SARRO’s artistic career
Sarro, painter and sculptor, was born in
1950 in Andradina, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
After 1972, Sarro showed his works in many individual exhibitions,
in well-known Galleries and Culture Centres overall Brazil. He also
participated frequently at international culture events.
A selection of his exhibitions:
1981 MUSEUMS of Chiba and Nara (Japon).
Culture Centre of Tokuyama (Japon).
1982 MASP – MUSEUM of Arts of Sao Paulo (Brazil).
MUSEUMS of Arts of Joinville and Florianopolis (Brazil).
1983 Culture Centres of Milano and Bologna (Italie).
1985 Culture Centre of Tokuyama (Japon).
1986 Palacio Re Enzo, Bologna (Italie).
1987 Palacio Pamphili, Rome (Italie).
1988 MUSEU LATINO-AMERICANO, Punta del Este (Uruguai).
1989 Brazilian Ecucation Centre, Buenos Aires (Argentina).
1990 International MUSEUM of Art and Culture, Laguna Beach (USA).
ART EXPO, New York and Las Vegas (USA).
Galerie Interart, Paris (France).
1991 Studio Art Gallery, Key Biskayne, Miami (USA).
Galerie Miron, Lisbon (Portugal).
1993 Brazilian Education Centre, Managua (Nicaragua).
1994 ART EXPO, New York and Las Vegas (USA).
1994 – 2005 EUROP’ART , Geneva (Switzerland).
1996 ART MUSEUM of Dalton, Georgia (USA).
Abiney Gallery, New York (USA).
Grand Hotel Concorde, Lyon (France).
1997 Galerie Kocken, Kevelaer (Germany).
Rom-Art Galerie, Braunschweig (Germany).
Galerie Zangbieri, Basel (Switzerland).
1998 Galerie Peter Büchner, Landau (Germany).
Galerie Albert Premier, Bruxelles (Belgium).
Gallery New York-Gallery, Brugg (Switzerland).
1999 WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM, Davos (Switzerland).
Military Club, Brasilia (Brazil).
Culture Centre Chapel of Chapel, Melbourne (Australia).
Adveniat / Bank im Bistum Essen, Essen (Germany).
Galerie Eule-Art, Davos and St.Gallen (Switzerland).
2000 Galerie Bryggen, Bergen (Norway).
Galerie Sylvie Platini, Annecy (France).
Galerie Kocken, Kevelaer (Germany).
2001 Michael Nagy Fine Art, Sydney (Australia).
Galerie Art Sans Frontières, Melbourne (Australia).
Gadfly Gallery, Perth (Australia).
ART MUSÉUM of Arte de Singapore, lecture
CONGRESS CENTRE, Evian-Les-Bains (France).
Galerie Albert Premier, Bruxelles (Belgium).
Galerie Hunziker, Zürich (Switzerland).
2002 Galerie Kocken, Kevelaer (Germany).
Galerie Peter Büchner, Landau (Germany).
2003 WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM, Davos (Switzerland)
Galeria Andre, Sao Paulo (Brazil).
Galerie Debret, Paris (France)
Culture Centre Rossemaison (Delémont / Switzerland)
2004 Galerie Hunziker, Zürich (Switzerland).
Stiftskirche Neustadt a.d. Weinstrasse (Germany)
Kath. Akademie „Die Wolfsburg“, Mülheim a.d. Ruhr (Germany)
Galeria Fernando Pessoa, Lisbon (Portugal).
2005 Military Club Centre, Brasilia (Brazil).
PALAIS DES NATIONS (United Nations), Geneva (Switzerland).
Galerie Z, Landau (Germany)
2007 MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, Moscow (Russia).
Galerie Kocken, Kevelaer (Germany)
Historic MUSEUM of Forte de Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS MUSEUM, St. Petersburg (Russia)
2010 PALFFY PALACE - Bratislava (Slovakia)
Galerie Kocken, Kevelaer (Germany)
Theatre of Kevelaer (Germany) - Presentation about Aparecida
PALACE OF FINE ART - Krakow (Poland)
Galerie Albert Premier - Bruxelles (Belgium)
Some important realizations:
A painting of 14x2 meters about the development of the brazilian
city Sao Bernardo do Campo, for Banespa, the State Bank of Sao Paulo.
