Oliveira, Geraldo Teles de (1913–1990)

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Oliveira, Geraldo Teles de (1913–1990)

Geraldo Teles de Oliveira (b. 1 January 1913), Brazilian sculptor. Rarely leaving the state of Minas Gerais where he was born, Oliveira began to experiment with wood sculptures in 1965. Although he worked in relative isolation, in 1975 a commission from the French government threatened to end his obscurity. With only one exception, a gilded head of Tiradentes, which was a commission for the town of São João del Rey, his sculptures integrate African art and the Brazilian popular ex-voto tradition. All signed with the acronym of Oliveira's full name, "GTO," they almost exclusively depict human figures carved and interwoven within an architectural form, such as a wheel or column. In his Living Wheel, done in 1968, human figures serve as spokes and fill in the empty spaces of a circular form. He participated in the 1969, 1971, and 1975 São Paulo Bienals. Belo Horizonte's Salão Global presented him with a travel grant to France in 1975, to be on hand for the exhibition of his sculpture for the French government. While in Europe, Oliveira exhibited works in the 1978 Venice Biennale and in group shows in Paris and Brussels. He died in 1990.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century .


Selden Rodman, Genius in the Backlands (1977), esp. pp. 96-108.

Dawn Ades, Art in Latin America (1989), esp. pp. 287, 358.

Additional Bibliography

Rasmussen, Waldo and Fatima Bercht. Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1993.

Zaya, Octavio. The Garden of Forking Paths: Contemporary Artists from Latin America. København: Kunstforeningen, 2002.

                                 Caren A. Meghreblian

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Oliveira, Geraldo Teles de (1913–1990)

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