b. 1925 Rome, Italy – d. 1973 São Paulo, Brazil
Arriving in Brazil in 1946 Cordeiro settled in São Paulo in the following year initially working as a journalist, art critic and newspaper caricaturist. In 1949, Cordeiro participated in From Figurativism to Abstractionism, at the newly opened São Paulo Museum of Modern Art where abstraction gained institutional backing. He participated in the first São Paulo International Biennial in 1951 and in various subsequent ones.
Cordeiro was Communist, his politics and art theory combined making him a proponent of art as a fundamental element of the social transformation process, firmly believing art should be accessible to all, rejecting the hedonistic idea of ‘art for art’s sake’. He promoted these ideals though public art projects and his landscape design company. As he wrote in the manifest of Grupo Ruptura founded in 1952 with artists such as Luiz Sacilotto and Lothar Charoux “Modern Art is not ignorance. We are against ignorance“.
He followed closely Max Bill’s Concrete Art concepts and studied Visual Gestalt principles. Cordeiro wanted to produce a new Rational art through the use of simple elements; line and colour.
From 1965 to 1968 he created work based on the principles of Opera Aperta (Umberto Eco) in the New Tendencies movement. Later, from 1969 to 1973 he introduced Computer Art to Latin America, a movement he called Arteonica which was for him a logical progression of Concrete Art.