This essay appears in the catalogue for Milton Dacosta Anos 50, the exhibition that was organized by the Ministério da Educação e Cultura (MEC) through the Fundação Nacional de Artes (FUNARTE) in Brazil in 1988, the year the painter died. The event was presented at the Instituto Nacional de Artes Plásticas, in Rio de Janeiro, as part of the series Abstração Geométrica (undertaken by the Projeto Arte Brasileira). [See the ICAA digital archive for another essay that was also included in the catalogue: “A escolha de Milton Dacosta…” (1315382) by Ligia Canongia. See another essay by the same author in a separate catalogue published for the series Abstração Geométrica: “Concretismo e neoconcretismo” (1315620)].
Born in Ceará, Ronaldo (Correia de) Brito (born 1951) is a noted Brazilian critic whose writings have been published in books, magazines, and exhibition catalogues. He contributed to the weekly publication Opinião and founded the magazines Malasartes and Gávea [see the ICAA digital archive (1111305)]. More importantly, he played a vital role in the revaluation of the Constructivist art movements (particularly in the contributions made by Neo-Concretism) and their legacy to contemporary Brazilian art.
Milton (Rodrigues) Dacosta (1915–1988), born in Niterói, was a painter, designer, printmaker, and illustrator. In 1931 he was involved in the founding of the Núcleo Bernardelli, a group of young artists from the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes who wanted to update the methods used to teach art in Brazil. In 1945 he moved to New York and enrolled at the Art Students League. The following year he went to Europe and settled in Paris, where he studied at the Académie de La Grande Chaumière. The Brazilian painter Cícero Dias (who had lived in Paris for a long time) introduced him to Pablo Picasso and Georges Rouault. While in Paris, Dacosta became a regular at Georges Braque’s workshops. In 1947, after showing his works at the Salon d’Automne, Dacosta returned to Brazil, where he married the painter Maria Leontina.