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Volume 64 / Humanities

ART: BRAZIL

JOSÉ M. NEISTEIN, Independent Consultant, Washington DC

WITH NO EXCEPTION, all publications selected for this chapter appeared after 2002. As relatively recent publications, they represent the latest scholarly contributions to each of the areas discussed. This time each and every section covered in this chapter is represented by at least one or two major publications and sometimes more. Of the seven items that made up the section on theoretical and reference works, three of them stand out as collections of essays that indicate the broad scientific and intellectual understanding of contemporary art in Brazil (items #bi2005005013# and #bi2007005320#).

Among works on the colonial period, two books deserve special attention for enriching our scholarly understanding of Dutch Brazil in the 17th century: items #bi2007005317# and #bi2007005316#. The systematic study and inventory of 18th- and 19th-century images of Minas Gerais is a welcome addition to the field (item #bi2007005343#).

The section on 19th century art registers two monographs of interest. One treats the works of the Italian painter, Facchinetti, (item #bi2007001851#) and the other examines the paintings of Vítor Meireles (item #bi2007001624#). One further work discusses and contains examples of works from the Biblioteca Nacional's holdings of Bahian iconography (item #bi2007005501#).

Twenty items cover the 20th and 21st centuries, a good many of them monographs, and a few of them are broader studies. In the first group are studies on Hélio Oiticica (item #bi2007001634#) Frans Krajcberg (item #bi2007005329#), Abraham Palatnik (item #bi2007005341#), and Anna Maria Maiolino (item #bi2007005313#). The second group includes an essay on pop art in Brazil (item #bi2007001633#), an overview of woodcuts (item #bi2007001856#), new considerations on sculpture (item #bi2007005308#), experimental art (item #bi2007005305#), and an in-depth study on Juscelino Kubitschek and Brazil's modernism (item #bi2007005345#).

Under architecture, items #bi2007001853#, #bi2007001864#, and #bi2007001629# are of historical interest. Item #bi2007001627# discusses vernacular architecture, modernism, and national identity.

The bibliography in photography has been growing steadily. Of the 14 items selected for review, several stand out for mention here. Item #bi2007001861# offers a haunting social portrait of the Rocinha favela. Item #bi2007001865# is an original conception of Brasilia that connects photography to the work of Clarice Lispector. Item #bi2007001867# shows how a Brazilian photographer looks at Brazil, while items #bi2006001587# and #bi2007000116# do the same with non-Brazilian photographers. An understudied subject, blacks and their representation in 19th-century Brazilian photography, receives attention in item #bi2007001859#.

In the folklore and folk art bibliography, items #bi2007001852#, #bi2007005306#, #bi2007005330#, #bi2007005348#, and #bi2007005311# celebrate the remarkable folk artists Heitor das Prazeres, J. Borges, and Mestre Molina. Lélia Coelho Frota's new dictionary, which provides an overview of Brazilian folk art, is a most welcome publication (item #bi2007005314#).

The Indian and Afro-Brazilian traditions are well represented by items #bi2006001597#, #bi2007005309#, #bi2007005328#, and #bi2007005312#, with each work offering a fresh approach to their area of study. Under miscellaneous, the rich study on Brazilian design stands out (item #bi2007001628#), as does the newly revived concept of modernity and modernism in Pernambuco (item #bi2007005346#). The full historical account of the São Paulo Biennial also deserves attention (item #bi2007005339#).


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