Geraldo de Barros (1923-1998) is a key figure in Brazilian art and design. His engagement with photography took place during two intensive periods of experimentation at the beginning and end of his diverse career.
De Barros discovered photography as a young painter, and was soon using multiple exposures, camera rotations, over-painting and scratching of negatives to radically abstract his subjects. The resulting series Fotoformas was exhibited at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in 1950.
De Barros only revisited photography late in life following a series of strokes, when his daughter unearthed a box of negatives from his personal archive. In the last two years of his life he made Sobras (Remains), a final burst of photographic energy which resulted in over 250 intricate collages.
What Remains traces subtle connections across the two series, showing them alongside vintage contact prints and archival material. Together they reveal distinct processes of production, which in turn suggest relationships to his parallel practices as draughtsman, designer, painter and engraver.
The exhibition is curated by Isobel Whitelegg and is kindly supported by the Embassy of Brazil in London, FDFA Présence Switzerland and the Rumi Foundation. The Photographers' Gallery would like to thank the generous co-operation of Musee de L'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland.