Hudinilson Jr. (b. 1957, São Paulo; d. 2013, São Paulo) is one of the most significant Brazilian artists of his generation. The first exhibition of his work in a US museum, “Hudinilson Jr.: Tension Zone” is an introductory survey of a figure who is increasingly becoming an important reference point for younger artists for his artistic output but also for his antiestablishment attitude and participation in experimental collectives, workshops, public interventions, and exhibitions. Coming of age during the most repressive time of the military dictatorship in Brazil, Hudinilson Jr. constantly placed himself at social and artistic margins and made his life indistinguishable from his artistic practice in ways that still find resonance today.
Hudinilson Jr. began to employ photocopiers as his preferred tool in 1977–78, exploring xerography’s expressive, conceptual, and performative potentials. He enlarged, cut, duplicated, fragmented, and distorted images, very often of his own body or at times drawn from gay pornography magazines, until they became deeply resonant and fragmented abstractions, steeped in a rich and compelling, if confoundingly abject homoerotic aesthetic. He also reproduced classical sculptures and often framed his projects around classic myths—the story of Narcissus structures a number of important works after 1980.
A tireless collector of images from mass publications, Hudinilson Jr. filled over one hundred binders (his indispensable “Reference Notebooks”) throughout his life and made hundreds of collages, assemblages, stencils, and posters with found images. His work combines the productive rhythms and economies of the homebound body, the shut-in, with the circulation of images in the city and in mass media. In doing so, he revealed the thin membrane between private and public domains in contemporary society and the potential for a queer cultural politics and radical innovation.
Hudinilson Jr.’s work is in the collections of leading institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich; Museu de arte de São Paulo; São Paulo Museum of Modern Art; MALBA, Buenos Aires; and Cantor Center for the Arts, Stanford University; among many others.
“Hudinilson Jr.: Tension Zone” is curated by Gean Moreno, Director of the Knight Foundation Art + Research Center at ICA, Miami.
Support is provided by Graham Steele and Ulysses de Santi.
Additional support is provided by Galeria Jaqueline Martins, the Florida Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Exhibitions at ICA Miami are supported by the Knight Foundation.