Exhibitions - Ilê Funfun: A Homage to the Centenary of Rubem Valentim | Almeida & Dale

Ilê Funfun: A Homage to the Centenary of Rubem Valentim

Curated by Daniel Rangel
04.02 — 05.14.2022

Born in Salvador, Bahia, in 1922, Rubem Valentim would have turned 100 in November 2022 and the exhibition “Ilê Funfun: A tribute to the centenary of Rubem Valentim” at Almeida & Dale Galeria de Arte was a celebration to his legacy. He began his career in the 1940’s as a self-taught painter, and joined the modern art movements of Bahia (BR), alongside Mario Cravo Júnior, Carlos Bastos, Sante Scaldaferri, among others. From the beginning of the 1950s, he began researches related to liturgical issues of religions of African origins, especially on symbols and tools of the orixás, which became mandatory visuals in his production.

The title chosen by curator Daniel Rangel refers to this religiosity. Ilê means house and terreiro (the sacred place where candomble’s ritual are taken), the sacred temple of worship to the orixás, and Funfun, the color white, a reference to those who dress in white, especially the family of Oxalufã, the old Oxalá, and Oxaguiã, the young Oxalá. “In truth, we are all children of Oxalá, entrusted by Olódùmarè to create all living beings on the planet, including plants, animals, men and women”, explained Rangel.

The retrospective was presented in three sections: the “Templo de Oxalá” (Temple of Oxala), a set of works with 20 sculptures and 10 reliefs by Rubem Valentim, considered the pinnacle of his work, donated to MAM-BA in 1997, and restored by Almeida & Dale in 2022; “Atelier”, where the artist's creative process was unveiled, bringing unfinished canvases that were in production at the time of his death in 1991, and tools he used; and “Cronologia”(Chronology), which resumed his history from clippings, research, documents and personal files, photographs and posters.

“Ilê Funfun” brought together the essentials of Valentim’s trajectory: a powerful artistic-sacred art ensemble and references from his particular universe, as well as the collections of the Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, the Instituto Rubem Valentim, whose headquarters are in São Paulo, and the Brasília Museum of Art; places that were their homes, spaces that were their islands.

After its exhibition at Almeida & Dale, the show moved on to the National Museum of the Republic in Brasília, then returned to MAM-BA, for the reopening of the special room dedicated to Rubem Valentim at the museum.

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