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  Resende, José (1945)        

José de Moura Resende Filho (São Paulo, 1945). Sculptor. Studied engraving at the Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation (Faap), in 1963. In the same year, he entered the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of Mackenzie University. He began studying drawing with Wesley Duke Lee (1931- ). In 1964, he worked as an intern in the practice of the architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. In 1966, together with Wesley Duke Lee, Nelson Leirner (1932- ), Geraldo de Barros (1923-1998), Frederico Nasser (1945) and Carlos Fajardo (1941- ), he founded the Grupo Rex [Rex Group]. He then graduated in architecture and became one of the founders of the Escola Brasil:, together with Luiz Paulo Baravelli (1942- ), Frederico Nasser and Carlos Fajardo. During the 1970s, he was a lecturer at the Institute of Arts and Decoration of the Faculty of Art and Communication of Mackenzie University, and of the Department of Sculpture of the Faculty of Visual Arts of the Faap. In 1975, he became a co-editor of the magazine Malasartes, in which he published various articles. Between 1976 and 1986, he was Professor of Architectural Language and head of department of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of the Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas. From 1984 to 1985, he lived in New York as a scholar of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. In his work, he explores the expressive potentialities of the materials he uses, revealing the dialogue with arte povera and American Post-Minimalism. He works with a wide range of materials such as stones, copper tubing, lead sheets, steel cables and plates and glass ampoules, as well as liquids such as mercury, water and sepia ink. In more recent works, he has also used leather and paraffin.

Critical Commentary
At the start of the 1960s, José Resende studied drawing with Wesley Duke Lee (1931- ) and took the engraving course at the Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation (Faap) in São Paulo. In 1967, he graduated in architecture from the Mackenzie Presbyterian University. During this period, he worked as an intern in the practice of the architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha (1928- ). Together with Nelson Leirner (1932- ), Wesley Duke Lee, Geraldo de Barros (1923-1998), Carlos Fajardo (1941- ) and Frederico Nasser (1945- ), he created the Rex Group in 1966. In 1970, José Resende took part in the foundation of the Centro de Experimentação Artística Escola Brasil: [Brasil: School Centre for Artistic Experimentation], which promoted methods that differed from traditional teaching in the visual arts. He began to lecture at various institutions in São Paulo, including the School of Arts and Communications of the University of São Paulo (ECA/USP). From 1979 to 1981, he pursued post-graduate studies at the Department of History of the Faculty of Philosophy, Literature and Human Sciences of USP (FFLCH/USP).

As is pointed out by the scholar Daisy Peccinini, during the 1960s, his work presents evocations of a "magic" atmosphere which probably derived from his studies with Wesley Duke Lee, as is the case in Homenagem ao Horizonte Longínquo [Homage to the Far Horizon] (1967). In the works Retrato de Meu Pai [Portrait of my Father] (1965), Liaisons Dangereuses (1966) and Núpcias no Tapete Mágico [Wedding on the Magic Carpet](1967), we may note the evocative character of fantasy, which is vitiated with an  ironic tone of Pop origin.

At a later stage, his works acquired more literal characteristics, exploiting the expressive potential of the materials used, in accordance with the concerns of Arte Povera and American Post-Minimalism. We may understand the artist's choice of materials in this sense: copper tubes, lead sheets, steel cables, glass plates and ampoules. He frequently uses a wide range of liquids: mercury, water and sepia ink. In his later works, he also uses leather and paraffin. The artist attaches great value to the choice of materials, which have an expressive character in themselves. The use of paraffin, for example, as a substance that solidifies easily, allows the spectator to observe the gesture of the sculptor and the crystallisation of this action in its final form. In some of his sculptures from the 1990s, he uses metal hubcaps as modules for various joints.

In summary, the most characteristic output of the artist seeks to give relevance to the elements employed and to their relations with space, instead of merely using them as a medium for conventional forms. He explores spatial reality, creating sculptures that incorporate or carry on a dialogue with empty spaces. His works distinguish themselves through their tense plastic articulations: torsions, curves and knots, which suggest a precarious equilibrium, a sensation of movement or of displacement.

Updated on 10/10/2013