Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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    In this letter, dated March 10, 1997, Raul Porto thanks Aracy Amaral for her visit, a “splendid surprise” that brought back memories of “good times as an artist participating in exhibitions, salons, and biennials.” Porto remembers his friendship with [Francisco] Xico Stockinger, who was “very deaf, but an extraordinary reader of lips,” and the active nightlife of Porto Alegre, which centered around the club Encouraçado Botekin. Porto also mentions his nephew Mauro Soares, a painter and art director for the publicity firm Salles in São Paulo.

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    Raul Porto (1936–99), who studied art in Campinas, encountered the concrete artists of São Paulo at the VI Salão Paulista de Arte Moderna, where he befriended painters Waldemar Cordeiro and Hermelindo Fiaminghi and the poet Décio Pignatari. He may also have met Francisco Alexandre “Xico” Stockinger (1919–2009), an Austrian artist who settled in São Paulo in 1929 but moved to Porto Alegre in 1954 to work for the newspaper A Hora. In his letter, Porto mentions late nights with Stockinger at a Porto Alegre club called the Battleship Butikin (an allusion to the film by Sergei Eisenstein) that was known in the 1970s–80s for bossa nova performances by Vinicius de Moraes. Porto contributed to the I Exposição de arte contemporânea da Campinas in 1952, and founded the Grupo Vanguarda with Thomaz Perina, Franco Sacchi, and Geraldo Jürgensen, among others. Between 1958–66, the group organized more than twenty exhibitions, some of which were presented at the Galeria de Arte das Folhas [see in the ICAA digital archive “Prêmio Leirner de Arte Contemporânea, 1960” (doc. no. 1232976)]. Porto participated in the V, VII, VIII, and IX International Bienal of São Paulo.

     

    Aracy Amaral (b. 1930) is an art historian and critic who has written about Brazilian art since the early 1970s. She was the director of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (1975–79), and of the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (1982–86). She is currently a professor of Art History at the FAU-USP. She is the author of many important books on Brazilian art, including Tarsila sua obra e seu tempo (São Paulo: Editora 34/EDUSP, 2010); Textos do Trópico de Capricórnio – artigos e ensaios (1980–2005) in three volumes (São Paulo: Editora 34, 2006); Arte para quê? A preocupação social na arte brasileira 1930–1970 (São Paulo: Nobel, 2003); and Artes plásticas na Semana de 22 (São Paulo: Perspectiva, 1970).

     

    [For more on Raul Porto and the Grupo Vanguarda, see the following essays in the ICAA digital archive: by Décio Pignatari “Pignatari: vanguarda e Raul Porto” (doc. no. 1233071) and “Raul Porto” (doc. no. 1309108).

     

    For more by Aracy Amaral, see “Art in Latin America: permanencia de lo pintoresco” (doc. no. 807837), “Arte na rua” (doc. no. 1110675); “Arte no Brasil” (doc. no. 1110373); “Aspectos do não-objetualismo no Brasil” (doc. no. 1111221); and “Dos carimbos à bolha” (doc. no. 1110665), among many others].