The Congresso Internacional Extraordinário de Críticos de Arte took place in Brasilia, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro on the occasion of the installation of the new Brazilian capital on the highlands in the state of Goiás. The theme of the event, “A cidade nova, síntese das artes,” which had been proposed by critic Mário Pedrosa, proved polemic throughout the meeting. This text provides an overview of the congress and describes the different positions of the critics invited to participate in its debate.
Intellectual and politician Mário Pedrosa (1900–1981) was unquestionably the pivotal figure in twentieth-century Brazilian art theory and criticism. This text is of interest because it discusses the lectures given by the most important international critics on an individual level. “A cidade nova, síntese das artes,” the theme of the event held in 1959, was what motivated the transfer of the seat of government from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia.
The Congresso Internacional Extraordinário de Críticos de Arte took place in Brasilia, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro from September 17 to September 25, 1959. The theme of the event—“A cidade nova, síntese das artes”—was proposed by critic Mário Pedrosa. The lectures of the foreign critics and architects who participated in the congress generated debates on the production of art and architecture in Brazil. The summary of the congress’s seventh session, entitled “Educação artística,” included lectures by critics Herbert Read and A. Sartoris, architect and urbanist Lúcio Costa, and Brazilian artists Theon Spanudis and Fayga Ostrower.
For further reading, see “A cidade nova, síntese das artes” (ICAA digital archive 1086503).