Lenora de Barros

Lenora de Barros (Born in São Paulo, 1953) lives and works in São Paulo.


Lenora de Barros is a visual artist and poet, graduated in Linguistics from Universidade de São Paulo (USP). She started her artistic career in the 1970s. The first works created by the artist can be placed in the field of visual poetry springing from the concrete poetry Brazilian movement of the 1950s. In 1983, de Barros published the book Onde Se Vê (Where One See), a set of somewhat uncommon “poems.” Some of them dispensed with the use of words and were constructed as photographic sequences where the artist herself acted out different characters. This book already announced Barros’s transition into the field of Visual Arts. Since then, the artist created a body of work through diversified artistic expressions: video, performance, photography, sound installation, and construction of objects. In the same year, de Barros presented visual poems in videotexts at the 17th São Paulo Biennial. In 1990 she moved to Milan and stayed there for a year and a half, when she held her first solo exhibition Poesia É Coisa de Nada (Poetry is Almost Nothing) at the Mercato del Sale Gallery, with works produced between 1985 and 1990. In this show, de Barros inaugurated the series Ping-Poems: she distributed 5,000 ping-pong balls on the gallery floor with the title sentence printed on them. Between 1993 and 1996, de Barros wrote an experimental column in São Paulo’s Jornal da Tarde, entitled …Umas (…Some). From the column emerged works and ideas that became autonomous videos and photo-performances over the following years. In 2013, the 65 columns and 2 video-performances were exhibited for the first time at Casa Laura Alvim, curated by Glória Ferreira, in Rio de Janeiro, and in 2014 they were presented at the art center Pivô, in São Paulo.

In 2017, with the emblematic works Poem (1979) and Homage to George Segal (1985), she participated in the iconic exhibition Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985, curated by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill and Andrea Giunta, at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Brooklyn Museum, NY (2018) and Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (2018). Her work is part of public collections in Brazil and worldwide, including the Hammer Museum (USA), Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Spain); Daros Latin-American Collection (Switzerland); Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo – MAM-SP (Brazil); and Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (Brazil). Among the exhibitions she has been featured in are the group and solo shows held at the Mexic-Art Museum (Austin, USA, 2002); Revídeo, at Oi Futuro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2010); Migros Museum (Zurich, Switzerland, 2015); the 4th Thessaloniki Biennial of Contemporary Art (Greece, 2013); the 17th, 24th and 30th São Paulo International Biennial; and the 11th Lyon Biennial.