Art Glass Window for the main Church in Klingenmünster, Germany,
which was built in the 11th Century.
Large painting, 2,5 x 8 meters, about the Globalization, painted specially
for the World Economic Forum in Davos, 2003, and shown again at Sarro’s
Individual Exhibition at the UN Headquarter in Geneva, 2004.
Large painting, 2,5 x 5,5 meters, about the Globalization, painted
in Sarro’s style, bought by the World Economic Forum for their Building
in Cologny (Geneva).
More that 100 sculptures
and monumental reliefs, in concrete, as follows:
Some monumental sculptures and reliefs in Brodowski, where the famous
brazilian artist Candido Portinari has been born.
Sculptures in front of the Town Hall and the Culture Centre as well
as at 10 public places in Sao Caetano, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Large reliefs, 17 meters and 12 meters, in the Theatre of Osasco,
State of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
3-D Relief of 20 meters and several groups of sculptures at the University
of de Marilia, State of Sao Paulo.
Monument of the Freemasons, 10 meters high, in Santo Andre, State
of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A Crossway with 14 monumental reliefs and a big relief for the chapel,
located at the top, in Aparecida, between Rio de Janeiro and Sao
4 Reliefs, over 7 meters high, in two Chapels of the Cathedral of
Aparecida, SP. , Brazil.
Monumental fountains and sculptures in Santa Fe do Sul, city about
600 km far from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A sculpture about “the life cycle” in
front of the Maria Hospital in Kevelaer, Germany.
Memorial Adelio Sarro , Andradina, SP. Sculpure Park, 2003
Annual Report of Art International.
“11 Caminhos”, Josette Balsa 1987
Julio Louzada, Artes Plásticas.
SARRO “Retrospectiva 1972-1992” (1. edition 1992 and 2. edition
SARRO “O Brasileiro Global” 30 anos SARRO (edition 2002).
SARRO “ Pensamentos” (Desenhos e Poesias) Alemanha, 2003
SARRO “ Essência e Magia das Cores” (edition 2004)
SARRO “ Pensamentos”,” Formas” e “Cores” ,
(3 books in one box, 2005)
Adelio Sarro - “Contando a Arte” de Oscar D’Ambrosio,
Catalogue of Sarro's new Museumscollection - "Force, Magic and Colours of Brazil" - 2007
Aparecida - A book about Aparecida, Sarro's sacral works and the visit of Pope Benedict XVI - 2007
SARRO: AN ASTONISHING CAREER
First years: poor childhood and the sketches of a boy.
The artistic story of Adelio Sarro Sobrinho, born in 1950 in Andradina, countryside of São Paulo state, has a zero landmark. At the age of 4 he got up onto a wood crate, stared with an impulsive curiosity at a sacred heart of Jesus printed on a calendar and reproduced it.A generous priest looked at that puerile drawing and prophesied: “This boy will be an artist”. The boy, son of Italian and Portuguese farmers, began in this way to envisage his destiny through the support of his own sensitive contact with the country life. What was hard in his surroundings touched his first concepts of reality and art intensely.
At the age of 8, Sarro had one of the most outstanding experiences in this initial phase - he changed from his severe life in the rural environment. He moved with his family to the village of Britânia, in the countryside of Goiás. A challenge of the social context due to the search for better opportunities. The considerable distance from his birthplace was printed in his memory. They travelled 13 days on a truck. An eternity, an endless trip. “I saw bushes all the way long and even indians”, the artist remembers. Many of the images in Sarro´s works correspond both plastically and poetically to this chapter.
After that, he lived on a farm in Auriflama in the state of São Paulo. “It was a period of hardship and poverty”. And more images were added to his child´s memory. Because of financial difficulties, Sarro´s family had to move once more. The chosen place was Dracena where the artist´s father José Sarro (1927-1993), descendant from Italians, supported his family as a mason. “To help my family, I picked up paper and pieces of glass in the streets”, he remembers.
