Iole de Freitas was born in Belo Horizonte (MG), in 1945. Moves to Rio de Janeiro, at six. Studies at ESDI – Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial, a design school, from 1964 to 1965. Moves to Italy in 1970, and lives during eight years in Milan, where she works as a designer at Olivetti´s Corporate Image Studio under the guidance of architect Hans von Klier, from 1970 to 1971. Starts to develop and exhibit her own art work in 1973.
In the book Collage of Words (O Desenho da Fala), available for download, you find an engaging conversation about life, influences and trajectory of a plastic reasoning that resulted in monumental and at the same time unlikely lightweight sculptures in constant dialogue with architecture. Creations of an artist who faced challenges and expanded a unique field of work in contemporary Brazilian art.
1973 – 1981
The language of the work is made up with the support of photographic sequences, experimental films and installations, backed up by texts. The artist comes from an eighteen year experience of contemporary dance, thus the body emerges as a structuring element of the work, which appears mirrored, reflected and fragmented, addressing issues related to the female identity and to the organization of the body´s own image. The performances, always carried out individually, never in the presence of spectators, are recorded by the artist herself in a closed circuit where body, camera and reflected image build the structure of the work.
1973 Shows her first experimental films Light Work and Elements, at Galleria Diagramma, Milan. Curates the exhibition Fotolinguagem, presenting works by Christian Boltansky, Annete Messager, Duane Michaels, among others, at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro
1975 Integrates the IX Paris Biennial with the installation and photographic sequence of the series Glass Pieces, Life Slices, invited by the critic Tommaso Trini. Participates, as artist in residence, of the Festival of Expanded Media, in Belgrade. In Milan, exhibits in the shows La Fotografia come Strumento per l´Artista, at Galleria Il Milione; and Campo Dieci, at Galleria Diagramma, Milan
1978 Does installation and performance entitled Exit, at the Studio Marconi, Milan. Participates in Art and Cinema, curated by Vittorio Fagone, at the Venice Biennale. Returns to Brazil, and Raquel Arnaud organises an exhibition of her 1970 works (videos, films, photographic sequences), at Galeria Arte Global, São Paulo
1981 Participates in the 16th São Paulo International Biennial, displaying the installation Glass Pieces, Life Slices, in which images of the body are fragmented in the space and surface of emulsified glass plates
1983 – 1994
The body no longer emerges as the work´s mediator, but is, otherwise, replaced by the gesture itself, which adds body and sews, with meshes and threads, to the hollow volumes that unfold and become the new works: the body of the sculpture. The sculptural issues, gravity, weight and lightness, which now rise, reveal the poetics of the work by means of fragmentation, transparency and the tribute to the surface.
1984 Holds solo show, at Galeria Arco, in São Paulo, of sculptures entitled Aramões, the catalogue of which includes Paulo Sergio Duarte´s text “Eu não sei”. Takes part in Tradição e Ruptura, invited by Walter Zanini, at Fundação Bienal de São Paulo. Exhibits esculptures and photographic sequences at Gallerie Grita Insam, Vienna
1986 Receives the Fulbright-Capes Grant, for a research at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), New York
1988 Holds solo show at Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, SP. The catalogue presents Ronaldo Brito´s text “Fluidos concretos”. Integrates the exhibition Panorama de Escultura, at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM-SP)
1991 As of 1991, some sculptures are designed for specific sites, such as the Morumbi Chapel, São Paulo; the Galpão Embra, in Belo Horizonte; and the Banco do Brasil, in São Paulo. In these works, the issues already developed in the work dialogue with the architectural elements of the given space
1992 Holds solo show at Paço Imperial. The catalogue of the exhibition presents Paulo Venancio Filho’s text “Inquietude do infinito”. Stages a solo show at Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo
1993 Is invited as artist in residence by the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada, to carry out a large sculpture for the exhibition Cartographies: 14 Latin American Artists, curated by Ivo Mesquita. This show travels, until 1995, to five museums: Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogota; Museo de Artes Visuales Alejandro Otero, Caracas; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; The Bronx Museum of Arts, New York; and to La Caixa, Madrid. Exhibits at Galeria Anna Maria Niemeyer, Rio de Janeiro
1995 – 1997
The sculptures developed in this period become fluid, immaterial. The forms dissolve in space. Semitransparent stones start to contain inscriptions: nome líquido [liquid name], escrito na água [written in water]. The work expands in space, loosens itself from the walls, determines territories.
