Franz Weissman 

Franz Joseph Weissmann was born in Knittelfeld, Austria in 1911. Arrived in Brazil in 1924. Between 1939 and 1941, in Rio de Janeiro, he took courses in architecture, sculpture, painting and drawing at the National School of Fine Arts (Enba). From 1942 to 1944, he studied drawing, sculpture, modelling and casting with August Zamoyski (1893 - 1970). In 1945, he moved to Belo Horizonte, where he gave private classes in drawing and sculpture. Three years later, Guignard (1896 - 1962) invited him to lecture in sculpture at the Escola do Parque [Park School], which was later renamed the Escola Guignard [Guignard School]. He initially developed a figurativist body of work, but from the 1950s onwards, gradually developed work in a Constructivist style, emphasising geometric forms that were subject to cuts and folds, using iron plates, steel wires, aluminium bars and sheets. He became a member of the Grupo Frente [Frente Group] in 1955. The following year, he moved back to Rio de Janeiro, taking part in the National Exhibition of Concrete Art, in 1957. In 1959, he became one of the founders of the Neoconcretist Group. In the same year, he went to Europe and the Far East, returning to Brazil in 1965. During the 1960s, he showed his Amassados [Crumpled] series, developed in Europe with zinc or aluminium sheets worked with hammers, clubs and cutting instruments, temporarily aligning himself with Informalism, but subsequently moving back towards Constructivist circles. During the 1970s he received the Best Sculptor Prize from the São Paulo Association of Art Critics (APCA), took part in the International Open-Air Sculpture Biennale in Antwerp, Belgium and the Venice Biennale. He also made monumental sculptures for public spaces in several Brazilian cities, such as Praça da Sé [Cathedral Square] in São Paulo, the Parque da Catacumba in Rio de Janeiro and the Palácio das Artes in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.He died in Rio de Janeiro in 2005.