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ABSOLUTE FAILURE at Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim

Nelly Gutmacher exhibition brings together series produced since the 1990s 70, highlighting gender questioning

Greek goddesses emerge androgynous from the depths of the ocean. Venuses endowed with phalluses are revealed to be hermaphrodites. Fragments molded into the body give rise to ceramic sculptures, metal and stone powder.


Vulvas in different shapes and colors allude to the Art History and pop icon Madonna. Collages and photomontages echo influences from the social scene in which they were created, the decade of 70 to the present day. This clipping of Nelly Gutmacher's career, 81 years, was reunited in “Absoluto Falho”, revealing all the fertile restlessness that permeates the artist's career.

Its individual, curated by Marcus de Lontra Costa and Rafael Fortes Peixoto, Opens the day 14 March, segmented into four series that occupy the second floor of Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim, having as its main core the questioning of gender, highlighting different historical moments of this trajectory, started in the decade of 60.


“‘Absoluto Falho’ addresses issues of bodies and genders, pointing to a poetic provocation in the emergence of new identifications and a more pluralistic future. Bringing together works from different periods of the artist's production, The show draws inspiration from elemental forms and mythological narratives to rethink the binary structures that still underlie our societies.”, rate Marcus Lontra.

Opening the exhibition and rescuing images and forms that inhabit the collective unconscious, the curators present a series of analogue collages, already setting the viewer in a space of aesthetic references, historical and poetic spaces where all of Nelly's artistic creation takes place. “In the rooms occupied by the exhibition, mount one non-linear narrative where the artist observes the obsolescence of the definitions between man and woman and provokes about the appearance of new hybrid life forms, born from the deep mud of the ocean”, says Rafael Fortes Peixoto.


exhibition space

Nelly Gutmacher's proposal is to provoke new and multiple perspectives, investigating (and instigating) gender issues, bodies and sexuality.

In the entrance hall, presents collages and photomontages that he produced since the 70, in full dictatorship, until 2021, through an oniric and intimate perspective; in the central hall, series are on display that relate to a kind of archeology created by the artist, like the “hermaphrodites” of the 1980, small porcelain sculptures, bronze and metal that would be easily confused with Neolithic Venuses, not for one detail: they all have phalluses.

A sala lateral, separated by a curtain from the rest of the exhibition, divided into two separate series, from different times, in which Nelly departs from her own body to create an external and symbolic artistic body. In the first series, "Fragments", carried out over the years 1970 and 80, the artist shaped her own body, proposing material interventions.

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Already in the series “Like a Virgin”, created by Nelly at 80 years, shows vaginas in different shapes and colors, with citations both to the History of Art, com Courbet e Man Ray, as the icon of pop and “Pussy Power”, Madonna.

Living room frontal, which has a large window and a view of Ipanema beach, Nelly presents the works of the “Tálassa” series, The latest (2022 and 2023), proposing the emergence of androgynous and multi-gendered beings that emerge from the mud of the ocean floor, in a montage that mixes installation and sculptures created by her in ceramics and resin.

Learn more about Nelly Gutmacher

Daughter of Jewish immigrants, Nelly Gutmacher has a Jungian background and interests in mythology and archetypes.. Born in Rio de Janeiro (1941), began its career in the 1990s 1960, with Ivan Serpa, MAM-RJ.

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In the 1970, attended several ateliers experimenting with techniques and materials. During these experiences, he came into contact with Celeida Tostes, with whom he shared a studio and established a relationship of poetic complicity, introducing female themes into ceramics in Brazil, along 1970, having acted on various supports with different techniques, always in a pulsating way and leading the public through issues that transcend mere symbolism.

In the 1980, started teaching at Parque Lage and, in the same period, investigated artistic experimentation as a therapeutic process, delving deeper into the psychoanalytical issues that come to influence his production.

In parallel with artistic practice, also worked as a therapist, in a trajectory similar to that of Lygia Clark. In the following decades, as conceptual elaboration, the body and organic forms structure her works and are articulated on the concepts of gender, sexuality and eroticism through archetypal and ancestral references, being a pioneer in Brazil in approaching these themes and approaching important names in sculpture such as Louise Bourgeois and Maria Martins.

ABSOLUTE FAILURE – Nelly Gutmacher
Curated by Marcus de Lontra Costa and Rafael Fortes Peixoto
Local: Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim
Address: Av. Vieira Souto, 176 – Ipanema – RJ
Opening: day 14 March, at 19h
Visitation: from 15 March to 7 May 2023
Operation: from Monday to Friday, from 13:00 to 22:00
Free entrance
artist contacts: @negutmacher/nellygutmacher.com.br

Press information: BriefCom Communications Advisory/Bia Sampaio
(21 98181-8351/biasampaio@briefcom.com.br)
cultural support: Danielian Gallery

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