Curiosities

8 Modern Brazilian artists for you to know!

Por Paulo Varella - outubro 14, 2022
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We have selected a list of 8 important Brazilian modern artists in our history.

Influenced by the aesthetics of the European Vanguards, Brazilian artists sought to break with old patterns and generate truly national art; that portray the local culture and customs.

The starting point of the Brazilian modernist movement was the 1922 Modern Art Week, where several visual artists and writers presented a new form of expression to the public. This event took place at the Municipal Theatre of São Paulo.


Artists who were part of Brazilian modernism

1. Tarsila do Amaral | 1886-1973 | Capivari, São Paulo

Tarsila do Amaral; artistas modernistas brasileiros
Tarsila do Amaral at her home in São Paulo, one year before her death. Artist lost leg movement after medical error. Photo by: Márcio Arruda for O Globo

Tarsila do Amaral, besides being a painter and draftswoman, was also one of the central figures of the first phase of the Brazilian modernist movement.

In 1922, she introduced Cubism to Brazil with its geometric shapes represented, most of the time, by cubes and cylinders. Her painting “Abaporu”, from 1928, inaugurated the anthropophagic movement in the visual arts.


2. Anita Malfatti | 1889-1964 | São Paulo

Anita Malfatti was a painter, draughtswoman, engraver and teacher. Her controversial exhibition in 1917 was a milestone for the renewal of the plastic arts in Brazil.

On December 20, 1917, writer Monteiro Lobato, art critic for the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo, published an article entitled “Paranoia or mystification?”, criticizing Anita’s expressionist show.

It served as a trigger for the Modernist Movement in Brazil, where several of the artist’s works became milestones of the modern painting.


3. Di Cavalcanti | 1897-1976 | Rio de Janeiro

Emiliano Augusto Cavalcanti de Albuquerque e Melo, better known as Di Cavalcanti was a modernist painter, draughtsman, illustrator, muralist and caricaturist.

His art contributed significantly to the distinction of Brazilian art in relation to other movements of the time, through vibrant colors, sinuous shapes and typically Brazilian themes such as carnival, local people and tropicalisms in general.

Di Cavalcanti is one of the most illustrious representatives of Brazilian modernism.


4. Inácio da Costa Ferreira | 1892-1958 | Rio Claro, São Paulo

Inácio da Costa Ferreira, better known as Ferrignac, was a lawyer, illustrator, draughtsman, caricaturist and writer.

He participated and had a great influence on the Modern Art Week.


5. Vicente do Rego Monteiro | 1899-1970 | Recife, Pernambuco

Vicente do Rego was a multidisciplinary artist: painter, draftsman, sculptor, teacher and poet.

During his artistic career, he organised the first exhibition of European modern art in South America, which took place in Recife in 1930.


6. Oswaldo Goeldi | 1895 – 1961 | Rio de Janeiro

Oswaldo Goeldi was an engraver, draftsman, illustrator and teacher.

Son of the scientific scientist Emílio Augusto Goeldi, he moved with his family to Belém, Pará, where they lived until 1905, when they moved to Bern, Switzerland.


7. Victor Brecheret | 1894-1955 | São Paulo

Victor Brecheret was an Italian-Brazilian sculptor, considered one of the most important in the country. He is responsible for introducing modern art into Brazilian sculpture.


8. Ismael Nery | 1900-1934 | Rio de Janeiro

Ismael Nery a Brazilian painter of surrealist influence. Along with Cícero Dias and Oswaldo Goeldi, he was one of the exponents of the 1920s.

Very active in Brazilian modernism, he died prematurely, at the age of 34, of tuberculosis, in a Franciscan monastery. Therefore, his works began only to be recognized after his death.

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Estudou cinema na NFTS (UK), administração na FGV e química na USP. Trabalhou com fotografia, cinema autoral e publicitário em Londres nos anos 90 e no Brasil nos anos seguintes. Sua formação lhe conferiu entre muitas qualidades, uma expertise em estética da imagem, habilidade na administração de conteúdo, pessoas e conhecimento profundo sobre materiais. Por muito tempo Paulo participou do cenário da produção artística em Londres, Paris e Hamburgo de onde veio a inspiração para iniciar o Arteref no Brasil. Paulo dirigiu 3 galerias de arte e hoje se dedica a ajudar artistas, galeristas e colecionadores a melhorarem o acesso no mercado internacional.

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