Tunga (1952–)

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Tunga (1952–)

Tunga (b. 8 February 1952), Brazilian artist. Born in Palmares, Pernambuco, Antônio José de Barros Carvalho e Mello Mourão received a B.A. in architecture from the Universidade Santa Ursula, Rio de Janeiro, in 1974. He is a leading member of a generation of Brazilian artists, including Waltercio Caldas, Cildo Meireles, and José Resende, who emerged in the early 1970s; they and others founded the journals Malasartes in 1975 and A parte do fogo in 1980. Inspired by Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, and the Brazilian neo-concrete artist Lygia Clark, among others, Tunga creates unsettling installations, sculptures, and films. His installations often feature magnetized objects. Recurring motifs in his work include Siamese twins joined by the hair, lizards consuming each other's heads, and tori—indicative of his interest in topology. By problematizing the concept of binary opposition through the use of magnetism and such motifs, Tunga offers a critique of Western rationalism and the authoritarian institutions it has fostered. He lives in Rio de Janeiro and Paris.

In 2000, Tunga was awarded the Hugo Boss Prize in New York.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century .


Tunga: "Lezarts"/Cildo Meireles: "Through" (1989).

Guy Brett, "Tunga," in his Transcontinental: Nine Latin American Artists, edited by Elizabeth A. Macgregor (1990), pp. 48-55.

Paulo Herkenhoff, "The Theme of Crisis in Contemporary Latin American Art," in Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century (1993), pp. 134-143.

Additional Bibliography

Brett, Guy. Transcontinental: An Investigation of Reality: Nine Latin American Artists. London and New York: Verso, 1990.

Feinstein, Roni. "Tungás Lost World." Arts in America, (1998): 84-88.

                                        John Alan Farmer