Brazilian Modernism in the Fundação Edson Queiroz Collection

Brazilian Modernism in the Fundação Edson Queiroz Collection
Temporary exhibition
Inauguration: 
26 Oct 2017 - 19h
26/10/2017
- 11/02/2018
Floor: 
0
Brazilian Modernism in the Fundação Edson Queiroz Collection
Temporary exhibition
Inauguration: 
26 Oct 2017 - 19h
26/10/2017
- 11/02/2018
Floor: 
0
Body: 

Throughout the last 30 years, the Fundação Edson Queiroz, based in the city of Fortaleza in north eastern Brazil, has created one of the most substantial collections of Brazilian art in the country. From religious images dating back to the colonial period to contemporary art, the collection assembled by Chancellor Airton Queiroz covers almost 400 years of artistic production, with significant works from all periods.  The exhibition Brazilian Modernism in the Fundação Edson Queiroz Collection presents a selection of this wonderful heritage, highlighting a set of works produced between the 1920s and 1960s, both by Brazilian artists and by foreigners residing in the country.

The exhibition begins with works from the so-called heroic years of Brazilian Modernism - the 1910s and 1920s - which were characterised by attempts at formal renewal. Many of the artists of the first Modernist generation spent time in Paris, where they came into contact with and were influenced by the historical vanguards. In parallel to the modernisation of the language, some artists from this generation also took an interest in seeking images reflecting ideas of ‘Brazilianness’. At that time, the nationalist debate revolved around reviving native elements from prior to the Portuguese colonisation, combined with racial miscegenation, a factor which came to be viewed as decisive in the formation of the Brazilian people.  

The 1930s and 1940s were marked by the incorporation of Modernist languages. Experimentation gave way to a consideration for the art of the past, with ‘artist-professors’ such as Ernesto de Fiori, Alberto da Veiga Guignard and Alfredo Volpi emerging at that time, who would become benchmarks for their contemporaries and for future generations of painters. From this period, the works of Alfredo Volpi and José Pancetti deserve particular attention, as besides being present in considerable numbers in the Fundação Edson Queiroz Collection, their works mark a transition between figurative and abstract painting.

The core of the exhibition is dedicated to geometric abstraction - a trend which emerged in the latter years of the 1940s and which was consolidated in the 1950s -, covering painters belonging to the Ruptura group from São Paulo, and artists from the Frente and Neoconcreto groups, both from Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition also brings together a selection of artists who did not belong to any groups, but who adopted a unique abstract-geometric language, often mixed with a certain lyricism. The final section of the exhibition is dedicated to informal abstraction, which gained relevance in the 1960s, and to artists who perceived the canvas as a space for experimenting with different materials, leading to practices which would proliferate in subsequent decades.

Regina Teixeira de Barros
Exhibition Curator

Until February 11th, 2018.

This exhibition has the Sponsorship of the Brazilian Embassy in Portugal.

Cover: José Pancetti, Monteserrat, Bahia, 1956