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  • ICAA Record ID
    1110889
    AUTHOR
    Brown, Milton
    TITLE
    Portinari of Brazil / Milton Brown
    IN
    Parnassus (New York, USA). --- Nov. 1940
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 37-39 : ill.
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Newspaper article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Brown, Milton. "Portinari of Brazil." Parnassus (New York, USA), November 1940, 37-39.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    NAME DESCRIPTORS
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

In this article, Milton Brown claims that North American interest in and awareness of the work of Brazilian painter Candido Portinari is largely due to the impact of Portinari of Brazil, his solo exhibition at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York.  Here, Brown describes that exhibition as having “a pretentious simplicity.” Brown also mentions the joint exhibition Portinari and other Latin American artists presented at the Riverside Museum, also in New York, and describes him as a true cultural ambassador of Latin America. The article includes Portinari’s biography and adds that like Daumier, Goya, and Orozco, he likes to paint scenes of everyday life. The works shown at both exhibitions are divided into three groups: portraits (especially the one of Mário de Andrade); mural painting, about which Brown says: “whereas the Mexicans illustrate their revolutionary aspirations, Portinari paints murals for a semi-fascist government,” a reference to repressive conditions under the Estado Novo (1930–1945) of the Getúlio Vargas regime. The article mentions Enterro, a painting that fuses the influence of the Paris School with Portinari’s own pictorial heritage. Brown sees the influence of the School of Paris, but he also sees the painter’s own distinct artistic voice. The third group includes drawings and monotypes that have clear allusions to German Expressionism (George Grosz and Otto Dix), which is linked to an eclectic lyricism reminiscent of Picasso. The reviewer concludes by stating that these works clearly show that the title Portinari of Brazil applies to the artist as well as to the exhibition.   

Leia esta sinopse em português
Synopsis

O texto assinala que Portinari foi introduzido nos Estados Unidos pela exposição individual realizada no Museu de Arte Moderna de Nova York, intitulada "Portinari of Brazil", "com pretenciosa simplicidade". Recorda a participação de Portinari na mostra de latino-americanos, no Riverside Museum. Observa que a maioria dos norte-americanos ficou chocado não só com o fato dos sul-americanos pintarem, mas de o fazerem bem. Situa Portinari como o primeiro embaixador nas novas relações culturais com a América do Sul. Fornece alguns dados biográficos do pintor. Observa sua intenção em pintar a vida de seu povo, como Daumier, Goya e Orozco. Divide as obras apresentadas no MoMA e no Riverside em três categorias. Sobre a primeira - retratos - ressalta que só o retrato de Mário de Andrade apresenta solidez de realização. Da segunda - pintura mural - diz ser a mais importante faceta do talento de Portinari, tecendo considerações quanto à intenção ("os mexicanos expressavam aspirações revolucionárias, mas Portinari produzia decorações murais para um governo semi-fascista"). Anota que o pintor expressa a vida de seu povo com símbolos esotéricos. Comenta a obra "Burial" ("Enterro"). Observa influências da escola de Paris mas observa também sua personalidade própria. Em seus desenhos e monotipias, vê reminiscências dos expressionistas alemães, George Grosz e Otto Dix e uma lírica ternura que o leva a Picasso, mas com um estilo eclético. Diz que Portinari tem a virtude de não ser um propagandista, ressaltando que a realidade que ele retrata emerge como um sonho. Questiona se a propaganda estaria implícita. Mas assinala que, realística ou surrealisticamente, Portinari pode vir a ser Portinari of Brazil. (resumo extraído da ficha do documento catalogada pelo Projeto Portinari)

Revert to English synopsis
Annotations

This article is about the movement of intellectuals, artists, and works between Brazil, the United States, and Europe in the heyday of modernism. The article also testifies to the fame in international circles of Brazilian painter, Candido Portinari in those days. Like Diego Rivera (to whom he is compared in this article), Portinari’s range and output are vast. Portinari’s favorite subjects are rural scenes and urban subjects, refugees fleeing from difficult conditions in northeastern Brazil, key events in Brazilian history (since the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500), portraits of his own family, and book illustrations.  

 

Candido Portinari (1903–1962), together with Emiliano Di Cavalcanti (1897–1976), would become Brazil’s official painter from the late 1930s to the mid-1950s. He was a controversial figure in academic circles and among Brazilian supporters of abstract art. The poet and art critic Mário de Andrade wrote about Portinari’s work during that period [see “Portinari” in ICAA digital archive, doc. no. 781236]. Portinari’s relationship with Lucio Costa led to the former’s involvement in the MES project (Ministério de Educação e Saúde, 1936–1942), the signature building in Brazilian modern architecture. To understand his tile mural for the façade of the building’s auditorium, see “A pintura mural de autoria de Cândido Portinari” (doc. no. 1110857). The sociologist Gilberto Freyre’s version of these narratives in Portinari’s work introduces the idea of “lusotropicalismo” [Portuguese Tropicalism], a theory that posits miscegenation as a positive force in Brazil’s development; see “Portinari” (doc. no. 1075292). His political leanings prompted him to join the PCB (Partido Comunista Brasileño) during the following decade, and in 1947, he ran for a senate seat. Persecuted by Eurico Gaspar Dutra’s anticommunist government, he went into exile in Uruguay.  

 

There is another article from the same period, written on the occasion of the 1939 New York World’s Fair by Mary Katherine Sater; see “Brazilian Bombshell: Candido Portinari's work is best of Latin Americans” (doc. no. 1110884); and another, by Gladwin Hill, entitled: “Portrait of Portinari, the Brazilian artist” (doc. no. 1110890).

Leia este comentário crítico em português
Annotations

Cândido Portinari, junto com Di Cavalcanti, se tornará entre o final dos anos 1930 até meados dos anos 1950 o pintor modernista oficial da arte brasileira. Sua presença será alvo de polêmicas tanto entre correntes acadêmicas quanto, futuramente contra os defensores da arte abstrata no país.

 

Ver também:

Latin American Art – Exhibition of Fine and Applied Art (cat. exp.)
Victor de Carvalho. Portinari of Brazil. Cartas de Nova York.
Gladwin Hill. Portrait of Portinari, the Brazilian Artist
Portinari of Brazil (pictures on Exhibit)
Katharine Sater. Brazilian Bombshell
Anna Olmsted. Brazilian Art at Museum. Portinari of Brazil.
Rio’s Ambassador in Oils: Portinari of Brazil

 

b- Circulação de artistas, intelectuais e obras entre Brasil, Europa e EUA

e- Tendências políticas da arte moderna: expressionismo, realismo social, pintura mural

Revert to English annotations
Researcher
Guilherme Bueno
Team
FAPESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Location
Projeto Portinari