This is an article by the sociologist, anthropologist, historian, writer, and journalist Gilberto [de Mello] Freyre (1900–87), that includes a reference to Cícero Dias, another painter from Pernambuco. Freyre makes this reference in “O regional e o universal na pintura de Cícero Dias” [see 1075269]. In this article, Freyre provides a thumbnail sketch (that he refers to as his “pencil notes”) of the noted Brazilian avant-garde artist, painter, poet, and publisher, Vicente do Rego Monteiro (1899–1970), whose work was based on symbols and designs from the Amazon region (derived from the ceramics produced on the Ilha do Marajó at the mouth of the river), and who had also settled in Paris. The work that Freyre mentions is Légendes, croyances et talismans des indiens de l’Amazone (Paris: Tolmer Éditeur, 1923).
Freyre’s article is interesting because it disputes the “Futurist” label that had been attached to the painter (as he was characterized in Brazil). Instead, Freyre identifies him with a sort of modern primitivism, despite associating his work with the Pre-Raphaelites. After talking about Rego Monteiro’s profound study of indigenous Brazilian art, and referring to the 1923 book (mentioned above), Freyre suggests the possibility of an alternative kind of primitivism linked specifically to the culture of Brazil.
The article reflects, albeit subtly, the author’s study of the connection between European and modernist Brazilian avant-gardes, and describes how contemporary artists treated indigenous motifs and legends rooted in local folklore.