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Rute Gusmão, 1985
Born in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, the artist has lived in Rio de Janeiro since her early childhood. In 1972, she took part in a discussion and analysis group at the Ivan Serpa Art Research Center, where she produced collages and a Super8 film. In 1973/74, she worked with sculptures and photographic poems under Campos Mello tutorship. From then on, and up to 1985, her production focused on painting, its conventional supporting tools and mass media, by means of concepts, using artist's books, slide sequences, land art, performances, xerography, photographs, and other ways of expression
In 1974, Rute Gusmão showed, together with other projects, the sculpture Painting Box (Valores Novos, Gallery of Instituto Brasil-EUA, Ibeu, RJ), as a product of a performance in which she covered a painting box and its elements - brushes, paint tubes, palette, solvent containers - with white canvas. In 1975, she took part in a group of artists led by Anna Bella Geiger. In that year, she presented sequences of slides (Galeria Eucatexpo, RJ), in an exhibition with Letícia Parente, in which the framing nature was shown; performances criticizing the existing system and reducing the canvas/chassis to its structural elements, among others works.
In the years of 1975/76, Rute was a scholarship holder of the British Council, having worked with techniques of printmaking and photograph, giving continuity to her questioning of art conventional supporting tools. In exhibitions taking place in those years, she showed the photographic register of a performance and a Painting Exhibition in a public square; an artist's book with enlarged graphism and other projects.
Returning to Rio de Janeiro, she held, in 1977, an individual exhibition entitled Supports (Art Gallery of Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage), in which she showed the ensemble of her recent production, including instructions for use of mass media (television); xerography in relation to televising memory and the reproduction of the work of art.
In 1979, Rute Gusmão had an exhibition with Maria Carmen Albernaz, this time with the title N Operations (Art Gallery of Centro Cultural Cândido Mendes, RJ), installation in which they questioned art and its relation with the market.
Conceptual artists made use then of non-conventional spaces to publicize their work outside the circuit consecrated by the market. Within this perspective, Rute participated of itinerant collective exhibitions of xerography; she created art-door and collective paintings as part of political movements.
In the minimalist work called Black Plateaux, in Plastics (group show, Art Gallery of Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage, RJ, 1978), in the Trapezes (solo exhibition, Art Gallery of Centro Cultural Cândido Mendes, RJ, 1982) and Artist's Books, Rute related the canvas/content and chassis/container, analysing the questions in the art of painting, creation and choice.
In the 80's, Rute Gusmão represented the plastic artists of Rio de Janeiro in cultural institutions, among which the Brazilian Association of Professional Plastic Artists (Abapp/RJ), of which she was president, from 1982 to 1984. This entity has been engaged -- not only during her administration -- the fight for the use of local materials and for the regionalization of the National Hall, having been the organization responsible for the presence of the plastic artists in Rio and their visual production in the political campaign for direct elections Diretas Já (1984).
With emphasis on the cultural objective, this site registers a sample of the conceptual production of Rute Gusmão, created between 1974 and 1985.