Biography

SÉRVULO ESMERALDO  (b. 1929, Brazil)

“Geometry describes everything that you see.”

Sculptor, engraver, draftsman, and kinetic artist Sérvulo Esmeraldo began his artistic career in the late 1940s in northern Brazil, where he attended the open studio of the Sociedade Cearense de Artes Plásticas in Fortaleza. In 1951, he moved to São Paulo to study architecture, his arrival coinciding fortuitously with the first Bienal de São Paulo. Interested in mathematics, geometry, and physics, Esmeraldo also studied mechanics, electricity, and optics; these studies continue to influence his artistic output.

Like many Latin American artists in the 1950s, Esmeraldo moved to Europe to continue his studies and pursue a career; he lived in France from 1957 to 1977. While there, he worked and lived in close contact with an expatriate Brazilian community of artists, including Vicente do Rego Monteiro, Lygia Clark, Sérgio de Camargo, Franz Krajcberg, Arthur Luiz Piza, Flávio-Shiró, and Rossini Peres. He took classes in printmaking at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, and learned metal engraving in the studio of Johnny Friedlaender. During his first years in France, he also made weekly visits to the National Library, where he studied prints by Albrecht Dürer. In 1959, he was invited to participate in the fifth Bienal de São Paulo, marking the growing recognition of his work. He simultaneously pursued commercial work designing book covers, magazine illustrations, and record album covers.

In the early 1960s, Esmeraldo began making paintings and art objects he called Excitables, works which were activated by the static electricity from the viewer’s touch. “Charges run through them,” he noted, “jumping from element to element, modifying the structure of the composition.” Upon his return to Brazil in 1977, Esmeraldo started making public art projects. He organized two international exhibitions of ephemeral sculptures in 1986 and 1991, in which he invited artists from around the world to send designs for sculptures, to be completed and installed by preparators in his hometown of Ceará, Brazil. The exhibitions were unprecedented events in the history of public art production. Throughout Esmeraldo’s work—whether in printmaking, sculpture, or kinetic projects—a close observation of nature underpins his constructions. He returns consistently to the idea of line as an abstract value, and he observes, “For a question of temperament I was led to the purity of forms, balance, constraint, in short, simplicity…”

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2017

Sérvulo Esmeraldo - Objetos Nômades - Galeria Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo

2016

Sérvulo Esmeraldo, die europäischen Jahre 1957-1975, Beurret & Bailly, Basel, Switzerland

 

Sérvulo Esmeraldo: Alinha, a luz, o Crato, Urca Campus Pimenta, Encosta do Seminario, Crato, Ceará, Brazil

 

Sérvulo Esmeraldo Esculturas e Relevos, Galeria de arte Murilo Castro, Belo Horizonta, Minas Gerais, Brazil

 

Sérvulo Esmeraldo, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, Frieze Masters Spotlight section, London, Great Britain.

2015

Traço, Volume, Espaço, Galeria Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

 

É pericoloso sporgersi, Amazém da Cultura, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

2014

Sérvulo Esmeraldo, Paulo Darzé Galeria de Arte, Salvador, Bahia, Brésil

 

O Arquivo Vivo de Sérvulo Esmeraldo, Instituto de Arte Contemporanea (IAC), São Paulo, SP, Brazil

2013

Pinturas, Desenhos, Gravuras, Esculturas, Objetos e Excitáveis, Pinakotheke Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Sérvulo Esmeraldo: Luz, Palácio da Abolição, Fortaleza, Brazil

2012

Simples como um triângulo, Galeria Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo, Brazil

2011

Sérvulo Esmeraldo, Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, Brazil

2010

Ocupação de Espaço, Centro Cultural Banco do Nordeste, Fortaleza, Brazil

 

Sérvulo Esmeraldo, Les Excitables, Art Outsiders, Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris, France

 

Correspondência, Centro Cultural dos Correios, with Alex Nicolaeff, Fortaleza, Brazil

2008

Sérvulo Esmeraldo por Mota Machado – Obras de 40 anos, Centro Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura, Fortaleza, Brazil

2007

Sérvulo Esmeraldo, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

 

Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Centro Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura, Fortaleza, Brazil

2002

Galeria Antônio Bandeira, Fortaleza, Brazil

2001

1st Bienal de Artes do Cairi, Galeria do Sesc, Crato, Brazil

 

