The Brazilian journalist, politician, and writer Antônio de Alcântara Machado (1901–35) was too young to have taken part in the Semana de Arte Moderna in 1922, but he nonetheless produced an extremely insightful literary work about the city of São Paulo, reporting on its (mainly Italian) immigrants, its neighborhoods (Brás, Bexiga e Barra Funda. São Paulo: Imprensa oficial do Estado, 1927), its population (from the ruling class to the working class), and its characters. He was very much involved in publications of a “modernist” nature—a term that in Brazil refers to the avant-gardes rather than the movement led by Rubén Darío, including Revista de antropofagia (first and second editions), Revista Nova, and Terra roxa e outras terras, which he founded.
The Ukrainian-born Brazilian architect Gregori Warchavchik (1896–1972) immigrated to São Paulo when he was twenty-seven years old (after graduating in Italy), and after a few years, established a niche for himself based on the local obsession with foreign ideas that is mentioned in this document. A newspaper article places him in the great industrial center of Brazil—“Acerca da arquitetura moderna” (Correio da Manhã, 1925), and in 1930, he designed the house on rua Itápolis (in the Pacaembú neighborhood of São Paulo) that would become famous as “the [first] modernist house.” He also designed the furniture, lamps, and metalwork for this house, and decorated it with works of art and tapestries, some of which were produced by Tarsila do Amaral.
This article by Alcântara Machado is a clear endorsement of the idea of “Brazilian-ness” or national identity based on modernist ideas. There is no mention of where or when it was published, but it was reprinted in the Revista do Arquivo Municipal of São Paulo on the occasion of Machado’s death in the mid-1930s. It reveals his keen interest in blending modernism with tradition, and in the resulting tensions that such a combination produce.