The death of one of his brothers at birth, the fall of his father from a roof and his mother Natalina Silva Sarro washing clothes to feed the family are facts to be added to these rough years.
The beginning of adolescence: A phase of religious sketches.
At the age of 14, Sarro moved once again. That time he moved alone with the intention of becoming a religious man. He started studying at Seráphico São Fidélis Seminary in Piracicaba. As he had a cousin, who studied also at the Seminary, his stay in the new environment was facilitated. His family aimed to see him preaching in a cassock. “It was a solitary year”, he recalls. But not unproductive.
Sarro gained religiosity and exercised his artistic flair through the religious art. In the many hours of silence, he used to draw the figures of Jesus and Saint Francisco obstinately. Due to the fact that he preferred his sketches to the reading of the Bible and theological texts, the following commentary was raised from one of the leading catholic head - teachers: “ He only knows how to draw. He wants to draw. Send him away because he may become an artist”.
New changes and impulses in his adolescence invaded the emerging artist. His sister Aparecida Sarro moved to São Caetano in the Great São Paulo, where she married. Sarro was enthusiastic about the possibility of changing his life mirrored in his sister’s experience. “ I wanted so much to go to São Paulo. So I did. I did a test in a movie poster print shop”, says the artist who was 16 then. The changes came true months later and all the family moved into a small house in São Caetano.
The years in this period were not easy at all. Sarro and his father restarted working as masons. “People hired us, but we were often not paid; then I started to work at Favorita Metalworks, but I did not stay more than two months. I got fed up with that routine”, he reports.
Half way to Art. Graphic Trades.
However, the interest in art was strongly latent in his head. For this reason, he organized his time and on weekends he had some classes with a teacher in great ABC. Sarros’ basic knowledge was academic. The basis of his work was launched in these years. The love for sketches since childhood was energized with the classes, the contact with prints and the hard work as a mason gave him notions of bi dimensional construction.
“Without objectivelly looking for an artistic learning I found stimulus at home and among professionals”, says Sarro. At that time, at the age of 18, he thought that a year was a century. Everything seemed to go slowly, demanding from him specific tasks and an immesurable pacience for his work. It was clear that nothing was lost. Memories of the countryside, demanding jobs and family life formed the painter and sculptor’s roll.
Portinari’s frescoes. The unforgettable impact
1972 is a fundamental year to understand the events in the artist’s life. The revolution really began when he entered the house where Cândido Portinari (1903-1963) lived, a museum in the small town of Brodowski in the contryside of São Paulo. The informal and unpretentious visit without surprise expectation, turned into the drawer and dreamer’s change of direction. The social focus, the pain and the figures’ tenderness, the diversity of colors and the plastic consistence of Portinari´s work left Sarro out of breath.
“It gave me goose pimples. I told myself: I’ll paint”. It was said and done. It is true that in the beginning Sarro lived phases of hardship and rupture. He painted a lot to test his skills. He destroyed many things when he didn’t get the results he was looking for. “I painted many times on the same canvas until I reached something I considered satisfactory”.
Nothing was in vain. To drive his own effort, Sarro acquired a book about Portinari. The initiatives began to reflect at that point. The artist began to expose at the art fair of Praça da República in São Paulo. He had to get the license through a test in the City Hall. In the 70s, the place was an alternative space for the artists who had no access to art galleries but who gained prestige since part of the visitors and buyers were foreigners interested in the authenticity of the brazilian art. Sarro exposed there for 12 years.
The first exhibition - Critical vision
In the same year Sarro had a decisive encounter with Portinari’s work, he made his first individual exposition. It was at Centro de Convenções in São Bernardo do Campo, in the Great São Paulo. “At that time, I painted landscapes. Nothing important. It was a poor work”, he analyzes. In spite of his critical opinion, the public liked it and most of the exhibited works were sold.
