João Rossi leaves his work and history in Sônia Village
(text published in Newspaper of Sônia Village about his death)

Teacher Rossi, plastic artist, died in 18th of July of 2000, in his home, in Sônia Village. Rossi and his wife have chosen this village (Vila Sônia), in 1958, to build the residence of the family and also the studio, which has the name "Estúdio Isabel Olmedo".
Friend and architect Bernardo José Castello Branco was his companion, creator of the propitious place for family Rossi install themselves.

Professor João Rossi was mentor, founder, director and professor of many faculties and courses of plastic arts in São Paulo, among them the FAAP (Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation), Mogi das Cruzes, UNAERP (Ribeirão Preto State University), MAC (Contemporary Art Museum), Mube (Sculpture Brazilian Museum) and Mackenzie, from where he has been retired in 1986. He hasn't disconnected from teaching, has continued giving workshops and organizing university extension courses. Always had the objective of passing to his pupils and followers these new technologies he has been researching.

In last years, has been specializing in making metal engraving courses, engraving which was, as we may notice, full of technology and with innovative raw materials. Artist that dominated several techniques, like as: painting, engraving, ceramics, sculpture and fresco.

He was a great researcher of the diverse materials. He liked to set out in the unexpected result of "new". All forms of plastic expressions were very important and, many times, melted in a singular work.

Created the expression "Polimatéria" or "Polimatérica", which translates final result of his masterpiece. Rossi had two thematic lines in his work: "São Paulo" (town where he was born, in Augusta Street, in 1923), with its buildings, big houses, guettos, mounds and squares; and the "Ameríndio", that is, the amerindian woman, great passion of his life.

Rossi diffused his art through Latin America as a whole, with works exposed in main museums. His last exposition, which could join, was a retrospective carried through Latin America Memorial Gallery, in June of 1999. His family and students might proceed his didatic aim: become his studio into a "School Museum".

José Enrique Rossi - Pile Curator


"Rossi takes back the engraving and recomposes it with dashes and colours that retained in amerindian scripts. In metal, the patience and details of tapestry-- -makers; in clay form, soul of sufferance - a negative that only his eyes imagine, in paper - in few copies, - texture of velvet, relieves from walls, from bodies and from earth; simplicity of crayon; colours of pastel and watercolor. The technique which is used for real expression."

Excerpt of "The irreversible face of Latin America"
Anthony de Christo - 1978


"(...)Rossi is a paintor of reality that runs again engraving for this technique is multiplication of the original, of metal plate. The engraving is just stand for the print, then all copies are originals, conceived, of course, as bread multiplication. We're talking about a bread determined to senses. He feeds the sensations, whether to advise from perils or to embellish beatiful actions of mankind."
"(...) Rossi punishes the plate intensively. Tears from it every possibility. Carves in it. Torments it creasing in it the sharp-pointed blade to stamp the writing of vital force of man that deeply feels the project of art creation. Appear the dead children, the scenes of street, the delinquents, the prostitutes. Emerge the elegies, sung in mute voice, muffled whispers of greenish figures - neither dead nor alive: forgotten pariahs, persistent but stubborn survivors from Latin America."

Excerpts of "Tanning the metal"
Radha Abramo - 1979

"(...) Rossi learned how to get the hard beauty of buildings and streets, the shadows of skyscrapers and the resplendor of large communication ways, discovering its special light and its contemporain melancholy. With his researcher talent, could always find adequate technique. In certain phases he has adapted in surprising ways ancient techniques little known of Renaissance painting, in others, has created personal advanced techniques, as in his landscapes in multiple plans."

"The technique of relief engraving developed by Rossi represents an admirable contribution on many points of view, above all by richness of pictorial textures, which allows to attain a kind of multiples' production in the domain of texture painting."

"(...) Rossi felt the need of oil painting with its intrinsec dramaticity, in society to its striking temporality. In his opening of a new crhomatic language, Rossi gives an important contribution to our painting, unlocking new horizons of expression by chromatism. In his present phase, Rossi's painting represents a contribution of the best significative to a nascent brazilian neo-expressionism."

Excerpts from critical essays
Mário Schenberg - 1974, 1977 and 1981


"Rare engravers possess, in any place, the same dedication and creative freedom João Rossi does. He works his stand as if it was an sculpture or a raw material. He cuts it to pieces, articulates empties and relieves in special elaboration systems that, inevitably, determines print process and paper features, always with marks of this revolutionary matrix: relieves, marks, geometric structures. By this prism, Rossi would be a formal man. Otherwise, as this extreme formal refinement was allied to his humanistic vision, we have an integrated whole in which we encounter an engraving in full maturity and process and in limits of possible in technique. Rossi, in this way, in spite not being his primordial intention, discusses engraving limits like very few did it. We are indeed so far of engraving as an illustration or an ornamental piece!"

Excerpt of "Humanist focus"
Jacob Klintowitz - 1992



"(...) These compositions, probably, objectify a preferred theme by João: following skyscrapers' architecture reproduced in paintings refined like impressionism, sometimes perched by passers-by, on spur of the moment appearing likeness to his Indian, allusion...source of earth destroyed by progress. This in painting, in sculpture, or better, in object the abstraction."

Excerpt of text "Remembrances from labyrinthic Rossi's studio"
Pietro Maria Bardi - 1983


"João Rossi always has been an expressionist, free and liberating of conventionalisms and academicisms. His artistic production goes further from anecdote, from prosaic and illustration to reach, in a larger fly, man in his plenitude, universal, and when exceeding this barrier, reveals aspirations, dreams and nuisances of the same humanity: the quotidian conflagrated by capable hands, safe, plenty of emotions and ravishing, inherent to great artists' production."

Excerpt of critic "Technique and emotion of engraving of João Rossi"
João J. Spinelli


"Making the synthesis of two thematic poles - man and city - Rossi passed to realization of a magnificent approach of this repertoire in engravings, watercolors and oils, with use of mixed techniques that denote an exemplary technique knowledge and an active sensibility."

Excerpt of critical essay "Rossi's vigorous work"
Enock Sacramento - 1982


"Rossi performed a very important role in development of paraguaian art, because has taught us to see, to read the masterpiece, besides leading us in the way of taking the pencil to trace the line we need, of showing us how to choose pincel and how to use it to get the texture we wish for. Made us discovering and liking cubism. And to know how to differentiate a impressionist picture from a expressionist one. Was Rossi whom showed us and told us of abstract art, making us understand that abstraction doesn't kill figurativeness, but offers other possibilities to expression, making it richer and, far more than all of that, showed us his work, in which what he said in words might be seen in colours."

Excerpt of critical essay "João Rossi, artist and teacher"
Olga Blinder (plastic artist and teacher) - March, 1999



Translation by Juan Rossi

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