Guilherme Dietrich

28 Jun - 06 Sep 2014

Capitano Palmito
28 June - 6 September 2014

Galerie Crone is pleased to present new drawings by the Brazilian artist Guilherme Dietrich. This is his first solo exhibition in Germany.

Guilherme Dietrich was born in 1984 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. As a teenager he is already interested in Art Brut, which in the 1930s in Brazil underwent its own form of expression and was decisively important for the development of Modern Art in the whole of South America. In Particular works by Arthur Bispo do Rosário, who came from a family of African slaves and to this day is revered as a cult figure in the Brazilian art scene, fascinate Guilherme Dietrich. Inspired by this example he begins drawing as an autodidact. Subsequently his works are shown in numerous small group and solo exhibitions in Porto Alegre and in São Paulo, through which he becomes a part of the energetic, young art scene in Brazil.

In 2009 Dietrich applies to the Haute École d ́Art in Genève where he studies painting and art for four years and attains a diploma. The move to Europe brings new influences in his work. This time it is the European exponents of Art Brut that gain his attention. In Museums in Lausanne, Genève and Zurich he discovers the complex work of Jean Dubuffet, but also the drawings and collages of Adolf Wölfli. Above all Wölfli takes a hold on him: Like Dietrich’s great role model Bispo do Rosário, Wölfli suffered with schizophrenia. Both spent a large proportion of their lives in psychiatric clinics and created their work there.

Back in Brazil Dietrich devotes his attention from 2012 to the art of Brazilian native inhabitants. Influences from tribal art and ritual encryption appear in his drawings. He travels to isolated areas, visits remote places largely cut off from the outside world. This leaves visible traces on his art - a third topos flows into his work. Now Dietrich connects his passion for Art Brut with his fascination for schizophrenic art and art based naïve ritualistic symbolism.

In the exhibition ‘Capitano Palmito’ the drawings that arose from this formal triad are presented in Europe for the first time. On the one hand there are large virtuoso pen and ink brush works, and on the other hand there are fine, chiselled felt-tip compositions. Both attest to the virtuoso drawing of the young Brazilian.

By mixing various ethnic and cultural influences Guilherme Dietrich builds on the tradition of Brazilian Modernism. His images can be understood as a contemporary form of ‘anthropophagy’. Under this title, the publicist Oswald de Andrade and his partner, the painter Tarsila do Amaral, postulated in the 1920s the absolutely unique and inalienable self-image of Brazilian culture. Da Andrade did it with a manifesto, do Amaral with a naïve expressionist painting. For both ‘anthropophagy’ means the irrepressible, instinct-driven motivation to carve and lacerate both the cultural influences of colonial masters and the cultural roots of the indigenous people and assemble them to form a new identity. Thus they declare cultural cannibalism as the principle of a creative act - an act, in which all influences are absorbed, digested and formed into a new culture.

If this is not also the root of Guilherme Dietrich’s drawings, then what is?

Tags: Guilherme Dietrich, Jean Dubuffet, Arthur Bispo do Rosário