Edith Derdyk – Born in 1955 in São Paulo, Brazil, where she lives and works

I initially began my artistic career in 1981, when I did my first solo exhibition called Desenhos (Drawings) at the Instituto dos Arquitetos do Brasil (Brazilian Architects’ Institute). I had just graduated in the Art course at the University Armando Álvares Penteado (1977/1980). I was invited to teach at this school as soon as I graduated. On account of this academic activity, which lasted 3 years (1981/1984), added to my experience in teaching children in schools and art specialized studios, I wrote two books analyzing the trajectories of drawing development, focusing both on the acquisition of language from the analysis of children’s drawings and their historical backgrounds. Two theoretical books were published: Forms of thinking drawing and the Drawing of the human figure, both published by Editora Scipione, in 1988 and 1989 respectively. To this day, these didactic books are used and recommended by several schools in the country.

My artistic work had drawing as its starting point. The line has always been the structure around which the poetics of my work has developed. On account of this interest I could engage in other activities such as illustrations, graphic works and the production of theoretical and didactic works on drawings, such as those mentioned above. These activities have granted me financial support, allowing the possibility of research and experimentation in the field of Arts, just so I could not depend on the flow of such an unstable market as is the market of the Arts in Brazil. Considering that the implementation of a more consistent market is still creating its grounds within the Brazilian artistic circuit, these other activities were and still are essential to guarantee my creative freedom.

I’ve been involved in educational projects, orienting teachers and teaching in institutions and along with the State and Municipal Secretaries of Education in São Paulo. I’ve been giving lectures, participating in debates and meetings on art-educartion. I developed some specialized courses, assisting teachers and kindergarten coordinators, First an Second grade, in several private schools. At present, I’m involved in a project of implementing artistic languages in the State network, through the Secretary of Education of the State of São Paulo. Next year a book will be published by the Secretary of State as a record of this work which was developed throughout two years with all the schools belonging to the state of São Paulo. At the moment I’ve been regularly teaching courses at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake.

I developed several graphic works such as book covers, record covers and children’s illustrations. I wrote and illustrated three books for children: Estória Sem Fim (Endless Story)(Summus Editorial/1980), O Colecionador de Palavras (The word collector) and A Sombra da Sandra Assanhada (The shadow of naughty Sandra) (both published by Editora Salesianas / 1986 and 1987 respectively). I’m presently coordinating the Siricutico Collection with the songs by Palavra Cantada (Sung Word), published by Cosac&Naify, by which two books have already been published, one with my authorship and illustrations.

I produced several murals, especially emphasizing the street mural sponsored by the theater Lira Paulistana (1982), as well as the mural painted on wood for Sesc Pompéia (1983). Two audiovisual works were developed as a record of these works, as a poetic essay. These audiovisuals were shown between 1982/1985 at the Museum of Image and Sound, The State of São Paulo Pinacoteca, Teatro Lira Paulistana, The School of Architecture and Urbanism from the State of São Paulo and The São Paulo Cultural Center .

I’ve been participating in collective and individual exhibitions since 1981, in Brazil and abroad, from which I will emphasize those that are considered the most relevant for the development and acknowledgement of my artistic career (see attached the CV). From 1981 to 1990 I was invited for several exhibitions – collective and individual – in public institutions and galleries which focus was drawing, then understood in the traditional way: pencil on paper

In 1990 I was granted with the Annual Scholarship for the Visual Arts, sponsored by the multinational company FIAT and recognized by some renowned Brazilian critics such as Aracy Amaral. This scholarship of support to my research, which lasted for a year, provided a qualitative advance in my work, once I could, for the first time, dedicate myself entirely to my creative production. My plastic research got closer to pictoric and sculptoric issues, abandoning the more traditional concept one has about drawing. I started using other materials and supports such as tissue, plastic, Japanese paper and sewing became a founding constructive procedure for the constitution of the poetics of my work, a procedure that still resounds in my more recent production. This research resulted in a solo exhibition at the most representative museum in the city at the time: The Art Museum from São Paulo (MASP).

