Chronology

1961
Leda Catunda is born in São Paulo, daughter of architect and landscaper Vera Catunda Serra and Geraldo Serra Gomes, architect and professor at the College of Architecture and Urbanism, Universidade de São Paulo.

1980
She enrolls in the undergraduate course in visual arts at Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP), graduating in 1984.

    We were going through the last years of General Figueiredo’s government, the end of the military dictatorship, thus feeling constrained and without power to act. At the same time, movements demanding direct elections were being organized with protest marches through Anhangabaú Valley. They were really exciting and came as a sign that things could finally be changed for the better. I was finishing my college course in visual arts at FAAP and developing a work in painting. As incredible as it may seem, at that time, the resurgence of painting was something unexpected in that context coming after the dematerialization of art and the conceptual art of the 1970s.

    (Leda CATUNDA - “Como era nos anos 80…,” São Paulo, no date, unpublished.)


Art historian and critic Tadeu Chiarelli comments on the environment at FAAP in the 1980s:

    The debate being held in the classrooms and hallways at FAAP was very interesting. On the one hand were some professors fundamental for the students’ practical and theoretical training – Walter Zanini, Nelson Leirner, Regina Silveira, Júlio Plaza – all of them opening doors for discussions on art and its nature; about art as a concept and as merchandise; about the dematerialization of art, the concept of the ready-made… Meanwhile, the international magazines – avidly read by the students – contained amply illustrated articles about the “return to painting,” about the German wildness, about the Italian transvanguard, about Schnabel, Fischer, Sandro Chia, Clemente… There were things happening, therefore, that were out of step with each other.

    (Tadeu CHIARELLI - “Problematizando a natureza da pintura,” in Leda Catunda, Cosac & Naify Edições, São Paulo, 1998, p. 9.)


1981
Shows her work for the first time at IX Salão de Arte Jovem de Santos. She also participates in two group shows: Festival Internacional da Mulher nas Artes, in São Paulo, and V Salão Jovem de Arte Contemporânea, at Centro Cívico de Santo André, Santo André, state of São Paulo.



1982
She begins serving as class monitor in the course given by artist Regina Silveira. Since the very beginning of her career, Leda Catunda establishes a close and intense relation with art education and with her teachers.

1983
Participates in the exhibition Pintura como Meio, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea of the Universidade de São Paulo (Ibirapuera). This exhibition, conceived by Sergio Romagnolo, was presented to Aracy Amaral, then director of the museum, who welcomed it. The artists featured in the show include Ana Tavares, Ciro Cozzolino, Leda Catunda, Sérgio Niculicheff and Sergio Romagnolo. This group show opens doors for her, and she receives new invitations.

    At this time there arose the painting integrated with the environment, a bidimensional space that receives the painting and in which the absence of the frame confers an insinuating intermediation – as seen in all the artists who make use of this demystifying “artifice” – between the real space and the virtual space of their pictorial work. There is [thus] revealed a painting laid bare in its naturism, regardless of whether it is figurative or not, yet as a visual-arts communication valid in and of itself, without the pose of “great painting,” although substantially painting nevertheless.

    (Aracy AMARAL - “Uma jovem pintura em São Paulo,” in Pintura como Meio exhibition catalog, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, 1983, p. 1.)


At this exhibition Leda shows for the first time the artworks she would call “Vedações” [blotting-outs].

    Leda took children’s towels as a support, along with printed fabrics commonly used in clothes making and/or for children’s bed sheets, and blotted out the images on them with paint. Not using a chassis, framework or any other rigid structure to support the fabrics, she would often sew one piece of cloth to another, thus increasing the area of action over the prints. […] Into this cold operation of ready-made images, [Leda] introduced the “romantic” gestuality of painting – thereby enhancing the ironic character of her work.

    (Tadeu CHIARELLI - “Problematizando a natureza da pintura,” in Leda Catunda, Cosac & Naify Edições, São Paulo, 1998, p. 11-12.)


This same year, on invitation by artist Júlio Plaza, she participates in the Arte e vídeo-texto project at the XVII Bienal Internacional de São Paulo. She also participates in the exhibitions Arte na Rua, Out Door, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, and Pintura Brasil, at Fundação Clóvis Salgado, Belo Hori- zonte. She serves as class monitor in historian Walter Zanini’s history of art course.

1984
She participates in the group shows Stand 320 at Galeria Thomas Cohn Arte Contemporânea and Como vai você, Geração 80? at Parque Lage, both in Rio de Janeiro. She participates in the group show held at Galeria Luisa Strina in São Paulo, featuring works by herself, Sergio Romagnolo, Ciro Cozzolino and Leonilson, and at the I Bienal de Havana.

1985
Marries visual artist Sergio Romagnolo. She holds her first solo show at Thomas Cohn Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro. Critic Wilson Coutinho writes in the newspaper Jornal do Brasil about the exhibition:

    São Paulo artist Leda Catunda, 24 years old, curiously holds her first solo show not in São Paulo, but here. […] She uses countless industrial materials such as carpets, mattresses, blankets and plastics to create an extremely captivating and happy figuration, different from the other São Paulo artists who are resorting to industrial scrap to produce metaphors of the ugly and the horrific, in a spirit of explicit sneering.

    (Wilson COUTINHO - “A bela indústria,” Jornal do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, 16 Aug. 1985.)


In an interview with Luis Paulo Baravelli, Leda Catunda expresses her opinion about the situation of young São Paulo art:

    Leda Catunda: Nowadays there is an extremely matteric painting, which is very far from my work. I have even painted with oil paint and I was going crazy for phthalo blue. This line of painting demands something that is clear.

    Baravelli: Really formalist…

    L: It is very much formalist, I feel that I’m in a different club, more with Luiz Zerbini, Leonilson and Sergio Romagnolo.

    B: Here in São Paulo there are these two trends: the material group and the figural group. Is this how it is for your generation?

    L: I think so. The material group has a stronger and easier reference in the German painting, in concretism, a known basis that my work doesn’t have. We are still searching for a path to be defined.

    (L. P. BARAVELLI; Leda CATUNDA - “Baravelli visita Leda Catunda,” Revista Galeria, n. 10, São Paulo, 1988, p. 28.)


She participates in the Salão Nacional de Artes Plásticas, at Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, and at the XVIII Bienal Internacional, São Paulo. Concerning the questions at play in the 1985 Bienal curator Ivo Mesquita comments:

    […] the return to painting proposed by the artworks would confirm Brazilian art’s vocation and natural talent for contemporaneity, since the same thing was simultaneously happening in the rest of the world. The revival of painting in those years was instantly interpreted as a return to the Brazilian’s direct and sensual way of relating with the artistic languages, as a reaction to the cerebralism and the excess of art metaphors produced by previous generations (which, in Brazil, meant not only facing issues of contemporary visuality but also being in a constant struggle with the institutionalized censorship by the military government). The consecration came in 1985, when Rodrigo Andrade, Fernando Barata, Carlito Carvalhosa, Leda Catunda, Fábio Miguez and Daniel Senise were presented at the Grande Tela of the XVIII Bienal Internacional de São Paulo alongside artists such as Enzo Cucchi, Gunter Damisch, Martin Disler, Stefano Di Stasio, Dukoupil, Koberling, Middendorf, Salomé, Hubert Scheibl and Tadanori Yokoo, some of the stars on the international scene at that time.

    (Ivo MESQUITA - “Território dos sentidos,” in Daniel Senise. Ela que não está, Cosac & Naify Edições, São Paulo, 1998, p. 11.)


She also participates in the exhibitions Nueva Pintura Brasileña, at Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAYC), Buenos Aires; Brasilidade e Independência, at Teatro Nacional, Brasília; and Today’s Art of Brazil, at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

1986
Holds the solo show Espaço Investigação, at Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre. Participates in various group shows, most notably Transvanguarda e Culturas Nacionais, at Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro; El Escrete Volador, in Guadalajara, Mexico; and Couriers: Six Brazilian Artists, at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, New York. This same year, she begins to teach graphic arts for the undergraduate course in art education at Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP).

In an interview on the occasion of the opening of the compact edition of the XVIII Bienal in Brasília, Leda Catunda comments on her work:

    Generally I do not like drawing very much, I always go more or less after something already drawn or some structure. I began after some patterns that were already designed and when I began to work with the pieces of cloth, some textures arose that were also interesting, so the whole thing got mixed together and even wound up entering the object, as in this work that came here, which is a blanket. An object does not escape from its symbolism.

    (Leda CATUNDA in an interview with Celso ARAUJO - “O direito ao devaneio na nova arte do país,” Correio Braziliense, Brasília, 27 Jan. 1986, p. 17.)


1987
She holds her first solo show in the city of São Paulo, at Galeria Luisa Strina. This show features figurative paintings on various supports such as towels, an umbrella, lace, plastics, wigs and leather.

She participates in the group shows Pintura Fora do Quadro, at Espaço Capital, Brasília; Modernidade, at the Museum of Modern Art of Paris and, next year, at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; Imagem de Segunda Geração, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea of the Universidade de São Paulo; and TV Cubo, at Galeria Mônica Filgueiras, São Paulo.