The rhythm of production grew and served mainly the foreign visitors who went to Praça da República looking for talented artists. It was and still is astonishing the demand of german, french, italian and swiss collectors for Sarro’s peculiar work. Not even a critic’s comments, who accused him of imitating Sinval’s paintings, seemed to shake the demand. “I didn’t know anything about Sinval. I met him years later. He had no right to say such a thing”, objects Sarro.
The group: “11 Different Ways”. An exchange of experiences.
In 1983 Sarro gathered a group of artists and with Elvio Santiago, Henry Vitor, Jorge Branco, Otoni, Tomzé, Vilela, Bianco y Couto, Cazarré, Christina Motta and Sinval the “11 Different Ways” was formed. “Each one followed his own kind of art. We discussed about our colleagues’ work. There was an intense exchange of experiences and ideas”, says Sarro. A book, with a critic by Josette Mazzella di Bosco Balsa, closed the cycle of 5 years. She analysed the artists one by one as well as the creative power of the group”. There is no doubt that the group had great importance in my career. It directed us all together towards the public”.
Two years before Sarro (who was making a living only by painting) reached international recognition - not limiting himself only to european collectors and buyers. Six Japanese Institutions organized exhibitions and showed his works in 1981. The interest abroad speeded and exhibitions began to enrich his extensive curriculum, with 150 national and international exhibitions until 2001. After Japan in 1983, it was the Italians turn to request his paintings´ exhibition. In the following years, the artist´s name began to circle in Milan, Bologna, Rome (in the luxurious Palace Dora Pamphili - the Brazilian Embassy in Italy), Paris, Buenos Aires, Miami, Lisbon ...
From the beginning of the 70s to 1992, Sarro showed his paintings in 17 Brazilian cities. In 1982 his art could be seen in one of the most important museums of Latin America, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP). He conquered many privileged spaces in the visual art circuit to show his works as for example Galeria de Arte do Sesi in São Paulo, the Museum of modern Art in Florianópolis and Fundación Rali - Museo Latino Americano - Punta del Leste, Uruguai (who bought 14 of his works), among others.
Maturity. The retrospective through a book.
20 years were completed in 1992 after his first contact with Portinari´s work in the little Brodowski. His course should be solidified with the publication of a book.
Entitled by Sarro “Retrospective 1972-1992”, the book (trilingual, with portuguese, french and english texts) was written by the critic Josette Balsa. The reproduction of “Natureza Morta”, 1969, preserved by his mother opens a series of the most expressive works of that period, including sketches and sculptures. The book, according to the artist, closes a cycle, reafirms the professionalism and registers the career of someone who is interested in renovation.
The presence of Marcel as a motivator.
The year of 1992 closed a circle and opened a more promising one: the confirmation of Sarro’s solid work. The collector and swiss art dealer Marcel Markus, who lives in Brazil, gave an impulse in the artist recognition. Enthusiastic about Sarro’s paintings since 1991, he has organized exhibitions in Europe, Australia and Singapore which have formed a loyal public and new collectors.
The first exhibition of this productive period was in 1993 in Zürich, Switzerland. In the following year, Sarro participated at the Europ’Art International Fair in Geneva, where it takes place annually. His success has repercussions at each event and has remained until his last participation in 2005. In 1995, Sarro’s works were also exhibited with great success at Art Expo, in New York and Las Vegas.
Since 1997, the little town of Kevelaer in Germany has been one of the references of his work in Europe. A town of catholic pilgrimage because of the age-old cathedral in the honor of a Saint, impressed the artist. “He was fascinated by the religious art and the magical power that is preserved inside the Chapel”, comments Marcel. The public interested in Sarro’s paintings is growing. The visitors travel miles to visit the church and afterwards admire his work.
The german pharmacist Gerd Wolf, who knew the artist’s paintings in Brazil, points out the little town of Klingenmünster, also in Germany, as another converging set of the popularization of Sarro’s name in Europe. The signs and friendship ties grew stronger and through the initiative of Marianne Mathis, owner of a winery, “Sarro” became a wine brand. On the labels suggestive works by the artist. A nice gallery shop opened recently, exhibits his works and sells wine..
