Mario Cravo Neto
A Serene Expectation of Light

15 January – 2 April 2016

Rivington Place

London, UK

Past exhibition

Autograph ABP proudly presents A Serene Expectation of Light, the first solo exhibition in the UK by the late Mario Cravo Neto (b. 1947 – d. 2009).

One of the most important and influential contemporary Brazilian photographers, Cravo Neto originally trained as a sculptor and only took up photography seriously after a car accident in 1975 left him bedridden for a year. Throughout his photographic career, Cravo Neto was fascinated by the complex cultural heritage of Bahia in the northeast of Brazil, the point of entry for millions of African slaves between the 16th and 19th century. His imagery is deeply steeped in the religion of Candomblé - an Afro-Brazilian form of worship practiced by Cravo Neto – which finds its origins in traditional West African Yoruba culture.

Exhibition opening reception Thursday 14 January, 6:30 - 8:30pm. Read more >

'My idea from now on is to develop that transition between the inert object and the sacred object. It is simply a religious position in photography that I wish to adopt.'
- Mario Cravo Neto

The exhibition comprises two series of photographs: twenty black and white studio portraits from The Eternal Now series produced during the 1980s and 1990s, and twenty colour prints from the Laróyè series produced in the 2000s, during the latter part of his career before his untimely death in 2009.

The large-scale black and white photographs are characterised by the use of inanimate objects and animals in conjunction with human bodies, giving the images a sculptural and tactile quality reminiscent of European still life paintings from the 17th and 18th century, with symbolic meanings derived from Candomblé. In contrast, Cravo Neto’s later colour works depict urban life in Salvador. Rather than provide a documentary account of the city and its people, Cravo Neto pays homage to Èsù, a trickster divinity and overseer of the cross roads between the material and spiritual world.

The exhibition is the outcome of a dialogue between the artist and Mark Sealy MBE, Director of Autograph ABP, which began in 1992 at Houston FotoFest, Texas.

Curated by

Mario Cravo Neto: A Serene Expectation of Light is curated by Mark Sealy MBE at Autograph ABP, in collaboration with guest curator Gabriela Salgado.

About Mario Cravo Neto

Mario Cravo Neto was introduced to sculpture and photography by his father, the sculptor Mario Cravo Jùnior.

In 1968 he enrolled at the Art Student League in New York, where he studied for two years. In 1970 he returned to Bahia, where he lived and worked until his untimely death in 2009.

Cravo Neto’s work has been exhibited internationally, including five times during the São Paulo Biennial (1971, 1973, 1975, 1977 and 1983), the Museo de Arte de São Paulo (1979 and 1983), Houston FotoFest (1992), the Museum of Photographic Art in San Diego (1994), Museum fur Photographie Braunschweig (1996), the Fotomuseo in Bogotá (2005) and Rencontres d’Arles, France (2005). His work is represented in numerous collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, FoMu in Antwerp, Museu de Arte de São Paulo - São Paulo and the Fondation Cartier in Paris. Cravo Neto has several publications to his name, including The Eternal Now (Áries Editora, 2002) and LARÓYÈ (Áries Editora, 2000).

Supported by

This exhibition is made possible by the loan from Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich, and through working closely with the Instituto Mario Cravo Neto / Instituto Moreira Salles, Brazil.

A Serene Expectation of Light is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. 

Press and information

All press enquiries please contact Alison Wright
E: alison@alisonwrightpr.com
T: +44 (0)1608 811 474

M: +44 (0)7814 796 930

For further information about the exhibition please contact Lois Olmstead at
Autograph ABP

E: lois@autograph-abp.co.uk
T: +44 (0)20 7720 9200

How to find us

Autograph is housed in the distinctive and award-winning Rivington Place building located in the heart of Shoreditch, one of London’s most vibrant creative areas which the Huffington Post described as “the city's ground zero of artsy urban cool.”

Rivington Place (off Rivington Street)

How to contact us
For information about Autograph, our work and the services we offer, please email info@autograph-abp.co.uk

For information and help with visiting Rivington Place, to book a disabled parking bay, or to discuss your access needs please call 020 7749 1240.

How to find us

Liverpool Street station (mainline and underground)
Walking: turn right onto Bishopsgate (A10), continue on to Shoreditch High Street, turn right opposite Shoreditch Church into Rivington Street. 0.7m, approx 14 mins.

Alternatively, take buses 26 or 48 from Stop F on Bishopsgate, alight Stop P on Shoreditch High Street.

Shoreditch High Street station (overground)
Walking: turn left onto Bethnal Green Road (A1209) and then right onto Shoreditch High Street. Directions as above. 0.3m approx 7mins.

Old Street station (underground)
Walking: take exit 3 onto Old Street and then bear right into Great Eastern Street and then immediately left into Rivington Street. 0.4m 10min.

By bus
The following buses stop nearby to Rvington Place: 26, 35, 47, 48, 55, 67, 78, 149, 242, & 243.

Rivington Place is fully accessible, with a lift and step free access to all areas of the building. Large print captions are available at reception. Please phone ahead to book a disabled parking bay, or to discuss your access needs: 020 7749 1240.

We welcome visitors with children to the gallery. Baby changing facilities are located in the ground floor toilet.

Exhibition opening times

Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 11am – 6pm
Thursday: 11am – 9pm
Saturday: 12 – 6pm
The gallery is closed Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays

Entry to Rivington Place and all exhibitions are free and unticketed. Our Gallery Assistants in the exhibition spaces are happy to answer questions about the exhibitions.

Rivington Place is fully accessible, and we welcome visitors with children to the gallery.

  • Mario Cravo Neto, Sacrificio V [Sacrifice V], 1989. Courtesy of Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich. © Instituto Mario Cravo Neto / Instituto Moreira Salles
  • Mario Cravo Neto, Homem com dois peixes [Man with two fish], 1992. From the series The Eternal Now, 1980-2000. Courtesy of Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich. © Instituto Mario Cravo Neto / Instituto Moreira Salles