1995 Holds solo show at the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, displaying eight works from the series Teto do Chão and takes part in the project Ateliê FINEP, at Paço Imperial, both in Rio de Janeiro
1996 Integrates the exhibition Entretelas, at the Museo Alejandro Otero, Caracas, alongside Beatriz Milhazes and Eliane Duarte, with text written by Paulo Herkenhoff and Ruth Auerbach. Shows the installation Corpo sem Órgãos, in the exhibition Utopia, at Casa das Rosas, São Paulo. Participates in the Bienal Rio, at the Museu de Arte Moderna, taking part in the exhibition Transparências
1997 Exhibits at Galeria Anna Maria Niemeyer, in Rio de Janeiro and holds solo show at Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo. Paulo Venancio Filho curates the retrospective O Corpo da Escultura: A Obra de Iole de Freitas 1972-1997, at the MAM-SP and at Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro. One of her sculptures, from the Transparências series, shown in this exhibition, is donated by AT&T to the MAM-SP
1998 – 2000
The work seeks a specific activation of the chosen space, installing in it planes and twisted lines which, in magnetizing the air, confer speed to the course.
1998 Participates in the exhibitions 24th São Paulo International Biennial, at Fundação Bienal de São Paulo; Espelho da Bienal, at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói; and in the I Premio Johnnie Walker, at the Museu de Arte Moderna, Mexico
1999 Presents Território Vazado, at the Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte; solo show at Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo; and the installation Dora Maar na Piscina, at the Espaço de Instalações Permanentes do Museu do Açude, Rio de Janeiro
2001 – 2014
From 2000 on, the work seeks a relation of tension and power with the architectural spaces of museums and cultural centers. At times, her works physically break through the museum walls, extending outward, onto the facades, questioning the territorialization of art.
2000 Holds, at the Centro de Arte Hélio Oiticica in Rio de Janeiro, an exhibition curated by Sônia Salzstein, in which she displays a work specially designed for that space and architecture, interconnecting rooms and involving the façade. Participates in the show Brasil + 500 Mostra do Redescobrimento, at Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
2001 Participates in the exhibitions Experiment/Experiência, at the Museum of Modern Art Oxford, and O Espírito de Nossa Época – Coleção Dulce e João Carlos de Figueiredo, at the MAM-SP
2005 At Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, stages an exhibition curated by Sônia Salzstein. Designed for the site, it occupies the institution´s four rooms on the second floor with the works Estudo para Superfície e Linha and Estudo para Volume e Flecha. Participates in the 5th Mercosul Biennial, in Porto Alegre, curated by Paulo Sergio Duarte, where she shows a great installation entitled Estudo de Superfície e Linha
2007 Participates in Documenta 12, curated by Roger M. Buergel and Ruth Noack, at the Museum Fridericianum, Kassel. Shows installation which occupies the second floor of the museum and expands to the outside area, hanging, around the front area and side of the façade. Also holds an exhibition at Galeria Laura Marsiaj, Rio de Janeiro, and at Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo, besides taking part in the show Puntos de Vista – Daros Collection, at the Bochum Museum of Art
2008 Shows at Fundação Iberê Camargo, in Porto Alegre, work of large dimensions designed for the building’s courtyard, conceived by Álvaro Siza. The text of the exhibition’s catalogue is by Sônia Salzstein
2009 In Rio de Janeiro, carries out site specific for Casa França-Brasil, and also exhibits at Galeria Laura Marsiaj
2010 Shows a great installation in the courtyard of the building of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. The catalogue of the exhibition presents an interview with Paulo Sergio Duarte, Paulo Venancio Filho and Sônia Salzstein. Participates in the exhibition O Desejo da Forma, curated by Luiz Camillo Osorio and Robert Kudielka, at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin
2013 Exhibition at Casa Daros Para que servem as paredes do museu
2015 – 2018
The work begins to unfold in stainless steel sheets of large format, subjected to strong twists and bends, are tensioned in the air, in the spaces of museums, questioning the concepts of heaviness and lightness. These investigations become denser, curved folds building steel and paper.
2015 Presents the exhibition O peso de cada um, curated by Ligia Canongia, at the MAM-RJ, specially designed for the museum’s Espaço Monumental
2016 Exhibition at Galeria Roberto Alban, Salvador. Permanent installation at Villa Aymoré / Jacarandá, Rio de Janeiro. Participates in the exhibition Os muitos e o um : Arte Contemporânea Brasileira , Coleção Andréa e José Olympio Pereira at the InstitutoTomie Otake, São Paulo
2017 Participates in the Exposição Comemorativa dos 20 anos do IAC, curated by Jacopo Viconti at the Instituto de Arte Contemporânea, São Paulo. Exhibition Dobradura Curva at Raquel Arnaud Gallery, São Paulo and makes the permanent installation Dora Maar e o Sonho for the Andréa and José Olympio Pereira Collection