1988
Holds a solo show at Thomas Cohn Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro.

    Currently expressing herself less literally in terms of the relation with the image, Leda has explored the use of “standardized” materials and objects in her work mainly as a means of experiencing textures, while some of her works already point in a direction other than that of the previous “narration.” […] Her Babados [Ruffles] radically avoid the question of the image, as the artist had been presenting it, and in this case assume an exclusive, and even abstract pictorial dimension.

    (Ligia CANONGIA - “A arte industrial de Leda,” O Globo, 21 Aug. 1988.)


She participates in the group exhibitions 1981-1987, at Galeria Ar- co Arte Contemporânea, São Paulo; 88 x 66, at Parque Lage / Espa- ço Sérgio Porto, Rio de Janeiro; and Dimensão Planar, at Funarte, Rio de Janeiro. She starts to give drawing classes at her studio, in São Paulo.

1989
Alongside Ana Tavares, Mônica Nador and Sergio Romagnolo, she participates in the exhibition Arte Híbrida, held at Funarte, Rio de Janeiro, and which traveled to Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, as well as Espaço Cultural BFB, Porto Alegre.

    [Leda Catunda] is, in my view, the author of effective “combine paintings” in the sense used when we refer to the works done in the 1960s by Robert Rauschenberg. That is, at this moment in her production the painting is applied as a linking element among the objects brought together, without the quality of painting, but acting as an element to imprint corporeality and bidimensional physicality on the relief of her works.

    (Aracy AMARAL - “Quatro artistas,” in Arte híbrida, exhibition catalog, Galeria Rodrigo de Mello Franco, Funarte, Rio de Janeiro; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, São Paulo; Espaço Cultural BFB, Porto Alegre, 1989, p. 2.)


This same year, she shows her works at the exhibitions Coleção Eduardo Brandão, at Casa Triângulo, São Paulo; Perspectivas Recentes, at Centro Cultural São Paulo; Panorama da Arte Atual Brasileira, at Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo; and UABC, at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, which traveled to Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, in 1990.

1990
Her first daughter, Rita, is born. A solo show featuring a set of her artworks produced from 1983 to 1990 is held at Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Americana, Americana, state of São Paulo. She presents her artworks done in 1989 and 1990 in two solo shows: in Recife, at Pasárgada Arte Contemporânea, and in São Paulo, at Galeria São Paulo. The latter show was described by Angélica de Moraes, in the Jornal da Tarde, and by Lisette Lagnado in the Folha de São Paulo, respectively, as follows:

    This exhibition of 13 artworks presents some aspects that are surprising even to someone who has closely followed the work of this artist. The show was constructed between two poles. The pop figures of the patterns on the pieces of cloth, brought together by the sewing machine, now share the gallery space with artworks tending toward a more cerebral, neoconcrete approach.

    This new aspect in Leda Catunda’s production is translated in the form of sculpture-paintings that explore clean surfaces and industrial colors in materials such as glossy or matte Formica. The accumulation of figures is simplified in geometries and abstract visual interplays.

    (Angélica de MORAES - “Leda Catunda entre o pop-espalhafatoso e o neoconcreto,” Jornal da Tarde, São Paulo, 30 Oct. 1990.)

    The immediate identification of figuration is heading toward a simplified abstraction of little balls and rectangles. The search for an abstract language represents an effort to get away from the juvenile stigma of little flowers and houses which has accompanied the artist since the very start of her career. The weight of irony has given way to a happier and enthusiastic appropriation of the repertoire of mass culture.

    (Lisette LAGNADO - “Peças são femininas e previsíveis,” Folha de São Paulo, São Paulo, 30 Oct. 1990.)


She participates in the group show Arca de Noé, at Galeria Gesto Gráfico, Belo Horizonte. She is awarded the Prêmio Brasília de Artes Plásticas by the Museu de Arte de Brasília.

1991
Participates in various group shows in Brazil and abroad, most notably Viva Brasil Viva, at Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm; Mito y Magía, at Museum of Contemporary Art of Monterrey, Mexico; Brasil - La Nueva Generación, at Museum of Fine Arts of Caracas, Caracas; Arte Contemporânea, at Centro Histórico de Petrópolis, Petrópolis, state of Rio de Janeiro; and BR/80, at Itaú Galeria, São Paulo.

1992
Holds solo shows at Centro Cultural São Paulo; at Galeria São Paulo; at Módulo Centro Difusor de Arte, in Lisbon and, the following year, in Porto, Portugal. She participates in the group exhibitions Entretrópicos, at Museum of Contemporary Art Sofia Imberg, Caracas; Salão Paraense de Arte Contemporânea (as an invited artist), in Belém; and Hoje em dia… Avenida Central, at Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro. She also participates in Artistas Latinoamericanos del Siglo XX, a traveling group exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York and held at Estación Plaza de Armas, Seville, Spain; Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges-Pompidou, Paris; Museum Ludwig Kunsthalle Josef-Haubrich, Cologne, Germany; and MoMA itself, in New York.

