Frederico [de] Morais (b. 1936) is one of the key figures in Brazilian art criticism. He started his career as a movie reviewer in Belo Horizonte, where he wrote columns on culture for several newspapers. He always spoke out in defense of non-conventional forms of art and the experimental works of the avant-garde. In 1967 he moved to Rio de Janeiro where he was a newspaper art critic for many years at Diário de Notícias and at O Globo. He was one of the most active of the “committed” critics of the 1960s and 1970s, having supported a number of avant-garde movements of the period and worked as a curator at several avant-garde exhibitions.
Maria do Carmo Secco was born in the state of São Paulo (Riberão Preto), but moved to Rio de Janeiro to train as an artist. In Rio she worked under the teacher and painter Ivan Serpa, the creator of the Grupo Frente, one of the seminal groups in the Brazilian pictorial avant-garde during the 1950s. She took classes with him at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, which was affiliated with the Museu de Arte Moderna. She took part in the exhibitions that introduced Brazil to the New Figurations of the 1960s: Propostas 65, in São Paulo; Vanguarda Brasileira, in Belo Horizonte; Opinião 66 and Nova Objetividade Brasileira (1967), both in Rio de Janeiro.
In regard to Secco’s teacher, see the article “Ivan Serpa: "o artista já não pode fechar-se em si mesmo"”——written by Ferreira Gullar.
The exhibition Proposta 65 prompted all kinds of responses. One of them was written by the concrete theoretician Waldemar Cordeiro entitled “Todos atentos” [doc. # 1090623]; the other was the essay by Mário Schenberg “O ponto alto” .
In regard to the exhibition Opinião 66, see Morais’ neo-concrete review of the exhibition at the MAM-Rio “A Opinião Brasileira de 66” ; as well as the essay by the French art critic and curator Cérés Franco in “Opinião 66” .