Juliette Dumas, ‘Whale Fluke (White)’, 2018, SILAS VON MORISSE gallery

Dumas subscribes to the terms of The “Rio Negro Manifesto” created in 1978 by the French art critic Pierre Restany who drafted a manifesto along with two artists, the Brazilian (born in Poland) Frans Krajcberg, and the Yugoslav based in Brazil Sepp Baendereck.

MANIFESTE DU RIO NEGRO (Restany / Krajcberg / Baendereck), 1978


In 1978, the three men traveled along the Rio Negro River, an affluent of the Amazon River that runs through sections of Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil, along the Amazon ecosystem. That extraordinary expedition triggered a profound stream of consciousness in them on the urgency of defending the Amazon and combine ethics with esthetics in art. That deep feeling gave birth to a rallying call in defense of art that is “naturalistic, essentialist and fundamental,” as opposed to the “realism” and “chaos” of contemporary art. After the expedition and on behalf of the group, Restany wrote the “”Manifeste du Naturalisme or “Manifeste du Rio Negro”, cosigned by the other 2 artists.

The “Manifesto” yearns for a return from thinking and perception to a condition of “original nature”that defines naturalism as a discipline of perceptive and planetary consciousness, a return to the “occult meaning of things,” all in the service of the imagination and sensitivity. The group’s point of departure was a concept of art opposed to the “tyranny of the object” and to “highly materialistic” ambitions. Instead, it favored the deconstruction of the art object and a concern for human destiny, beyond the ecological perspectives of that period.

2018 JULIETTE DUMAS ANGELS, April 5- 29, Silas von Morisse Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

About Juliette Dumas