    By exposing the techniques she employs to fabricate her art – collage, assemblage, and sewing – Catunda undermines the sense of visual spectacle intrinsic to painting, especially to realist styles. Working against realism as the privileged site of identity, Catunda invokes Minimalism as the ground for reconstructing subjectivity. In her recent works, such as the series Retalhos azuis [Blue patches], 1991-1992, or Almofadas amarelas [Yellow pillows], 1992, Catunda reduces the pictorial and anecdotal references while emphasizing texture, plasticity, scale, and volume. Yet, in foregrounding tactility and the sensorial, as well as the sense of pleasurable abandonment evident in her use of materials, Catunda genders and eroticizes the minimalist object.

    (Charles MEREWETHER - “The subject’s powerlessness,” in Latin American artists of the twentieth century - Lateinamerkanische kunst, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunsthalle, Köln, 1993.)


1993
Holds solo shows at Thomas Cohn Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, and at Pulitzer Art Gallery, Amsterdam. In Brazil, she participates in the group shows A Caminho de Niterói, at Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, which is also presented at Centro Cultural São Paulo; A Presença do Ready-Made, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo; and Projeto: Brazilian Contemporary Art, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Universidade de São Paulo. She participates in the international group shows De Rio a Rio, at Galería OMR, Mexico City, and Ultra Modern: The Art of Contemporary Brazil, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., in the catalog for which art historian and critic Paulo Herkenhoff writes:

    The lascivious theoretical work Cinco línguas [Five tongues] presents the unpleasant memory of an erotic experience of tactile horror. This repulsive tactile experience is also a memory of a physical gesture indicating the possession of things, in the compulsion for the consumption of the small miseries of the world of things. […] The impact of the interplay of Leda Catunda’s ironies does not cease: the soft geometry of Cinco círculos [Five circles] is condemned perpetually to impreciseness, but also smiles at the Brazilian constructive tradition.

    (Paulo HERKENHOFF - “The contemporary art of Brazil: theoretical constructs,” in Ultra Modern: The Art of Contemporary Brazil, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, 1993, p. 85.)


1994
In an article published in the magazine Art in America, Alisa Tager writes about Catunda’s production:

    As she worked through such narrative structures, Catunda began to reduce pictorial references, moving in a minimalist direction yet emphasizing bright, saturated colors and textures. Sometimes the titles of works still insinuate content, such as Duas barrigas [Two bellies, 1993] wherein two stuffed and sagging irregular pink rectangles jut out from a large pink rectangular support. Other recent wall hangings, however, seem entirely removed from anecdotal associations. In most recent works, Catunda’s motif is primary geometric shapes, usually circles. She collages stuffed, shredded and painted shapes to make a kinder, more alluring and wackier minimalism.

    (Alisa TAGER - “Paradoxes and transfigurations,” Art in America, New York, July 1994, p. 46-47.)


She holds a solo show at Galeria Volpi, Fundação Cassiano Ricardo, São José dos Campos, state of São Paulo. She participates in various group shows: Pequeño Formato Latinoamericano, Galería Luigi Marrozini, San Juan; Bienal Brasil Século XX and XXII Bienal Internacional, both at Fundação Bienal, São Paulo; and 20 Anos de Arte Contemporânea da Galeria Luisa Strina, at Museu de Arte de São Paulo.

    The paintings currently presented at the XXII Bienal de São Paulo have an affirmative power that ought to function as a watershed in her career. Now a reconstructed image arises, without the immediacy of a support that is already imposed with its figurative field. In the smaller-scale works, the viewer needs a certain distancing to perceive the meaning in its totality – as is the case of the configuration of Duas bocas [Two mouths]. These artworks are best appreciated only along a difficult borderline: between the luxury of the proximity of touch and the comprehension of the image perceived thanks to the strategic distancing.

    (Lisette LAGNADO - “Formas prenhes,” in Tadeu CHIARELLI (ed.), Leda Catunda, Cosac & Naify Edições, São Paulo, 1998, p. 121.)


1995
Takes part in the group shows Havana - São Paulo, Junge Kunst aus Lateinamerika, at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Latin American Women Artists 1915-1995, at Milwaukee Art Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, USA; Infância Perversa, at Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro; United Artists, at Casa das Rosas, São Paulo; and Anos 80, Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand, at Galeria do SESI, São Paulo.

