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Synopsis

Gilberto Freyre describes his visit to the visual artist Vicente do Rego Monteiro’s studio in Paris. Freyre acknowledges the artist’s talent and independence, and disagrees with the “Futurist” label with which he has been tagged by the Brazilian press. Instead, he calls Rego Monteiro a “revolutionary” for rebelling against academic painting and by distancing himself from modern trends, mainly Impressionism and Expressionism. Freyre discerns echoes of primitivism in Rego Monteiro’s work; he sees sincerity in its conception, exaggeration in the most expressive detail, and figures shown in relief, all of which, in his opinion, are characteristic traits of the Christian art produced by the Pre-Raphaelites. In the artist’s portraits, Freyre notices a defamiliarization created by the proportion and the presence of character and soul, something that cannot be found in a photograph. He announces that the artist will be exhibiting his work at the Salon des Independents in Paris, and mentions that he had the opportunity to leaf through a book on legends of the Amazon, in which he could appreciate the pure, fine qualities of the line and the near-transparent colors. Freyre ends by referring to Rego Monteiro’s innate capacity for work.      

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Synopsis

O sociólogo Gilberto Freyre narra sua visita ao estúdio do artista Vicente do Rego Monteiro em Paris. Reconhece seu talento e sua independência, e discorda da etiqueta de futurista usada pela crítica de arte brasileira. Chama-o de revolucionário, por ser um rebelde em relação à pintura acadêmica, e também por diferenciar-se das tendências modernas do impressionismo e expressionismo. Reconhece uma afinidade aos primitivos: a sinceridade de concepção, o exagero de pormenor mais expressivo, o relevo de figura, que seriam característicos da arte cristã antecedente ao pintor Rafael. Percebe nos seus retratos uma estranheza de proporção, a presença de caráter e alma que não se encontram em uma fotografia. Comenta que o artista irá expor no Salon des Independents e que viu os originais de um livro sobre as lendas da Amazônia, nos quais reconhece as qualidades de linha pura e fina e de colorido quase transparente.  Conclui destacando seu temperamento e sua capacidade de trabalho.

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Annotations

This is an article by the sociologist, anthropologist, historian, writer, and journalist Gilberto [de Mello] Freyre (1900–87), that includes a reference to Cícero Dias, another painter from Pernambuco. Freyre makes this reference in “O regional e o universal na pintura de Cícero Dias” [see doc. no. 1075269]. In this article, Freyre provides a thumbnail sketch (that he refers to as his “pencil notes”) of the noted Brazilian avant-garde artist, painter, poet, and publisher, Vicente do Rego Monteiro (1899–1970), whose work was based on symbols and designs from the Amazon region (derived from the ceramics produced on the Ilha do Marajó at the mouth of the river), and who had also settled in Paris. The work that Freyre mentions is Légendes, croyances et talismans des indiens de l’Amazone (Paris: Tolmer Éditeur, 1923). 

 

Freyre’s article is interesting because it disputes the “Futurist” label that had been attached to the painter (as he was characterized in Brazil). Instead, Freyre identifies him with a sort of modern primitivism, despite associating his work with the Pre-Raphaelites. After talking about Rego Monteiro’s profound study of indigenous Brazilian art, and referring to the 1923 book (mentioned above), Freyre suggests the possibility of an alternative kind of primitivism linked specifically to the culture of Brazil. 

 

The article reflects, albeit subtly, the author’s study of the connection between European and modernist Brazilian avant-gardes, and describes how contemporary artists treated indigenous motifs and legends rooted in local folklore.  

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Annotations

Esse artigo interessa pelo autor contestar o rótulo de futurista atribuído ao artista e aproximá-lo do primitivismo moderno, embora a associação aqui se faça aos Pré-Rafaelitas. Porém, ao trazer à tona o estudo intenso de Rego Monteiro sobre a arte do índio brasileiro e noticiar, pela primeira vez, a publicação de Legendes, croyances et talismans des indiens de l’Amazone, acaba por sugerir a possibilidade de um outro primitivismo, ligado à cultura indígena brasileira.

 

b- Modernismo brasileiro e vanguarda européia

d2- Tratamento de motivos indígenas ou lendas folclóricas por artistas modernos e contemporâneos

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Researcher
Marco Andrade
Team
FAPESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Credit
Cortesia da Fundação Gilberto Freyre, Recife, Pernambucano, Brasil
Location
Biblioteca do Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros - USP