Born in Fão, Portugal, in 1941, Ascânio MMM lives and workes in Rio de Janeiro since 1959. His education includes time at the National School of Fine Arts between 1963 and 1964, and at the School of Architecture and Urbanism of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (FAU/UFRJ) between 1965 and 1969, where he graduated. He worked as an architect until 1976. He began to develop his artistic work in 1966 while still at FAU, and later on in parallel with his practice as an architect. Ascânio’s artistic production was the subject of a study and critical analysis by Paulo Herkenhoff in the book Ascânio MMM: Poética da Razão (BEI Editora, 2012). In 2005 the book Ascânio MMM (Editora Andrea Jakobsson, 2005) was published, with texts by Paulo Sergio Duarte, Lauro Cavalcanti, Fernando Cocchiarale and Marcio Doctors.
In almost five decades of production, he built a meticulous work – transparent in its poetics and firm in its constructive logic – that guarantees him a historical place in the trajectory of geometric abstraction in Latin America. This was his exclusive praxis. Ascânio never made a figurative work. The artist’s particular genesis is anchored in his Portuguese origin and in the Brazilian cultural context, more specifically that of Rio de Janeiro, a city fecundated by the neo-concretist revolution and its unfoldings.
But his work is also set against the international horizons of sculpture – especially post-war Anglo-Saxon sculpture – and is situated among the responses of Brazilian culture to the political process following the 1964 coup d’état, through the relationship between art and society and the way architecture and urbanism penetrate this discussion – hence his own discourse on the three-dimensional aspect.