The production reaches the global scene. Sacred art is valued.
In the sequence of his successful course far from Brazil in 1999, his paintings were shown in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Sarro created, specially for this event, a small bronze sculpture and 12 huge paintings with children as the main theme. He suggests to improve the Third World’s Economies in order to offer a prosperous future for the children. The only Brazilian, representing Fine Art, met in Davos the well-known brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, who was prized in this event.
In the same year, Sarro built 14 panels ( 4 x 4 m, each ), for a Cross Way in Aparecida, main religious place in Brazil. Apart from that, he elaborated a modern portal with super dimensioned hands in a praying attitude.
The connection between Aparecida and Adveniat in Germany, the Catholic organization which supports projects against the misery in Latin America, resulted in an exhibition of Sarro’s work at their headquarters in Essen, where influent authorities of Economy and Politics participated. The painting “Liberdades da Vida” was acquired by Bank im Bistum Essen for their reception hall.
In this year, the first exposition in Melbourne, Australia, took place. As Sarro’s art is admired by Australians, he was motivated to commit himself to exhibiting his production in other cities too.
In 2000, Sarro showed his art in Bergen, cultural city in Norway. “There, he met Josette Balsa, by chance, the curator and critic who wrote the book about his 20 year career”, says Marcel. Josette now lives in Hong Kong and accompanied the museum director of that city. The meeting was worth and confirmed one more change in the artist’s course: She oriented Sarro to prepare himself for museum’s exhibitions.
To highlight 2000, the inauguration of the Cross Way with half a million pilgrims and the artist’s participation at the EXPOOL 2000, which was a parallel exhibition to the EXPO 2000 in Hannover, with the theme “Men, Nature and Technique”, organized by Rom-Art Gallery in Braunschweig. In this event Sarro won the prize as the best figurative artist in North Germany - awarded by a respectful jury.
Sarro went back to Australia in 2001. With expositions in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth he became popular in a country where few people know about Brazilian Visual Arts. On his return from Australia, Sarro was invited by the Museum of Singapore to give a lecture about latin-american art.
In 2001 the artist also received new orders of religious art, which confirms even more his prestige. Sarro elaborated for the first time a stained glass window. It was ordered for a XI century church in Klingenmünster. The work represents a highlight of the church and is the only window allowed to modify the interior of the solid temple. After that he built a huge panel in the new chapel of the Cross Way and another one inside the famous cathedral in Aparecida.
Also in 2001, Sarro exhibited his work in the Congress Palace in Evian, the French well-known mineral water city, invited by the city mayor who is not only an admirer of his art but also an admirer of Brazil.
Sarro’s 30 years of art.
The publishing of the book “Sarro, the global Brazilian” in four different languages, edited and published in Germany, has attracted the attention of admirers, expert journalists and people in general in Europe.
The Parisian art critic André Parinaud clearly defines the artist by the title of the book. Soon after having been published in many European countries, the book arrived in Sao Paulo, during an autograph night at the famous Galerie André.
The artist’s name keeps spreading quickly. Sarro creates an astonishingly huge painting about “globalization” to be exhibited in the new edition of the World Economic Forum in Davos, in January 2003. On the 2.5 X 8-meter canvas (a large and persuasive panel) he shows the power of the countries that are part of the well-known Group of Eight (G8); the amazing progress in global communication; the anti-globalization movement; some positive, theoretical and practical aspects of globalization; the main characteristics as well as the main exportation products of the biggest and most important countries in the world, the Group of Twenty (G-20). The argument is involving and fearless, but the art itself does not change.
Celebrities found among international politics, like the former USA president Bill Clinton, have come across Sarro’s art. The moment in which he shows admiration is photographed. In the same event, the president of Brazil, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, also acknowledges Sarro’s artistic provocation. This fact is widely spread in the European Media Network.