Between 1991 and 1993, I have received many other invitations for exhibitions in Institutions and Museums, just so I could advance my career, stabilizing the acknowledgement of my work in the arts circuit.

In 1993, I was granted another art scholarship as a resident-artist, sponsored by the Museum of Contemporary Art from São Paulo along with the USIS (American Counselate in São Paulo). I had the opportunity to spend 45 days at the Vermont Studio Center, in the city of Johnson/New England. This experience was essential for the development of my work, once it was the first time I got in touch with the production of foreign artists. This studio is in contact with an international demand, sheltering not only American artists, but artists from several origins, such as Canada, the Dominican Republic, France, The New Zealand, England. This experience put my work into evidence, opening my career to the first international invitations such as the exhibition in the city of Madison, state of Wisconsin (1994), sponsored by the Secretary of Culture and the University of Wisconsin (1994). I also had the opportunity to have a cultural exchange with an American artist I met at the Vermont Studio Center – Brenda Baker -, inviting her for an exhibition in São Paulo at MAC-USP as a response to an exhibition and a lecture I had done with her at the University of DePaw, Indiana (1995). During these trips, I could visit important museums in the cities of New York and Chicago and therefore I was able to deepen my studies, considering that at that time, despite not being so long ago, we didn’t have such quick and efficient access to information as we do now. Therefore, this contact with the American museums and, later, with European institutitons, were essential to complete my artistic background.

In 1995 I was invited by the Goethe Institute to participate in a workshop between Brazilian and German artists, which took place at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. In 1996 I was invited to be one of the four Brazilian artists representing the country at the show Art through the Oceans, in Kopenhagen, Denmark, because of the celebrations for the selection of the cultural capital of Europe. As part of the events involved in this exhibition, I was chosen to represent the segment America/The Caribbean, participating in a debate with five other artists representing the 5 continents, within the project “Global Dialogue” .

I also participated in two exhibitions parallel to the 23rd and 24th Biennial in São Paulo: Shadows and Mirrors (1994), curated by Aracy Amaral and 15 Brazilian Artists (1996), curated by Tadeu Chiarelli, both considered as part of the events occurring along with the Biennials. These exhibitions took place at the Museum of Modern Art from São Paulo.

In 1997 my work goes through a more thorough formal restructuring. I started a production related to the constitution of spatial situations, always using black cotton line as a constructive element. The architectural space begins to become a constituent in the creation of my work, approaching some contemporary researches attached to the idea of site-specific and also to sculpture. These works were always followed by production in other supports such as engraving, photograph, small sculptures, objects and books. From this new series of works, since 1997 I’ve done a series of individual exhibitions in several museums in the main capitals of the country: Museum of Contemporary Art from Niterói/RJ (1998); Torreão/Porto Alegre (1998), Art Museum from Brasilia (1998), Paço das Artes/SP (1998), Paço Imperial/RJ (1999), University Museum from Uberlândia/MG (2000), Sergio Porto Gallery/FUNARTE-RJ (2000), Art Museum from Santa Catarina (2003), Cultural Center from São Paulo and in galleries such as Marília Razuk Art Gallery/SP (2004), Haim Chanin Fine Arts/New York/EUA (2003), GalerieHaus/Nurnberg/Alemanha (2000), Valu Oria Art Gallery/SP (1999).

In 1997, I was invited by the General Counselate from Brazil represented, at the time, by Dinah Flusser and by the Secretary of Culture from Munich to represent Brazil in an event dedicated to Latin America, in the city of Munich/Germany, sponsored by the local municipality and by the Cultural Bridge, an association dedicated to cultural exchanges between Germany and Brazil.

In 1999 I was granted with another scholarship as a resident-artist within a program of research funding, created by the The Rockefeller Foundation in the Bellagio Center, Italy. This scholarship consisted in 50 residence days in this research center, which involves different areas and professionals from several parts of the world. I could deepen the issues that are involved in the production of my work, developing books and projects for new works and exhibitions.

