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Volume 60 / Humanities

ART: BRAZIL


JOSE M. NEISTEIN, Executive Director, Brazilian-American Cultural Institute, Washington, DC


THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE WORKS selected for this chapter study modern and contemporary arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, design, printmaking, and mixed media. This is a clear indication of the current direction of scholarship, as the selection was proportional to the books and publications received. However, various items included in other periods and areas were no less relevant and attractive, despite their lesser numbers.

Among the reference and theoretical works, De Sant'Anna's multiple-perspective study on the baroque stands out (item #bi2003001456#). Several new reference works—two of them dictionaries, and the other two bibliographic studies—are also notable (items #bi 00007113#, #bi2003001454#, #bi2002001263#, and #bi2002001262#). This section additionally includes a fairly complete overview of the history of art in Brazil (item #bi2003004198#), and a variety of essays by a large number of authors on the history and theory of contemporary art in Brazil.

The colonial period includes 14 items, several of which are of particular interest. The monograph on Antonio Giuseppe Landi is deserving of special mention (item #bi2002001249#). The catalog of the baroque exhibition is an encompassing collection of original essays on the topic (item #bi2002004322#). A speculative book on the nature of the baroque in Brazil is noteworthy (item #bi2002001241#).

The 19th century is represented by a small number of items, all of them interesting in their own right, since they cover different aspects of the arts in that century. Viagem ao Brasil... is a substantial addition to the Brazilian iconography (item #bi2002001297#). So also is Corrêa do Lago's study, focusing on São Paulo iconography (item #bi 00007111#). The use of exposed iron structures in Brazilian 19th-century architecture was a major event in the country's modernization. Kühl provides a full account in her work (item #bi2002001311#).

Works on art of the 20th and 21st centuries make up almost half of the items in this chapter and represent studies of virtually all media, individually studied or considered as a group. Even architecture, a separate section, contains a considerable number of items dedicated to modernity.

Guignard, one of Brazil's most beloved painters, is well deserving of the two in-depth studies reviewed this biennium (items #bi2003001457# and #bi2002001238#) and Two extensive monographs focus on Lasar Segall (items #bi2003001448# and #bi 00007109#). Various classics of Brazilian modernism are represented by one monograph each, all of them commendable: Lívio Abramo (item #bi2003001455#), Volpi (item #bi2002001237#), Tarsila (item #bi2002001302#), Flávio de Carvalho (item #bi2002001299#), and Vicente do Rego Monteiro (item #bi2002001318#). Modernists of second and third generations were also included: Anna Letycia (item #bi2002001255#), Franz Weissmann (item #bi2002001246#), Fiaminghi (item #bi2002001289#), Renina (item #bi2002001301#), and De Fiori (item #bi 00007108#).

Avant-garde artists are well represented both in monographs, and thematic and summary studies, among them Lygia Clark, a seminal presence (item #bi2003001449#), Emilie Chamie (item #bi2002001254#), and more recent artists such as Carmela Gross (item #bi2003001447#), Rosângela Rennó (item #bi2002001260#), Leda Catunda (item #bi2002001248#), Gonçalo Ivo (item #bi2002001314#), and Tuneu (item #bi2002001272#). Among the sculptors, Vlavianos is noteworthy (item #bi2002001294#). Among the studies on artistic movements, it is worth stressing item #bi2003001457# on the Armorial Movement, item #bi2002004321# on the most recent tendencies, item #bi2002001239# about the 1960s, item #bi2002001316# on constructivism in Brazil, item #bi2002001268# on international Brazilian art, and item #bi2002001244# on the currents of three-dimensional art.

As for printmaking, such a relevant segment of Brazilian art, items #bi2002001235#, #bi2003001450#, and #bi2003001446# should be mentioned. A special manifestation in the past 60 years has been naif art, of which item #bi2002001251# offers an overview.

The photography section has only four items, each one distinctive and relevant: photopictorialism in Brazil (item #bi2002001265#), photography in Pará (item #bi2003005282#), theory of photography and history of photography in Brazil and Argentina (item #bi2002001310#), and photography in Rio Grande do Sul (item #bi2002001274#).

The vast majority of the items on architecture are also devoted to the 20th century, either as monographs or as group studies. Thus, Costa enters with three monographs (items #bi 98012478#, #bi2002001273#, and #bi2002004026#). Regional architecture is well represented here, with in-depth studies and reference works: Curitiba (item #bi2003001444#), São Paulo's Ramos de Azevedo (item #bi2003001445#), Porto Alegre (item #bi2002001270#) and Porto Alegre's Corona (item #bi2002001269#), Santa Catarina (item #bi2002001236#), Belo Horizonte (item #bi2002001293#), and Espírito Santo (item #bi2002001264#). Vernacular architecture is also present (item #bi2002004016#). City planning is covered by a few excellent studies, such as one on Salvador (item #bi2003001442#), and one on city planning issues since World War II (item #bi2002001312#). Last but not least are topics such as landscape architecture (items #bi2002001308# and #bi2002001317#), and Burle Marx (item #bi2002001266#).

Among the miscellaneous publications, the catalog on Smith stands out (item #bi2003004192#). Comparative art deco in the New World is of historical interest (item #bi2002004314#). The Visual Arts Mercosur Biennial concerns art exchanges in South America (item #bi 00007110#). On the iconography of Rio de Janeiro, item #bi2002004323# is, and will remain, one-of-a-kind for a long time.


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