão
210 x 140 cm

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Refundar

Heleno Bernardi
Refundar, 2022
Carimbo com tinta acrílica sobre tecido de algodão
210 x 140 cm

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WATCH | Heleno Bernardi and curator Daniela Name talk about the ideas and production conditions behind of Rumors: origin, foundations and the process of the pieces, with footage of the artist’s studio in Rio de Janeiro.

Authentic rumors emerge from the edges of works such as Atlantic – “red sea, tomb of lives, road of looting, losses”, defines Daniela Name, who sees in the work a synthesis for the violence embedded in all languages: when a language agglutinates, it is because it has murdered many others. “As with language, Bernardi’s works often bring scraps of what was filled with red paint – ghosts of sleeping words, echoes of other speeches”.

Heleno Bernardi, Atlântico, tinta de carimbo sobre acrílica em placa de compensado, 160 x 220 cm, 2021
GENEALOGIA | No carimbar de Rumores, estão o apego ao excesso e acúmulo, combinado ao rigor, poética que marca trabalhos anteriores do artista, indicando coerência e maturidade.
Em Cassino, Heleno despejou toneladas de purpurina sobre os escombros do Cassino da Urca, no Rio de Janeiro, provocando uma epifania para os sentidos.
Na instalação Enquanto Falo As Horas Passam, é a aglutinação de corpos-colchonetes, convidando a participação da audiência, que provê a sensação de acúmulo.
Nas pinturas, são camadas de tinta obtidas por um gestual articulado e livre, mesclando o derrame da tinta e o abstracionismo geométrico.

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NINHO OVO BICHO (tributo neoconcreto)

Heleno Bernardi
NINHO OVO BICHO (tributo neoconcreto), 2022
Carimbo com tinta acrílica sobre tecido de algodão
64 x 48 cm

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There are traces of art history throughout Heleno Bernardi’s project. In the multiple  Ninho, Ovo, Bicho (Nest, Egg, Animal), the standard work establishes a direct dialogue with the neoconcretist heritage of Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, and Lygia Clark. Even earlier, we find references to the ancestral geometry and body painting of the original peoples and African nations that constitute us.

If in Apology of Socrates, one of his previous works, the artist dissolved the philosopher’s head – mother of all heads in this invention we call the West – in soap foam, now he creates a tombstone and horizon for everything that can be shouted in red and insistently whispered and repeatedly by the stamps, until the multiplication of the gesture dissolves and reinvents senses.

 

— Daniela Name

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Sim

Heleno Bernardi
Sim, 2021
Carimbo sobre papel
29.70 x 42 cm

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SOBRE HELENO BERNARDI

Heleno Bernardi, born in Pouso Alegre (Minas Gerais, 1967), living and working in Rio de Janeiro, is part of a group of artists who gained visibility with the exhibition Posição 2004 (Parque Lage, 2004, Rio de Janeiro), which celebrated “doing and thinking together” – which, in Bernardi’s case, expanded later into what Paulo Sérgio Duarte calls a “poetics of reflection”. In other words: an artistic practice derived from thought dominating each gesture, in the light of extensive knowledge of modern and contemporary art history. Bernardi circumvents, however, the risks of sterile and immobilizing knowledge.

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In other words, he does not limit himself to merely reproducing paths already traveled, through a work in transit, in which the artist launches himself towards different languages and supports, having the attitude of art – or, in other words, the spirit – as the leading thread. Thus, whether in site-specific interventions in degraded places (such as the old casino in Urca, Rio de Janeiro), or in paintings, some of them of non-domestic dimensions, which illustrate another relevant aspect of his art, which is to extrapolate the domain of the private, Bernardi offers us something beyond the “event of colors” and the visible. Therein lies, probably, the strength and undeniable originality of his work.

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