Cildo Meireles Biography
Meireles has stated that drawing was his main artistic medium until 1968, when he altogether abandoned expressionistic drawing in favor of designing things that he wanted to physically construct. A topic that he especially explored in his art was the concept of the ephemeral and the non-object, art that only exists with interaction, which prompted him to create installation pieces or situational art. This led to his Virtual Spaces project, which he began in 1968. This project was “based on Euclidian principles of space” and sought to show how objects in space can be defined by three different planes. He modeled this concept as a series of environments made to look like corners in rooms.
Following the military coup in 1964, Meireles became involved in political art. When Meireles was “first getting started as an artist,” governmental censorship of various forms of media, including art, was standard in Brazil. Meireles found ways to create art that was subversive but subtle enough to make public by taking inspiration from Dadaist art, which he notes had the ability to seem “tame” and “ironic.” In the early 1970s he developed a political art project that aimed to reach a wide audience while avoiding censorship called Insertions Into Ideological Circuits, which was continued until 1976. Many of his installation pieces since this time have taken on political themes, though now his art is “less overtly political.”
He was one of the founders of the Experimental Unit of the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro in 1969 and in 1975, edited the art magazine Malasartes.
In 1999, Meireles was honoured with a Prince Claus Award and