The amazing work of Arthur Bispo do Rosário finds home at the V&A

A display of key works by Arthur Bispo do Rosário (1909- 1989), one of Brazil’s most recognised artists will be on show at the V&A this summer, as part of the London 2012 Festival. Artworks ranging from intricate sculptures, hand- embroidered banners and garments will illustrate the extraordinary creativity and variety of his work.

Arthur Bispo do Rosário was born in 1909 in the Brazilian north-eastern state of Sergipe known for its rich tradition of folk arts, but his artisticoutput only began when admitted to a psychiatric hospital in 1938, where he remained until his death. His works, made in complete isolation from the art establishment, will demonstrate his fascination for the reappropriation of found materials such as buttons, bottles, paper, card and cutlery which he manipulated to create elaborate sculptural pieces over the course of nearly fifty years.

As a young man, Bispo do Rosário found work as a cabin boy and signaller in the navy and this interest in naval handicrafts is evident in the flags, ship models and maps which will be featured in the display. The intricately detailed Fights jacket is reminiscent of the naval dress uniform he wore during his time in the Brazilian navy. Also included will be examples of the tapestries, bedsheets and jackets which he heavily embroidered with poems and messages using the distinctive blue thread from the uniforms of his psychiatric hospital.This style of sewing is indicative of Bispo do Rosário’s hometown tradition for making banners and costumes for religious processions and ceremonies.

During his lifetime, Bispo do Rosário produced over 800 artworks which now form the core of the collection at the Museu Bispo do Rosário Arte Contemporanea in Rio de Janiero, Brazil on the original site of the psychiatric hospital. The display, drawn from this archive, is curated by Wilson Lazaro.

Arthur Bispo do Rosário
Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Until the 28 October 2012
Rooms 17a and 18a
Admission free
Click here for more information. 

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