On May 23, 1953, Swiss painter, sculptor, graphic designer and architect Max Bill (1908-1994) first set foot in Brazilian lands. However, the visit of his work to the country would happen earlier than that - more specifically three years earlier - when, in 1950, the artist had a retrospective of his work organized at the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo. The following year, in 1951, Tripartite Unit was part of the Swiss delegation of the 1st São Paulo Biennial of Arts, winning the International Sculpture Prize at the exhibition. Thus, when the artist finally landed on national soil, for a set of lectures to be held in Rio de Janeiro at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, his production was no longer just visiting here, had found in Brazil a true home . His widespread thoughts already influenced the founders of the concrete and neoconcrete movement, also called the second Brazilian modernism.
Fernanda Figueiredo's visit to Max Bill's work began with these same concretists whom she admired and drank from the Swiss creative source. Immersed in books that talked about the Front and Rupture groups, she came across the name of Bill and his legacy. A student at Dessau Bauhaus and founder of the so-called postwar Bauhaus, the Ulm School, was recognized for his hard temperament and for giving life to projects characterized by clarity, simplicity and logic.
The fascination of Brazilian concretists, especially the group led by Waldemar Cordeiro, in São Paulo, made them create reinterpretations of Bill's works. Ironizing such an attitude, Figueiredo mimics such an act, inserting in his work references that are now clear, sometimes deconstructed by works by the Swiss and Brazilian artists such as Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, Ivan Serpa, Geraldo de Barros, among others. from there, his own repertoire. Thus is born the series The Visit of Max Bill, which gave name to the exhibition of the artist at Kogan Amaro Zurich and now earns its continuation at the gallery headquarters in São Paulo.
In discussing the iconification of works by different names of the time, Figueiredo also makes his canvases a plunge into the history of Brazilian art - such references must be sought to recognize them in production. These allusions appear to be deconstructed, multiplied, recomposed, and often enveloped in the exuberant nature it recreates and which brings us back to Brazil, even mentioning the emblematic landscaping of Burle Marx.
Living in Berlin since 2015, the city where the artist lived and died, Figueiredo uses the language of the tropics, hot and immersed in emotion, to go against the work of the Swiss. One of the pillars of his work, which makes his visit to Max Bill's work much more exciting, is the liveliness of the colorful brush strokes made of acrylic paint, which he places on the canvases that make up the exhibition.