In 1999 I participated in the exhibition Brazilian Art on Paper, organized by the Modern Art Museum from São Paulo with works from the collection of this museum, curated by the art critic and historian Tadeu Chiarelli. My works are represented in several collections: Padre Anchieta Foundation, DePaw Institute, The Secretary of Culture from Nurmberg/Germany, Fuji Museum Tokyo/Japan, The Municipal Chamber from Piracicaba, Museum of Modern Art from São Paulo, Museum of Modern Art from Salvador/Bahia, Cultural Institute Itaú/SP, Santos Municipal Secretary, Art Museum from Santa Catarina, Cultural Center from São Paulo, Municipal Pinacoteca, House of the 11 Windows/Belém/Pará.

My theoretical work was followed by the production of new books: Linha de Costura (Sewing Line) (Editora Iluminuras/1997); Linha de Horizonte – por uma poética do ato criador (Line of the Horizon – For a poetics of the creative act) (Editora Escuta/2001).

The year of 2002 is very meaningful within the development of my career, for I could intensify the rhythm of my artistic production, now full time, once I was granted with the Bolsa Vitae de Artes/Vitae Foundation, lasting a year, thus providing a real advance in my work. The result of this scholarship was shown in the individual exhibition Ângulos (Angles) in 2004, at the Marília Razuk Art Gallery. It was also in the year of 2002 that I received the award of APCA (São Paulo Association of Art Critics), which considered my tridimensional work as the best of the year, with the individual exhibition Corte (Cut) at the São Paulo Cultural Center and also for the participation in the collective exhibition Galpão 15 with the work Rasante.

In 2003 I participated in the show Tecendo o Visível (Weaving the Visible) at the Tomie Ohtake Institute, curated by the critic and professor at the University of São Paulo, Agnaldo Farias. In this same year I did my first international exhibition within the circuit of commercial galleries, having been invited for the individual exhibition Declive at the Haim Chanin Fine Arts, in New York, represented by the Art Gallery Marília Razuk . I’ve participated in International Shows such as Arco (Madrid/Spain) and International Fair Miami Basel (Miami/USA).

In 2004 I was granted the award of Photograph Revelação, sponsored by Porto Seguro, a company which is in charge of creating a collection specialized in contemporary Brazilian photograph, considered relevant in the artistic scenario.

In 2007 I was granted another art scholarship as a resident-artist, sponsored by the The Banff Centre_Canada for researching about bookworks where I spent 5 weeks.

In 2007 I realized 3 exhibitions at the same time in São Paulo at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Marilia Razuk Galeria de Arte and Porto Seguro Fotografia. In this time It was released na art book called Drawings about my artwork.

In 2008 it I had organized a book called Disegno. Desenho. Desígnio (Disegno. Drawing. Design) assembling unpublished texts by several authors on drawing along with the 1st Symposium on Drawing, which I will also organize, to be held at the Senac University Campus in São Paulo and SESC_Pinheiros. In this year I realized an exhitibion “If the whole sea under the river” at Centro Universitário Maria Antonia_São Paulo.

In 2009 it was released 2 children´s book, written and illustrated by me. (O Colecionador de Palavras_Editora 34 and O buraco de Céu Editora.Girafinha).

In 2010 it was released a book called Formas de Pensar o Desenho_Ways of Thinking Drawing (Editora Zouk) and 2 children´s book Nuvem Feliz_Happy Cloud_illustrations (Editora 34) and Fábulas.Alegorias . Adivinhações_Fables.Alegories based on Leonardo d Vinci (text and illustrations). In this year I did an individual exhibition at Galeria Virgilio (SP) called : Dia UM_Fisrt Day. I was invited by Michael Asbury and Susan Johanknecht for going to London giving lectures at Chelsea and Camberwell University

. Now I have been represented by Virgilio Gallery (www.galeriavirgilio.com.br) in São Paulo.

Edith Derdyk

phones: 55_11_23391170 (home+studio)
55_11_ 71003636 (cel)

Edith Derdyk - © Copyright - Web Master Maurício Lima