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Synopsis

In this article, the art critic Sérgio Milliet continues an ongoing debate with his colleague Luiz Martins. This debate had played out in installments in publications such as Arte e Polêmica, as well as in lectures on a couple of themes that were of great importance at the time. Specifically, the issue on one hand of what determines the nationality of a work of art, and on the other, what had happened to Brazilian painting since Getúlio Vargas overthrew the government in 1930. In Milliet’s opinion, “an authentically national form of art cannot be based on anything other than the subject matter,” since ultimately “questions of balance, composition, and harmony are universal.” And, since art “tends toward the universal” in Milliet’s view, everything outside Universalist trends “is folklore, minor arts, and exoticism.” The author also comes to the defense of the artists who made names for themselves at that time in São Paulo, in particular, singling out the members of FAP [São Paulo Artistic Family] who created works of “pure and sincere expression,” such as Lasar Segall, Alfredo Volpi, and Francisco Rebolo, among others.

Leia esta sinopse em português
Synopsis

O artigo do crítico de arte Sérgio Milliet dá sequência a um debate travado com o colega Luiz Martins, em jornais e conferências, a respeito de dois assuntos: os aspectos que determinam a nacionalidade de uma produção artística e as características da pintura paulista pós-1930. Para Milliet, "essa idéia de uma arte nacional não pode se assentar noutra coisa que não no assunto". Afinal, "com referência ao equilíbrio, à composição, à harmonia, os padrões são universais". E como a arte "tende para o universal", tudo o que foge às tendências universalistas "cai no folclore, na arte menor, no exotismo". O autor também defende os artistas que se notabilizam em São Paulo naquele período, representados sobretudo por membros da Família Artística Paulista, autores de obras de "expressão pura e sincera".

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Annotations

During the course of the debate over “national art” with the art critic Luiz Martins, the writer, painter, and sociologist Sérgio Milliet (1898–1966) made it absolutely clear that in his opinion, the nationality of a work of art can only be determined by its subject matter, but never according to its brightness or the landscape of the painting, as claimed by Martins. Milliet ironically refers to “that brightness that I consider French and that Luiz Martins considers Brazilian.” Martins was the author of a theory that associated the grayish colors used in São Paulo paintings after 1930 with the economic crisis that led to Black Tuesday and the 1929 Wall Street crash that devastated the Brazilian economy, especially the coffee market. In his article, “Luz ? Paisagem ? Arte nacional” [Light, Landscapes, National Art], Milliet comes to the defense of a group of São Paulo artists who were widely accused of “savaging the social or intellectual trends” in modern art, a reference to the Surrealist and abstract movements that would stimulate a great deal of discussion during the following decade in Brazil.

 

Milliet challenges that perception, using the term “proletariat” to describe the painting of Alfredo Volpi (1896–1988)—especially his façades and his little flags during the fiestas of San Juan—and the work of Francisco Rebolo (1902–80) as well. Both of these painters were members of both the Santa Helena Group and the FAP.

Leia este comentário crítico em português
Annotations

Nesta discussão com o crítico de arte Luís Martins, a posição de Milliet é categórica: a nacionalidade de uma produção artística só se determina pelo assunto ou pelo tema das obras, e nunca pela luminosidade ou pela paisagem de uma pintura, como defendia seu colega, autor de uma tese em que relacionava as cores acinzentadas da pintura paulista pós-1930 com a crise econômica desencadeada pelo crash de 1929. Mas ainda em "Luz - paisagem - arte nacional", Milliet sai em defesa dos artistas de São Paulo, geralmente acusados de "hostilizar as tendências sociais ou intelectuais" da arte moderna, referindo-se ao surrealismo e à abstração. Para rebater este argumento, o autor define como "proletária"a pintura de um Alfredo Volpi e de um Francisco Rebolo Gonsales.

 

b- Busca, construção e expressão de aspectos locais

b- Modernismo: arte e ideário

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Researcher
José Augusto Ribeiro
Team
FAPESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Location
Biblioteca do Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros - USP