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
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
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
Radha Abramo - 1979
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
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
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
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