Circuit: Weissmann’s Rio
Curator: Daniela Name
Curator, art critic and journalist.
Works by Franz Weissmann (Knittelfeld, Austria, 1911 - Rio, 2005) are already a part of Rio de Janeiro's landscape. One of the biggest names in Neoconcretism, Weissmann once said that his small models made of cardboard and clips had the calling to be monumental pieces and of a public scale. Throughout his career, Weissmann designed works for places like the Street of Luis de Camões, the Square of Tiradentes and the Park of Catacumba. He also created a gravesite in corten steel and geometric shapes, located in the Cemetery of São João Batista. I propose here a roadmap with seven of my favorite pieces.
1. Encontro (Meeting), 1985:Rua do Carmo s/n
The name of this piece is itself a find. In addition to referencing the meeting of two tapes - or two sections of a cube - it also presents the dialogue between the works of Weissmann and two architectural styles: the mirrored building of the college and the reflections of the facades of the Historic Center of Rio.
2. Terra (Earth), 1958-1983:Rua da Assembléia, s/n
There is a relationship between this piece, which was designed in the 1950s, and the works of the constructivist period. The form's cutting off not only alludes to a terrestrial globe, but also a sundial - time and space combined. The unpainted steel, subject to passage of time, also emphasizes this notion.
3. Lâmina larga em torção no espaço (Broad Blade in Torsion in Space), 1980Av. Pasteur 138, Botafogo
Passing through the building's facade provides a curious experience. Thanks to the twist that Weissmann creates in the simple form of a square, the sculpture is modified at each step, full of movement and revealing itself in surprising ways.
4. Espaço circular em cubo virtual (Circular Space in Virtual Cube), 1958-1978Av. Infante Dom Henrique 85, Parque do Flamengo
A public sculpture that is strongly associated with the "neo-concrete columns." The circles create imaginary volumes in the shape of the square and establish a dialogue with the building of the MAM, the jewel created by Affonso Eduardo Reidy, and the gardens of Burle Marx.
5. Coluna média em cantoneiras diagonais (Pillar Average Angle Diagonal), 1977Av. Marechal Câmara 171, Centro
In this project, Weissmann worked together with Burle Marx: it was left to the landscape artist to create the garden-terrace of the building. The 1970s also marked the use of color: "I needed to color my work because deep down, perhaps, I longed to be a painter," said the sculptor.
6. Estrutura em diagonal, (Diagonal Structure), 1978Avenida Epitácio Pessoa, 3000
The structure of this sculpture resembles an origami, emphasizing the cutting and bending that Weissmann performed on his pieces. There is also a dialogue with the work of Amilicar de Castro and the "Bichos" by Lygia Clark.
7. Quadrado em torção no espaço (Square in torsion in space), 1985Av. Vieira Souto 176, Ipanema
It is impossible to imagine this stretch of waterfront in Ipanema without one of the sculptor's most interesting sculptures. The idea of twisting creates a diagonal suggesting a double movement, and subverting to the notion of square.