Brazil Figurative Arts

Painting and sculpture. – The Sixties marked a serious fall of the visual arts in Brazil. In 1955 the sculptor V. Brecheret (born in 1894) died, in 1957 the painter L. Segall (born in 1891), in 1962 the painter C. Portinari (born in 1903). Only E. Di Cavalcanti, painter, and M. Martins, sculptress remain from the generation of twentieth-century masters; continuer of the poetics of constructivism is in a certain sense M. Vieira, sculptor, author of “polyvolumes” which hypothesize a clear geometry of space. But the most important personality to emerge from the 1960s onwards is that of R. Burle Marx. From 1935 Burle Marx had taken an unusual position in Brazil, with the abandonment of easel painting to direct himself in a research he felt as a global art, as the social destination of the work of art. For Brazil 2019, please check

Burle Marx thus uses mineral and vegetable elements in plastic compositions that constitute sensitive and daring interventions in the landscape, going far beyond the limits in which Western hierarchical conceptions force garden architecture. Despite the relationship with architects such as L. Costa and O. Niemeyer, Burle Marx’s interventions always contain, in fact, a fantastic opposition, linked to the irrepressible totality of nature, with respect to urban containment. Besides being the author of botanical creations, Burle Marx has executed tapestries, paintings, sculptures. Factors that have contributed considerably to avant-garde art in Brazil were the establishment of the San Paolo biennial (1951), with the help of the patron Matarasso, and the new direction assumed by the Museo d ‘ modern art in Rio de Janeiro. In 1960 the latter set up the group’s exhibition concrete art, with a manifesto by W. Cordeiro which constitutes an indictment against the “modernism”, by now become tradition, of Brazilian art. With Cordeiro, participated in the exhibition: K. Fejer, of Hungarian origin, I. Lauand, M. Nogueira Lima, L. Sacilotto. Also very active is an abstract art studio in São Paulo, directed by S. Flexor, from which several new Brazilian artists (such as L. Raymo and J. Douchez) have emerged.

The “neo-concretists” (F. Weissmann, A. de Castro, and the writers F. Gullar, R. Jardim, T. Spanerdis) intervened against the concretists, accused of excessive rationalism. Appealing to the aesthetics of the neo-concretists, who require the participation of the viewer for a direct approach to the object of art, understood as a real physical body, L. Clark exhibited in 1960 metal plates joined by hinges which he entitled Bestie, inviting the public to handle them. Kinetic is A. Palatnik, lyric abstract A. Bandeira, geometric abstract C. Dias. In the multiplicity of expression of Brazilian abstract art, the active presence of two artists of Japanese origin such as M. Mabe and F. Shiro is remarkable. Sculptors well known also abroad and who avoid a schematic definition of school are S. de Camargo and F. Krajcberg.

The tendency to understand artistic work in terms of “behavior” (poor art, conceptual art, etc.) is also represented in the Brazilian art scene, in particular by HA Miranda Espinola, SA Porto, R. Vater, V. Chaves Barcellos, C. Tozzi. The reputation of Brazil in the field of engraving is noteworthy: among the major artists we mention I. Pons, M. Bonomi, AL Quadros, JL Chaves, EC Jardim.

Architecture. – Around 1960 a reaction to the absolute dominance of rationalism took place in Brazilian architecture, which in the 1930s and 1950s achieved its greatest successes in Brazil Brasilia represented for Brazilian architects the extreme case of verification of the rationalistic experience, after which it was perceived as an inconsistent intention to extend the design from the single building to the entire city, outside of other social and environmental considerations.

However, the disappointment of Brasilia has caused more disorientation than the emergence of new sure trends. Typical constructions of the moment are the hydroelectric plants on the Chopim river (1963), by S. De Souza and M. Magnoli, with a decisive “science fiction” iconography, the plastic pavilions by WO Prochnik, which constitute a technological proposal to overcome the crisis, D. Libeskind’s club in Sao Paulo (1961), with strong references to the latest FL Wright. But the fall of the creative tension in architecture, when the great masters who established themselves around 1930 almost no longer operate, is even more noticeable in the urban planning sector, where there is almost no legislation to curb building speculation and disorderly growth.

Brazil Figurative Arts