Augusto de Campos, Quasar, 1975, 1991, Silkscreen on cloth, 130 × 112 cm, Edition of 55 plus V AP
Courtesy of Archivio Conz, Berlin
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  • Silkscreen on cloth
  • 130 × 112 cm
    (51 ⅛ × 44 ⅛ inches)
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  • Like his late older brother Haroldo de Campos, Augusto de Campos is a Brazilian poet, translator, literary and music critic, and pioneering concrete poet. After completing his law studies at the University of São Paulo, in 1952 he founded—together with his brother and Décio Pignatari—the poets’ group Noigandres, as well as the eponymous magazine. In this context, Augusto de Campos published Poetamenos (1953), a series of color poems, considered to be among the first instances of concrete poetry in Brazil. By experimenting with type and color and studying different typographic arrangements of words and letters on the page, de Campos conveys lyrical meaning by manipulating the position of letters on the paper and their sound rather than syntax. De Campos’s works were included in the prominent First National Exhibition of Concrete Art in 1956, an exhibition at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art that brought together poets and visual artists from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. With Plano-piloto para poesia concreta (1958), the Noigandres’s compelling manifesto, the group underscores the importance of vanguardist poets from Mallarmé to Ezra Pound and artists such as Piet Mondrian and Alexander Calder. The trio also published Teoria da Poesia concreta (1975), an anthology of their critical articles and manifestos. First published in 1978 and reissued in 2015, de Campos’s Poesia, antipoesia e antropofagia brings together the innovative critical stances of poets who revolutionized Brazilian and international poetry. From 1980 onwards, de Campos intensified experiments with new media, presenting poems on electric billboards and testing with videotext and computer graphics. The polyvocal poem Cidade/City/Cité, originally from 1963, has been the object of several recreations and material explorations of concrete poetry with new technological media. The de Campos brothers created a visual poem on Francesco Conz’s automobile when visiting him in Como in 1991. In 1991, they took part in the sixth workshop of the project “La Livre,” developed by Conz as a homage to Ezra Pound. Awards include Brazil’s Order of Cultural Merit (2015) and the Hungarian PEN Club’s Janus Pannonius Grand Prize for Poetry (2017). De Campos’s works have been exhibited in numerous museums and institutions, including the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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