Múltipla Galeria de Arte, São Paulo, Brazil

1999

Centro Cultural do Abolição, Salão de Abril, Fortaleza, Brazil

1989

Tríade Galeria de Arte, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Galeria Paulo Figueredo, São Paulo, Brazil

1988

Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo, Brazil

 

Galeria Klee, Escritório de Arte Orlando Bessa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Museu de Arte da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil

1986 

Esmeraldo/Krajcberg, ARTE Galeria, Fortaleza, Brazil

 

Skultura Galeria de Arte, São Paulo, Brazil

1985

Retrospective, 1947-1985, ARTE Galeria, Fortaleza, Brazil

1982

Skultura Galeria de Arte, São Paulo, Brazil

1981

Galeria Aktuell, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1980

Jornal “O Povo”, Centro de Convenções, Fortaleza, Brazil

 

Galeria Ignez Fiuza, Fortaleza, Brazil

1979

Centro Venezolano de Cultura, Bogotá, Colombia

 

Hotel Quatro Rodas, São Luís, Brazil

1977

Sociedade de Cultura Artística, Crato, Brazil

 

Galeria Memória, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

 

Gatsby-Arte, Recife, Brazil

1976

Palácio das Artes, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

 

Petite Galerie, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Gabinete de Artes Gráficas, São Paulo, Brazil

1975

White Gallery, Lutry, Lausanne, Switzerland

 

Galerie Paul Bruck, Luxembourg

 

Galeria Ignez Fiuza, Fortaleza, Brazil

 

Gabinete de Artes Gráficas, São Paulo, Brazil

 

Correio Braziliense, Hotel Nacional, Brasilia, Brazil

1974

Galerie Sanguine, Collioure, France

1973

Galeria Ignez Fiuza, Fortaleza, Brazil

1971

Galerie La Pochade, Paris, France

 

White Gallery, Lutry, Lausanne, Switzerland

 

Galerie La Pierre de Lune, Canet-Plage, France

 

Galerie 32, Lyon, France

1969

Galerie Cosme Velho, São Paulo, Brazil

1968

Galerie Maurice Bridel, Lausanne, Switzerland

1967 

Museu de Arte da Universidade do Ceará (MAUC), Fortaleza, Brazil

 

Galeria Itatiaia, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

 

Associação dos Amigos do Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil

1966

Galeria A Gravura, Lisbon, Portugal

 

Galeria Ítalo-Brasiliano, Milan, Italy

 

Festival de Viana do Castelo, Viana do Castelo, Portugal (Guest artist)

 

Galerie Nouvelle Gravure, Paris, France

1964

Galerie Il Canale, Venice, Italy

1963

Galerie Maurice Bridel, Lausanne, Switzerland

1962

Galeria Relevo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Galeria de Arte de Recife, Recife, Brazil

 

Museu de Arte da Universidade do Ceará (MAUC), Fortaleza, Brazil

 

Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil

 

Centro de Artes, Ciências e Letras, Campinas, Brazil

1961

Galerie Maurice Bridel, Lausanne, Switzerland

1960

Galeria Lemac, Recife, Brazil

1957

Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

 

Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil

1956

Clube dos Artistas, São Paulo, Brazil

1951

Sociedade de Cultura Artística do Crato, Crato, Brazil

Selected Public Collections

Banco do Nordeste do Brasil, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Biblioteca Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Biblioteca Pública de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Bolsa de Valores Regional, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Cabinet des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France

Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnatti, OH, USA

Collection Oboé Cultural, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Collections Publiques du Gouvernement Français, Paris, France

Espace de L’Art Concret, Donation Albers-Honneger, Mouans-Sartoux, France

Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Paris, France

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal

Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Governo do Estado do Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Graphic studio, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland

Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint Étienne, Saint-Étienne, France

Musée Rate, Geneva, Switzerland

Museo de Arte de La Habana, Havana, Cuba

Museo de la Solidaridad Fundación Salvador Allende, Santiago, Chile

Museu da Gravura de Curitiba, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil

Museu de Arte Contemporânea de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Centro Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Museu de Arte da Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Museu de Arte de Londrina – Londrina, Paraná, Brazil

Museu de Arte de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil

Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Museu de Arte Vicente Leite, Crato, Ceará, Brazil

Museu Nacional de Belas Artes do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje, Macedonia

NovoMuseu, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy

Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo,São Paulo, Brazil

Prefeitura Municipal de Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Secretaria da Cultura do Estado do Ceará - Centro de artes visuais Raimundo Cela, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil