The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this essay, Aracy Amaral writes on where her interest began in producing the retrospective exhibition titled Projeto Construitivo Brasileiro na Arte (1950–1962). With this exhibition, came a catalogue that Aracy would consider her greatest contribution because it was “one of the first substantial publications to be conceived in Brazil about a historical event in twentieth century Brazilian art,” and it contained critical texts, as well as a “chronology of Constructivism in Brazil and throughout the world.”
Aracy Amaral (b. 1930) begins this essay by establishing from where the term ‘concrete art’ derived. She then briefly discusses the economic climate of Brazil, as well as a few other South American countries such as Venezuela and Argentina, in the mid-1940’s and early 1950’s. The rapid growth and industrialization, as well as the export of raw materials from Brazil, proved to be optimistic for the Brazilian society at the time. In Brazil, “this new position idealized progress and required that culture be too engaged through dialogues with artists and intellectuals,” which in turn, made for a lot of artistic production responding to wishful thinking or the qualms of imperialism.
She says that it was not only the commemoration in 1977 of the twenty-year anniversary of The First National Exhibition of Concrete Art (1956–1957) in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro that prompted the retrospective of Brazilian Constructive Art movements, but it was also the lack of publications and information regarding Brazil’s own history of the twentieth century. Amaral writes on the planning process of the exhibition, and also the greatest attributes of the catalogue made in conjunction.
This essay provides a thorough recap of one of the most important exhibitions regarding Brazilian Constructive art. [See in ICAA digital archive, the texts: “Art and Design: Discovery and Attitude” by Alexandre Wollner (doc. no. 1324618), “Brazilian Concretismo” by Nicolau Sevcenko (doc. no. 1324569) and “Max Bill on the Map of Argentine-Brazilian Concrete Art” by Maria Amalia Garcia (doc. no. 1324602) regarding the publication Building on a Construct: The Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art]
Born in Sâo Paulo, art historian, critic and curator Aracy A. Amaral (b. 1930) is a prolific writer and curator of post-modern Latin American art. Recent titles authored by Amaral include but are not limited to, Tarsila, Sua Obra E Seu Tempo (2009); Jose Bento (2000); Arte Para Quê: a Preocupação Social na Arte Brasileira 1930–1970 (2003), and Ultramodern: The Art of Contemporary Brazil (1993). Her most recent curatorial contributions include Volpi Alfredo: Small Formats (2016); 34° Panorama de Arte Brasileira (2016) and Marinaldo Santos (2015), among many others.