Exhibition at St. Martin’s Gallery. London, May 17, 1965.
Extract from the catalogue written by Mário Barata


In the words of Merleau Ponty, “in painting there is nothing to be said about space or light, but space and light should be allowed to speak for themselves”. That is what Noêmia Guerra does, with an authenticity that is extremely rare in Brazilian contemporary painting.


Notes from Europe - Noêmia Guerra Exhibitions
Mário Barata - Jornal do Commercio, 1969


Paris, November (via VARIG)

On the 20th many artists, both French (Lacasse, Leon Zak, etc.) and Brazilian (Rossini Perez, Shiro, Piza, Frans Krajberg, Sérgio Telles, among others), met at the Jacques Massol Gallery – together with “tous brésiliens de Paris” – to see the exhibition of Noêmia Guerra’s recent paintings and celebrate the professional effort and the sympathique vivacity of this well-known artist. It was a happy meeting, lasting almost three hours. The new landscapes, sketched in Bahia but painted here, created a feeling of balance and tranquility in their large horizontal lines and their austere tones, so well resolved, with bounty and harmony.   

In Brook Street in the English capital – in the very center of galleries, near the Old and New Bond Streets – the Alwin Gallery had inaugurated, on the 5th, an even larger exhibition of Noêmia’s works, an exhibition that remains open, coinciding – in a rare record – with the opening of the Paris exhibition of paintings of the same period. There, like in Paris, the artist adventured simultaneously into two types of figurative realization: the beaches of Itapoã, Amaralina, Lagoa do Abaeté, in broad solutions, with substantial efforts and wide, colorful horizons, in a light ocher harmonizing with very personal greens; and – on the other hand – the effort to interpret the rhythms of human figures (and sometimes, with lower intensity, also coconut trees, in certain pictures), in the candomblé religious rites, in the street markets and at work. Here the artist maintains the chromatic trepidation, the vibration of light/color, which has been her characteristic up to now.

At the Massol gallery is the great panel, divided into five sections, of the candomblé dance and of macumba – well resolved in terms of color, in dense, sensitive, velvety tones. There is also the painting “Pelourinho Landscape”, seen through a window. Always the purple and green tones that fascinate the artist and have composed her personal color scheme up to now.  She co-exists with the chromatic and compositional serenity of her great landscapes, where the artist has reached the climax of her pictorial work up to now – to my own taste – without diminishing her other conceptions. It is on the beaches that Noêmia Guerra creates a modern landscape of Brazil, after Pancetti’s. The brilliant atmosphere referred to by the English critic George S. Whittet and the Brazil feeling that exists in her artistic work, as emphasized by Massol in his forward, all this and other things converge towards the maturity of Noêmia’s modern landscape work, which an abstraction pioneer like Lacasse defined as “a significant step forward” by the artist.


From German and Dutch exhibitions to news from Europe
Mário Barata - Jornal do Commercio


From Europe comes news of the success of Brazilian artists’ exhibitions, among them those of Noêmia Guerra in London and Rubem Valentim in Rome.

The former’s exhibition was in May at St. Martin’s Gallery, and it caused significant repercussions. In his London Commentary, G. S. Whittet, the art critic and director of Studio International, gave his opinion on the work of the artist in this important English magazine, declaring that this “Brazilian artist, who works in Paris, has greater talent than many of those included in the recent Brazilian exhibition at the Royal College of Art. Her abstractions in tones of blue, red and green, applied as in a bird’s plumage, suggest the pure atmosphere of space in subjective associations of colors that are in emotional movement, reflecting themselves” (p. 227 of last May’s Studio International).

The beautiful reproductions in the catalogue confirmed the progress of the well-known artist, in adjusting the tones within the vibrant and exuberant chromatic effect that is so much her own. Now, let us wait for an exhibition of Noêmia’s work in a gallery or museum in Rio.   

In the ARTS REVIEW (issue of May 29 to June 12, 1965), on the same page on which Guy Burn comments on the joint exhibition of works by Du-buffet, Matta, Michaux and Roquichot, there appears Cottie Burland’s assessment of Noêmia’s art, which is very meaningful. Among other things she says that “not only color but an informal movement determines her style. This outstanding artist is better in her larger, vertical works, but in every work she obtains a strong sense of reciprocal movement”... “and she has the skill of suggesting a movement that is conveyed from the canvas to the beholder”. It seems to us that for C.B. it was above all the ability to capture and express movement that surprised her in Noêmia Guerra’s work, together with the varied and luminous use of colors”.


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