1996
Her second daughter, Iara, is born.
Holds a solo show at Galeria Camargo Vilaça, in São Paulo.

    In these paintings by Leda Catunda, the space arises through a process of self-multiplication, which takes place in a forest, a vegetal covering. In Línguas verdes [Green tongues] the leaves sprout with fertility. In their organized seriality, each one maintains its identity and difference. Inseto [Insect] is a cocoon with multiple capsules, a colony of beings about to be born. In other paintings, as in her various Gotas [Drops], without the delimitation of the chassis or the organization by a logical method, the gaze can be confronted with a flood of drops or with a horde of insects with proliferating shapes that invade the world and suffocate the gaze. Chassis and order are what keep us at a distance from an epidemic fierceness. We are faced with ideas of an excess of presence as well as an excess of absence.

    (Paulo HERKENHOFF - “Leda Catunda, o pincel e o conta-gotas,” in Leda Catunda exhibition catalog, Galeria Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo, 1996, p. 4.)


She participates in various group shows: Contrapartida, at Kunstspeicher, Potsdam, Germany; Artistas Contemporâneos Brasileiros, at Bayer, Leverkusen and Dormagen, Germany, and at Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; 15 Artistas Brasileiros, at Museu de Arte Mo-derna de São Paulo, and, the following year, at Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, and Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, Salvador; and Off Bienal, at Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, São Paulo.

1997
Holds solo shows at Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, and at Galeria Marina Potrich, Goiânia. Participates in the group shows Heranças Contemporâneas, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo; ES 97 Tijuana, at Centro Cultural Tijuana, Tijuana, Mexico, which traveled to Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; Sala Especial at 22º Salão de Arte de Ribeirão Preto, Museu de Arte de Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, state of São Paulo; Brasil - Reflexão 97, Museu Metropolitano de Arte, Curitiba; and Material Immaterial, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. In an article concerning the latter exhibition, critic Benjamin Genocchio writes:

    William Blake once wrote that exuberance is beauty. Catunda’s paintings are also, quite literally, exuberant – and it is precisely this feature that endows them with a powerful sensual and seductive quality. Even Catunda’s series of works about tears is most painfully passionate and exaggerated […]

    (Benjamin GENOCCHIO - “Concrete poetry,” World Art, n. 12, Sydney, 1997, p. 46.)


She enrolls at the master’s level (later converted to a doctorate) in visual poetics at the School of Communication and Arts of the Universidade de São Paulo, under the supervision of Júlio Plaza.

1998
Holds solo shows in the galleries Casa da Imagem, Curitiba, and Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo. In the catalog for the show in Curitiba, Leda Catunda writes:

    At first, volumes arise justified by representations of insects, bellies, bodies, and shells of insects. At the same time, paintings were also made that represented only bellies, and based on these, capes to cover them. These capes gave rise to the creation of paintings whose body emerges based on the accumulation of overlaying.

    (Leda CATUNDA - “A superfície da pintura,” in Leda Catunda exhibition catalog, Galeria Casa da Imagem, Curitiba, 1998.)


She participates in various group exhibitions, including Futebol-Arte, held at three different institutions (Memorial da América Latina, São Paulo, Casa França-Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, and Palácio do Itamaraty, Brasília); Anos 80, at Galeria de Arte Marina Potrich, Goiânia; Der Brasilianische Blick, at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and O Mo-derno e o Contemporâneo - Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand, Museu de Arte de São Paulo. From 1998 to 2004 she teaches painting and drawing in the undergraduate courses in visual arts at Faculdade Santa Marcelina (FASM), São Paulo.

The book Leda Catunda, edited by Tadeu Chiarelli, containing critical essays and images of the artist’s works, is published by Cosac & Naify Edições, in São Paulo.

1999
Holds a solo show at Paço das Artes, São Paulo. Participates in the group shows O Objeto Anos 90, at Instituto Cultural Itaú, São Paulo, and Artistas do Festival, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea / Casa de Cultura Mário Quintana, Porto Alegre.

2000
Holds the solo show Leda Catunda - Pinturas Moles, at Museu Ferroviário Vale do Rio Doce in Vitória.

    Her artworks continue to be linked with a kind of story or figure, as is the case of the forms shown in 1996, entitled Gotas [Drops], Línguas [Tongues], Insetos [Insects]. But they are gradually becoming more refined in terms of composition, overlayings, layers, seriations.

    (Kátia CANTON - “Uma outra costura do mundo,” in Leda Catunda - pinturas moles, exhibition brochure, Museu Ferroviário Vale do Rio Doce, Vitória, 2000.)


