The text introducing the Família Artística Paulista (FAP) describes a group of visual artists “without any prejudice of any school or trend,” only grouped based on a certain affinity in their interpretation of “the general principles that determine the meaning” of visual artwork. They did not form a group due to formal relationships such as “similarity of colors, forms or volumes.” It was, however, a great heterogeneity of trends represented by the participants in the exhibition: Aldo Bonadei, Alfredo Volpi, Anita Malfatti, Armando Balloni, Arnaldo Barbosa, Arthur P. Krug, Clóvis Graciano, Francisco Rebolo Gonsales, Hugo Adami, Humberto Rosa, Joaquim Figueira, Manuel Martins, Mário Zanini, Paulo Rossi Osir, and Waldemar da Costa. They state their “rejection” of academic painting, even refusing to align themselves with “the modern” due to “the misuse of that adjective.” Without joining any avant-garde trend, these artists acknowledge “what is fruitful in Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Orphism, Surrealism, etc.” “In their developing phases,” all these trends are only concerned with strengthening “the pure spirit and a simple conception of things.”
Most of the members of the association known as Grupo Santa Helena were artists who were recent immigrants to Brazil, almost all Italians except Rebolo (who was Spanish). They had a shared workshop/studio in an elegant building on the Praça da Sé (in central São Paulo), in a building called the Palacete Santa Helena.