antonio dias
o laço: eu e você, 1965
acrylic and vinyl on wood
139 x 123 x 60 cm

Antonio Dias (1944–2018) is one of the leading figures in 20th century Brazilian art, having achieved international recognition early on in his career, during the mid-1960s. His early offer- ings were politically-infused drawings, paintings and assemblages permeated by elements from Brazilian Neo-Figurativism and Pop Art, which earned him the status of representative of New Brazilian Figuration and got him into the IV La Biennale de Paris (1965), whose painting prize he won. His practice, however, converses with the legacy of the concrete and neo-concrete move- ments, as well as the revolutionary drive of Tropicália.


The Biennale de Paris prize enabled him to travel across Europe, and following a stint in Paris he settled in Milan. There, he embraced a conceptual approach, creating paintings, films, videos, documentation and artist’s books, and tapping into each of those mediums to question the meaning of art. In approaching eroticism, sex and political oppression in a playful, subversive way, he built an unparalled, conceptual oeuvre brimming with formal elegance, interspersed with political issues and scathing critiques of the art system. In the 1980s, he turned to painting anew, experimenting with metallic and mineral pigments like gold, copper, iron oxide and graph- ite, mixed with various binders. Most of his works from this period boast a metallic sheen and contain a wide variety of symbols – bones, crosses, rectangles, phalluses – reminiscent of his earliest works.


Antonio Dias’ work has been featured in over a hundred solo and group shows in major venues around the world. Recent solo shows include: Anywhere Is My Land, São Paulo State Art Gallery (Pinacoteca), São Paulo (2010), and Daros Latinamerica, Zurich, Switzerland (2009-2010); and Antonio Dias – O país inventado, featured in several Brazilian venues from 2000 to 2003, includ- ing the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art (MAM-RJ) and the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (MAM-SP). Group shows include: Memories of Underdevelopment: Art and the Decolonial Turn in Latin America, 1960-1985, at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) in San Diego, USA, as part of II Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (2017); International Pop, Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, USA (2015-2016); The World Goes Pop, Tate Modern, London, UK (2015-2016); Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960-1980, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA (2015), and Made in Brasil, Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro (2015). His work was also featured in several biennial shows, including the São Paulo Art Biennial (1981, 1994, 1998 and 2010), the Mercosur Biennial (1997, 2005) and La Biennale de Paris (1965, 1973). Dias’ art is in major institutional collections around the world, including: Coleção Sattamini – MAC-Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zurich, Switzerland; Instituto Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina; São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (MAM-SP), São Paulo, Brazil; The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA; and São Paulo State Art Gallery (Pinacoteca), São Paulo, Brazil.



  • paulo sergio duarte in conversation Download

    paulo sergio duarte in conversation

    Fawz Kabra, Ocula 6.10.2018
  • remembering the fragile unity of brazilian artist antonio dias (1944–2018) Download

    remembering the fragile unity of brazilian artist antonio dias (1944–2018)

    Tiago Mesquita, Frieze 17.8.2018
  • antonio dias, brazilian artist who poked the ruling junta, is dead at 74 Download

    antonio dias, brazilian artist who poked the ruling junta, is dead at 74

    Jason Farago, The New York Times 9.8.2018
  • morre antonio dias, um mestre da arte visceral, erótica e política Download

    morre antonio dias, um mestre da arte visceral, erótica e política

    Sérgio Bruno Martins, Folha de São Paulo 2.8.2018

Texto Crítico

  • tazibao and other works

    paulo sérgio duarte
    Every great work of art presents itself as a problem, not a solution. The work of Antonio Dias is no exception, and it has to be confronted. Confronted first, that is, as knowledge, neither religious nor scientific, but artistic. And that is precisely what contemporary art so often flees from today. Dias, on the other hand, faces it, wrangles with it, and stands before us, without any condescension. This exhibition, which opens in September 2018 at Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo, presents a brief sampling of Antonio Dias’ artistic production since 1968. His early works, from 1964 to 67, are therefore absent, having recently been seen in the exhibition Entre construção e apropriação – Antonio Dias, Geraldo de Barros e Rubens Gerchman nos anos 60 (Between Construction and Appropriation—Antonio Dias, Geraldo de Barros and Rubens Gerchman in the 1960s), curated by João Bandeira at SESC Pinheiros, also in São Paulo. Here, now, from Black Mirror (1968)and Arid (1969) down to recent works from 2013, the poetic potency and...