She also presents solo shows at Galeria Kalil&Lauar, Belo Horizonte, and at Galeria de Arte Marina Potrich, Goiânia. She participates in the group shows O Século das Mulheres - Algumas Artistas, at Casa de Petrópolis, Petrópolis, state of Rio de Janeiro; Mostra do Redescobrimento - Brasil + 500, Fundação Bienal, São Paulo, and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon; Obra Nova, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo; and A Imagem do Som de Chico Buarque, at Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro.

2001
In the magazine ArtNexus, Mary Schneider Enriquez comments on Leda Catunda’s solo show at Ramis Barquet Gallery, New York:

    Cigarras Beach (2001) continues the interspersed stratification of waves and fringes in the form of a tongue, but incorporates photography to obtain a more resonating effect. The same photograph of an idyllic beach scene, printed on cotton gauze and glued to the canvas in the form of waves, creates a lightly luminous impression, outlined in blue pigment. Alternating with the coastal scenes are pitch-black velvet waves accentuated by a few splotches of white paint. The smaller tongue-shaped pieces, hanging down over the black portions, present scenes from the beach hidden from view in the photograph. They thus serve as windows opening onto the landscape, behind the dark waves. Multiple coverings and literal photographic perspectives create varied sensations of space in this artwork, effectively challenging the viewer’s initial impressions. As in other artworks in this exhibition, the more you observe it, the more instigating it becomes.

    (Mary Schneider ENRIQUEZ - “Leda Catunda,” ArtNexus, n. 43, v. 1, 2002, p. 120.)


She also holds a solo show at Museu Alfredo Andersen, Curitiba. Participates in the group shows Sings of Life, at Ramis Barquet Gallery, New York; Inventário Poético, at Galeria Casa da Imagem, Curitiba; Trajetória da Luz, at Itaú Cultural, São Paulo; O Espírito da Nossa Época, at Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; Espelho Cego, at Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; Cultura Brasileira 1, at Casa das Rosas, São Paulo; and Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre.

2002
Holds the solo show Retrato, at Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo:

    At this exhibition, her first solo show of paintings held in São Paulo since 1998, Leda Catunda returns to figuration, but in a transformed way: instead of 1980s pop representation, the image is integrated in these new works as one more element in the composition.

    Retrato features the pure module interspersed with drops and photographs printed on voile. They are images of fragments of faces […] “this painting portrays the manner in which two people living closely together become the same person; and it deals with other subjects, such as tonalities of the body and everyday places,” the artist explains.

    (Juliana MONACHESI - “Leda retoma figuração prenhe de sutilezas,” Folha de São Paulo, section “Acontece,” São Paulo, 8 Aug. 2002.)


Participates in the group shows Décadas, Caminhos do Contemporâneo 1952-2002, at Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro; Coleção Metrópolis de Arte Contemporânea, at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, and Pinacoteca Benedicto Calixto, Santos, state of São Paulo; Opera Aberta, at Casa das Rosas, São Paulo; 28 (+) Pintura, at Espaço Virgílio, São Paulo; Mapa do Agora, at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo; Arte no Ônibus, at Praça da Liberdade, Belo Horizonte; Ares&pensares, at SESC Belenzinho, São Paulo; and Gravuras, at Centro Universitário Mariantonia, São Paulo.

2003
Holds solo shows at Centro Universitário Mariantonia, São Paulo; at Fundación Centro de Estudos Brasileiros, Buenos Aires and at Centro Cultural São Paulo. Is also an invited artist at the 35ª Anual de Arte da FAAP, São Paulo. She receives her doctorate degree in visual arts from the School of Communications and Arts of the Universidade de São Paulo, with the thesis Poética da maciez: pinturas e objetos.

    As part of her defense of her doctoral thesis, Leda Catunda is showing seven paintings from different periods since 1993, including two never shown previously. Since the early 1980s, she has made paintings consisting of different sewn and painted fabrics to research what she calls the Poetics of Softness. With colors that eschew precise choice, the artist has opted for a discomfort that seeks comfort. The sometimes strident coloration is ameliorated and consoled by the softness. This always-sought soft and smooth quality lends a certain unity to the painting, just as the paint attenuates the autonomy of each part. From this reconciled discord among the very diverse colors, surfaces and fabric patterns, an experience arises that admits the extravagances, but never the divergences. Everything tends to fall, but without actually dropping or breaking apart, with a drooping movement given by the indolence of the overfilled forms.

    (Tatiana BLASS - “O peso do conforto,” in Mariantonia / exposições, brochure for the exhibition Poética da maciez, Centro Universitário Mariantonia, São Paulo, 2003.)


