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 who presided over its inauguration and closing. The lectures given by the foreign critics and architects who participated in the congress generated debates that would resonate in the production of art and architecture in Brazil. The title of this text is similar to the title of an article published in the journal Módulo and, like that piece, it contains a summary of the most important debates that took place in the congress. This text, however, is more concise and, in a certain sense, defensive. Without naming it explicitly, this text makes reference to the series of article by journalist Vera Pacheco Jordão published in the Rio de Janeiro-based newspaper O Globo that questioned the purposes of the congress as well as its overblown attitude toward the new capital.
The program of the congress’s seventh session, entitled “Educação artística,” included lectures by critics Herbert Read and A. Sartoris, architect and urban planner Lúcio Costa, and Brazilian artists Theon Spanudis and Fayga Ostrower.
[For further reading, see in the ICAA digital archive by Mário Pedrosa “A cidade nova, síntese das artes” (1086503) and “Lições do congresso internacional dos críticos” (1086667)].