Cerco e morte (Siege and Death) features two diagrams. In each a group of four arrows forms a cross: on the left, the arrows nearly touch eachother and constitute a siege; on the right, the arrows touch at the center point and indicate death. Painted black against a white background, the work is a stark graphic composition that conveys a radical political statement—a political assassination—made in the heated context of the early 1970s in Brazil. Zilio was a renowned intellectual, artist, and political activist in the late 1960s, and a key member of the Brazilian art scene, working alongside Antonio Dias and Hélio Oiticica to establish the foundations of contemporary art in Brazil.
Gallery label from Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980, September 5, 2015–January 3, 2016.