Brazil - 1948
Antonio Hélio Cabral is born in October 25th, 1948, in the city of Marília, SP. In 1951, his family moves to Echaporã; this would be the first of many places he would move to. Toponimically, Echaporã means “beautiful place” (in Tupi-Guarani language), which marks, for Cabral, the beginning of his artistic activities. There, Cabral produces, with leftovers and objects found in the backyard, dolls that belong to the wonderful world of children, which expands to the epic and comical of western, adventure and chanchada movies.
Back In São Paulo, in 1956, he attends drawing courses at Monteiro Lobato Children’s Library, and in the next year, returns to Marília, staying in the city for two years. In 1958, he returns to live definitely in São Paulo, with his parents. Around 1961, he starts to attend the workshop of Fausto Boghi, an Italian craftsman. He learns chisel techniques for around two years and experiments with other incision techniques.
As a student in FAU (USP’s Architecture and Urbanism College, in the Portuguese acronyms), he helps in the organization of the 1st Exhibition of Plastic Arts from FAUUSP students and participates of it displaying comical drawings. After entering in FAU, his dialogues with Flávio Motta encouraged him to explores new artistic expression means. Cabral makes works under the aesthetic of the found, the trouvé. The humor in his works, often fierce, is present since the beginning of his production. At times, the humor is hidden in the web, other times, it rises as brutalism.
In 1974, Cabral starts teaching painting and drawing in Lasar Segal Museum; researches on artists of the 40’s decade and holds exhibitions, highlighting the period’s painters and thematic. Again, he holds in this museum the exhibition of FAUUSP students in the third and last exhibition, of which Cabral participates, showing works made with enamel on plywood. There are head paintings dated from this year, keeping the mood of those made previously. Also from that year are the heads of limestone that mocking the multifaceted cubism, produce joyful faces. These sculptures are still life objects that Cabral paints in 1978. 1975 – He attends living model sessions in Antônio Carelli’s atelier, in which Raphael Galvez also participates. He receives guidance on modeling and plaster bonding, in Raphael Galvez’ atelier. He exhibits at Galeria Atelier (Rio de Janeiro) drawings that, according to Cabral, were between brutalism and comedy.
Leon Kossovitch writes that, in the years of 76, 77 and 78, Cabral suffers significant changes concerning his artistic activity, which can be seen in the works (...) displayed in MASP and at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and Lácio Galeria de Arte. Leon Kossovitch evidences Cabral’s different directions, who as an artist, does not prescribe rules for his works, neither limits himself to think in a single direction. São Paulo’s Modern Art Museum organizes an individual exhibition of the artist, displaying diversified production, with comic drawings and works of brutalist execution. Participation in the National Biennial (São Paulo), displaying inflatable objects.
In 1980, he holds an exhibition at Galeria Seta (São Paulo), with Vila Mariana’s landscapes, paintings that have their composition geometrically structured. This painting indicates the guidance of works that Cabral would make in the following two years. 1981 – Incorporates to his research the search for plasticity; thickening the clear-dark contrasts, Cabral grants tactile quality to the still lives that he builds. In Marilia, an exhibition is held at Galeria Flexor, with paintings of his childhood memories, made in the year 1978. 1982 – For the second consecutive year, Cabral ministers drawing and painting classes at Pinacoteca do Estado, having as his model the garden of Praça da Luz. In Santa Catarina, he paints Sea, a watercolor resolved by broad color areas, incorporated to the graphic register lines. 1983 –Holds an individual exhibition at Galeria Seta (São Paulo), displaying female figures in drawings and watercolors. 1984 – In this year, paintings as Portrait, Mapoteca, Frame and Terrace, show new plastic solutions (husks series, definition given by Leon Kossovitch, in his book on the artist). 1985 – Participates in the XV Biennial of São Paulo, and displays figures in the individual exhibition organized by Galeria Espaço 1030 (São Paulo). 1986 –Galeria Millan (São Paulo),organizes the exhibition Cabral – Paintings and Sculptures, with introductory text by Jacob Klintowitz. 1987 – Participates of the collective exhibition 18 Contemporary Artists, organized by Dan Galeria, with curatorship of Emanoel Araújo, in Brasília, DF. 1988 – Integrates the collective exhibition named Action, held at MAM (São Paulo). Exhibits at Galeria Millan (São Paulo). Exhibits at Galeria Millan (São Paulo).
1989 –Resumes the comical painting, transfiguration of 1973/74 painting of heads. 1990 – Participates of collective exhibitions organized under the concept Brazil-Japan, at Itamarati Palace (Brasília, DF), in São Paulo’s Art Museum and in Sapporo (Japan), in Atami Fine Arts Museum, and in Tokyo Central Museum (Japan). In São Paulo, he displays Collections, organized in Gabinete 144. 1991 – Exhibits individually at Galeria Paulo VasconceIlos (São Paulo). 1992 –Participates again of the Brazil-Japan exhibition, assembled in Tokyo Central Museum, in Sapporo, and in Atami Fine Arts Museum. Exhibits in Art Fair 92, in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Miami Art Fair 92 (Miami, USA). 1993 – Individual exhibition at Gabinete 144, Cabral Paintings and Relieves, with curatorship of Luiz Américo Munari. 1994 – Participates of the exhibition The New Travelers, organized by Jacob Klintowitz, at SESC-Pompéia (São Paulo). Collective Current Art Brazil Senses, Renato Magalhães Gouvêa Art Office (São Paulo). Knower of São Paulo’s painting in the 40’s, Cabral made the curatorship of Raphael Galvez’ exhibition, City in the Shadow of 40, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo).1995 – Release of the book Helio Cabral, written by Leon Kossovitch and edited by EDUSP, with exhibition at São Paulo University’s Contemporary Art Museum, in which Kossovitch is curator. 1996– Exhibits Monotipies and Lythographies at Gabinete 144 (São Paulo). Exhibits at Galeria Elizabeth Nasser, with curatorship of Jacob Klintowitz, in Uberlândia, MG. 1997 –Opens an atelier at Rua Dr. Frederico Steidel, in São Paulo’s old downtown, where he makes large sized paintings. 1998 – Casa das Artes Galeria (São Paulo), assembles an individual exhibition of the artist’s lythographies. 1999 – Exhibition Recent Paintings at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, with curatorship of Mayra Laudanna. 2000 – Participates of the exhibitions Almeida Júnior a revisited artist and The Angels are Back, both at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. Participates of the collective Brazil 500 Years, module Caminha’s Letter. Participates of the exhibition Between Centuries, at Galeria Tina Zappoli (Porto Alegre-RS).