Swiss and German TV Networks show and comment on Sarro’s panel. The World Economic Forum presidency understands the meaning that a piece of art conveys and decides to buy it. Since the panel is too big to fit in their building, they buy the smaller piece – 5.5-meter wide – which was painted in Sarro’s own style, about the same theme as the bigger one and also presented in Davos. The place in their building in Geneva, where it is now and permanently exhibited, is constantly visited by global leaders and top executives.
Echoes in Europe. UN become a stage for Sarro’s art.
Sarro’s art constantly attracts and conquers foreign attention. One successful season follows another. The artist is invited to hold an individual exhibition in the building of the Headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva. The panel “Uniting the world” about the globalization is exhibited once more. In order to highlight the artist’s Brazilianity, the painting “Imigrantes e Bandeirantes”, painted by Sarro to celebrate the 500 years of the discovery of Brazil in 2000, gains international attention.
Today this painting belongs to the “Museu Rali” in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Sarro’s individual exhibition in the “Palais des Nations” is opened by the Permanent Mission Chief of Brazil in Geneva, ambassador Luiz Felippe de Seixas Correa and by UN representatives. Diplomats, art collectors, curators and gallerists from many countries as well as many of the artist’s friends take part in the event.
The UN exhibition has brought visibility and spread Sarro’s original trademark in Eastern Europe. Russian diplomats were astonished with the impact caused by the big canvas; they examined and made comments on some details of the painting. This fact encouraged the artist and his marchand to visit Russia on the following year. On that trip, at the Russian Arts Academy in Moscow, the artist was invited to hold an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow in July 2007 and at Academy of Fine Arts Museum in St. Petersburg in September the same year.
Meanwhile in Andradina ... A memorial to Sarro.
In 2003, while his new career gains foreign attention and recognition, the artist recaptures the affectionate relationship that he has with his home town: the small and friendly Andradina, in the countryside of Sao Paulo State. He creates a set of sculptures – called Sarro’s Memorial – in one of the most famous city squares. This monument not only recovers the strong relationship that connects the artist to his home town, but also his past of artistic persistence and he also pays homage to the city where he was born. The memorial also plays an educational role because the sculptures generate interest from the new generations in relation to the transforming power of art.
A new phase. Publishing achievements.
In 2006 the artist commits himself to the collection “Force, Magic and Colors of Brazil” that comprises a 6.5-meter long panel and an estimate of 35 huge paintings.
All the logistics and organization of the exhibitions are being prepared by everyone involved.
In parallel to all this, Sarro has been working very hard in one segment that still demands highly creative strength: the one connected to sacred art.
The artist has been called to project and elaborate a huge sculpture about “the cycle of life” to be installed in front of the biggest hospital in Kevelaer, Germany, where the artist already has several bonds. This hospital belongs to the Catholic Church.
Encouraged by the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Brazil in May 2007, and the expectation of his visit to the “Basílica de Aparecida”, Sarro has been working very hard on huge beautiful devotional reliefs that have been ordered by the church. His monumental work is already inside two chapels in the “Basilica” and also outside, where it is worshipped.
The first half of this decade is also filled with other complementary books that can help people to understand Sarro’s work: “Sarro’s Thoughts” with drawings and poems which were created by the artist during some trips around Europe (published in Gemany, in 2004); “Sarro: The Essence and Magic of Colors”, (which shows the artist’s work in different periods of time); a set of three books, placed in a beautiful box, about the particularities of his work, and a book about Sarro, from the series “Contando a arte”, that was written from an educational perspective.
A 34 year career cicle as an artist is closed in 2006.
When Sarro is asked about his future, the artist answers:
“My project right now is to achieve the museum public. I want to recycle everything I’ve made up to now. I want another painting, in another phase without worrying, if it will be bought. I want to study and to deepen what I do. The work becomes stronger when we think like that. I am pleased with what I do. On the order hand, I have in mind that it is not only what the artist wants to do exclusively for himself that counts, but he has to worry about people’s taste. I have realized the changes that are happening. There are elements and materials that I won’t put in my work anymore”.
de Carvalho Neves