She participates in various group shows, most notably Pele e Alma, at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo; 2080, at Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; Marcantonio Vilaça - Passaporte Contemporâneo, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo; Professores / Artistas, at Mercado Municipal, Diamantina, state of Minas Gerais; and Leda Catunda, Rodrigo Andrade e Marco Giannotti, at Espaço Aria Arte Contemporânea, Recife.

2004
Holds solo shows at Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo, and at Ramis Barquet Gallery, New York. Participates in the group shows Still Life, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo - FIESP, São Paulo, and Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, Rio de Janeiro; Onde está você, Geração 80?, at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasília, and Museu do Estado, Recife; and Heterodoxia, at Memorial da América Latina, São Paulo.

2005
Holds solo show at Galería Alberto Sendrós, Buenos Aires, concerning which Maria Gainza writes:

    The need to push frontiers always a little bit further is persistent in her soft – half-sculpture, half-painting – works. […] Catunda has combined her interest in phenomenology, inherited from the work of Lygia Clark, with a more conceptual analysis of the possibilities of the image. […] If the blue velvet tears feel like autumn leaves, the cherry tree patterns sewn into the canvas sound like a far off melody, and the pale blue ovals taste like a fresh mint, it is because her work triggers a strange mixing of the senses. And in its presence, the spectator experiences synaesthesia: he becomes able to see sounds, feel colours, and taste forms.

    (Maria GAINZA - “Leda Catunda – Galeria Alberto Sendrós, Buenos Aires,” Reviews / Recensioni, 2005.)


She also presents solo shows at Spart Cultural, Presidente Prudente, state of São Paulo, and at Museu de Arte de Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, state of São Paulo. She participates in the group shows Homoludens, at Instituto Cultural Itaú, São Paulo, and Arte em Metrópolis, at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo. She holds the workshop Pintura Contemporânea at the 6º Festival de Arte da Serrinha, Bragança Paulista, state of São Paulo.

2006
Holds solo shows at Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo, and at Galeria Marina Potrich, Goiânia.

    The paintings/objects presented at the exhibition are constructed in overlain layers that are interwoven to create a final image. The surface of each layer contains images appropriated from different patterns on stamped fabrics, or simply the texture of material such as jeans, velvet or plastic. The use of day-to-day images and textures to cover the artworks effectively imbues them with everyday visuality, thus creating triggers that can awaken memories and sensations perceived in common life.

    (Leda CATUNDA - untitled text, São Paulo, unpublished, 2006.)


Participates in the group shows Manobras Radicais, at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo; Volpi - Heranças Contemporâneas, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo; Fortes Vilaça na Choque Cultural, at Galeria Choque Cultural, São Paulo; Padrões e Padronagens, at Galeria Marília Razuk, São Paulo; Arquivo Geral, at Centro Cultural Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro; MAM [na] Oca, at Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; and Paralela 2006, at Pavilhão Armando de Aruda Pereira, São Paulo.

2007
Holds solo shows at Centro Dragão do Mar, Fortaleza; at Galeria Celma Albuquerque, Belo Horizonte; and at Arte 21 Galeria, Rio de Janeiro. Her main group shows this year are Itaú Contemporâneo, at Itaú Cultural, São Paulo; Intimidades, at Galeria Marília Razuk, São Paulo; 80/90 Modernos, Pós-Modernos etc., at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo; Crtl_C + Crtl_V / Recortar e Colar, at SESC Pompeia, São Paulo; MARP 15 anos, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, state of São Paulo; NMúltiplos, at Arte 21 Galeria, Rio de Janeiro; and Autorretrato do Brasil, at Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro.

2008
Holds a solo show at Galeria 111, Lisbon. Her main group shows this year are: Poética da Percepção, at Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro and Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Paraná; HAPTIC, at Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo. She takes part in an artist’s residency at Tokyo Wonder Site, Institute of Contemporary Art and International Cultural Exchange, Tokyo.

2009
Holds her first retrospective exhibition at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. The exhibition, curated by Ivo Mesquita, presents part of the production from 1983 to 2009. Among paintings, collages and watercolors are also small jobs, more experimental - that sometimes act as studies for larger works - never before shown.

    "It is important for the artist to be able to think about his/her work, which is very lonely," says [Leda]. One of her wishes is to be able, someday, to show the drawings from which her works were born. "I like to call them 'secret papers', the ones that nobody sees.” (Hirszman, Maria. "Leda Catunda overspreads colors and feelings in exhibition." State of São Paulo 02/09/1998)


2010
Participates as a guest artist of 12th Art Salon of Itajaí: “personal poetics under construction”, at Fundação Cultural de Itajaí, in Santa Catarina State.

2011
Holds solo exhibitions at Galeria Paulo Darzé, in Salvador, and at Galeria Silvia Cintra, in Rio de Janeiro. In these exhibitions, she shows for the first time artworks inspired by the universe of sport. Among the exhibitions stand out: " Beuys and Far Beyond: Teaching as Art" at Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo, and "Arte Pará", at Fundação Romulo Maiorano, in Belém do Pará.

    Whereas, since the beginning of her career, Leda Catunda exposes the idiosyncrasies and developments of the popular imagination, the recent decision to turn to the universe of sport is perfectly coherent and comprehensible, almost logical. (...) ... by focusing on this universe, the artist invites the viewer to look at a general transformation that concerns society as a whole. But ... the artist does not take sides, she merely observes the process, watches the circus catch on fire, and while it appropriates some extreme cases, without revealing whether considers them the most glaring aberrations, or the most sublime moments. (...) ... What Leda Catunda, by her most personal and unmistakable way, shows us, is a little theater of the absurd, a faithful reproduction, and, however, borders the grotesque of the abuses and follies of the society of the spectacle. " (VISCONTI, Jacopo Crivelli. "O Circo Pegou Fogo." In 'Leda Catunda' (catalog) Paulo Darzé Galeria de Arte, Salvador, 2011.


2012
Holds solo exhibition at Galeria Ruth Benzacar, in Buenos Aires, concomitantly with an exhibition by the artist Iran do Espírito Santo. Were notable among the exhibitions: the exhibition in homage of Leonilson, “Under the weight of my loves”, at Fundação Iberê Camargo, in Porto Alegre; participation as a guest artist in the 37th Art Salon of Ribeirão Preto, where she showed a series of artworks on paper support, and “For all”, at Lyceum of Arts and Crafts of São Paulo. In the same year, she traveled for an artistic experience in China, at the invitation of ‘Currents: Art & Music’, with the artist Jorge Barrão.

2013
Holds solo exhibition at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum, in Curitiba, curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, which shows a sequence of works inspired by the universe of sport.

Holds solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, in Rio de Janeiro, curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, which shows a sequence of works inspired by the universe of sport.

Participates in the group shows “Sobrenatural”, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, “A Pintura como meio: 30 anos”, Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Estado de São Paulo.

2014
Leda took part in many different collective exhibitions. Among these, some of the most important are: “Painting as a means – 30 years later”, at the Museum of Contemporary Art – MAC USP Ibirapuera, São Paulo; “Dialogues with Palatnik”, at the São Paulxo Museum of Modern Art; “Inventary of Passion”, at the National Historic Museum, Rio de Janeiro, and “Cruzamentos Contemporary Art in Brazil”, at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus/USA. In this exhibition, she showed the 2012 work “Santos”.

She illustrated the book “A menor coisa que existe” (The smallest thing there is) written by Alice Ruiz and Sérgio Novaes, published by SESC São Carlos, São Paulo.

2015
She had the individual exhibition “Leda Catunda and the taste of others”, at Galpão Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo, showing some inedited works produced throughout the last three years. In the individual exhibition “Leda Catunda – Night Club Project”, at Celma Albuquerque Gallery, in Belo Horizonte, she showed the series of gravures with the same name as the exhibition, and also some inedited paintings. In this same year, she had an individual retrospective exhibition, with works from 1985 to 2015, curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti and held at Centro Cultural Banco do Nordeste, in Fortaleza.

Among the collective exhibitions she took part in this year, the most important were: “Southern Exposure: 5 Brazilian Artists”, at Galerie Maximilian, in Aspen/USA; “Eighty Spirit”, at Espírito Santo Federal University, in Vitória, and “80’s Generation, Daring & Assertion”, at Simões de Assis Art Gallery, Curitiba.

She was responsible for the curatorship of the collective painting exhibition “The History of Image”, at SIM Galeria, in Curitiba.

2016
In 2015 she had the individual exhibition "I love you baby", at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, in São Paulo, curated by Paulo Miyada.

Among the collective exhibitions she took part in this year, the most important were: "Aprendendo com Dorival Caymmi - civilização praieira", at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, in São Paulo; "Clube de Gravura: 30 Anos", at Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; in São Paulo; "A Arte de Contar Histórias", at MAC Niterói, in Niterói; "Os muitos e o um - arte contemporânea brasileira na coleção de Andrea e José Olympio Pereira", curated by Robert Storr, at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, in São Paulo; "Iberoamérica - Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo", at Museo Casa Diego Rivera, in Guanajuato, Mexico.

She was responsible for the curatorship of the collective painting exhibition "Desassossego", at Galeria Estação, in São Paulo.

Credits: The text of this chronology, by the year 2009, written by Juliana Rego Ripoli, revised and edited by Thaís Rivitti, was kindly assigned by Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. The following years were completed by Julia Grillo


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