abraham palatnik
objeto cinético ck-8 , 1966 / 2005
steel, brass, painted wood and engine
120 x 40 x 40 cm

Abraham Palatnik is an iconic figure in the optical and kinetic art movements of Brazil - a pioneer in his long-standing interest for exploring the creative possibilities embedded in crossings of art and technology. Having studied engineering, the artist became interested in investigating mechanic uses of light and movement. In 1949, he rose to prominence with the creation of his first Aparelho Cinecromático [Kinechromatic Device] effectively reinventing the idea of a painting by using different voltage bulbs moving at different speeds and directions to create caleidoscopic images. The piece was shown at the 1st Bienal de São Paulo (1951) and received an Honorable Mention from the International Jury for its’ originality.

 

Abraham Palatnik subsequently initiated his work with reliefs, coined Progressive reliefs, which he made out of various materials (such as wood, duplex cardboard and acrylic), manually cut and intercalated to create a sense of rhythmic undulation. Apart from the series W, which has come to incorporate the use of laser-cutting, Palatnik continues to construct and paint every piece by hand, making each work a token of his craftmanship.

 

Abraham Palatnik was born in Natal, Brazil, in 1928. He died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2020. He has participated in many exhibitions in Brazil and internationally, including eight editions of the Bienal de São Paulo (1951-1969) and the 32nd Biennale di Venezia, Italy (1964). Recently, a major retrospective titled Abraham Palatnik – A Reinvenção da Pintura [Abraham Palatnik – The Reinvention of Painting], was featured in several Brazilian institutions including: Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janeiro (CCBB-RJ), Rio de Janeiro, 2017; Fundação Iberê Camargo (FIC), Porto Alegre, 2015; Museu Oscar Niemeyer (MON), Curitiba, 2014; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM-SP), São Paulo, 2014; and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Brasília (CCBB-DF), Brasília/DF, 2013. Main recent group exhibitions include: The Other Trans-Atlantic: Kinetic & Op Art in Central & Eastern Europe and Latin America 1950s - 1970s, with itinerancy at Sesc Pinheiros (2018), in São Paulo, Brazil, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (2018), in Moscow, Russia, and at Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2017), in Warsaw, Poland; Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950 - 1980, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2018), in New York, USA; and Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art 1954-1969, at Palm Springs Art Museum (PSAM) (2017), in Palm Springs, USA. His works are part of major permanent museum collections such as: Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM-Rio), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium; Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH), Houston, USA; and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA.

Exhibitions

News

Press

  • obra em movimento

    obra em movimento

    Camila Molina, O Estado de São Paulo 2.7.2014
  • mestre da arte cinética faz retrospectiva

    mestre da arte cinética faz retrospectiva

    Silas Martí, Folha de São Paulo 2.7.2014
  • engenhocas modernas Download

    engenhocas modernas

    Francisco Alambert, Arte Brasileiros 1.11.2012
  • gênio da precisão

    gênio da precisão

    Camila Molina, O Estado de São Paulo 23.10.2012
  • um artista marcado pela invenção Download

    um artista marcado pela invenção

    Audrey Furlaneto, O Globo 29.9.2012