As the celebrations for the centenary of the Modern Art Week approach, new reflections on the events that took place at the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo in February 1922, as well as on their role in the establishment of modernism in Brazil emerge.
More than proposing an assertive appreciation, the exhibition Modern Where? Modern When? revisits the topic, avoiding ready-made answers, crystallized by the mainstream voices.
Could it be that the Modern Art Week was a watershed between the old and the new, between old academic styles and modern practices? If we look carefully into the artistic, musical, architectural, and literary production that precedes the Week – also in places other than São Paulo – we find countless hints that the Week is part of a broad, discontinuous process that transcends it, both temporally and territorially.
This exhibition brings together paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs that express an innovative intention – in terms of composition, facture, or selected topic – regardless of the date and place of their production. Modern Where? Modern When? aims to present not only artists and works that took part in the event at the Theatro Municipal – not just as modern as one would dream of – but also pieces produced by artists who preceded and/or succeeded them, amid Brazil’s always-complex political and cultural confluence.
Aracy A. Amaral
Regina Teixeira de Barros
Full list of artists
Abigail de Andrade, Alberto da Veiga Guignard, Alfredo Volpi, Almeida Júnior, Alvim Corrêa, Anita Malfatti, Antonio Garcia Moya, Antonio Gomide, Antonio Paim Vieira, Artur Timótheo da Costa, Candido Portinari, Carlos Oswald, Cícero Dias, Eliseu d’Angelo Visconti, Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Estevão Silva, Flavio de Carvalho, Gregori Warchavchik, Ignácio da Costa Ferreira (Ferrignac), Ismael Nery, Joaquim do Rego Monteiro, John Graz, Lasar Segall, Lívio Abramo, Manoel Santiago, Oswaldo Goeldi, Raimundo Cela, Regina Gomide Graz, Rodolfo Chambelland, Tarsila do Amaral, Valério Vieira, Vicente do Rego Monteiro, Victor Brecheret, Victor Dubugras, Wilheim Haarberg, and Zina Aita.
About the catalog
A comprehensive catalog organized by the curators will be published, which will present, in about 200 pages, a set of unpublished texts by eight guest authors. Aldrin Moura de Figueiredo writes about Brazilian modernism from the Amazon; Ana Maria de Moraes Belluzzo provides an overview of the establishment of modernism in visual arts in Brazil; Cacá Machado discusses musical culture of the different Brazilian modernities; Durval Muniz de Albuquerque Júnior addresses the disputes over the modern and modernism in the Northeast; Felipe Chaimovich presents the antecedents of visual arts in the Modern Art Week of 1922, and its relationship with the Prado family; Luiz Felipe Alencastro addresses the political, economic, and social issues in the country during the period; and Ruy Castro approaches the history of the Modern Art Week and its main characters, with a series of provocative questions and comments. Rachel Vallego surveyed the timeline for the period, ranging from 1930 to 1937.
The catalog will be launched while the show is on view, on a date to be defined.
About the curators
Aracy A. Amaral is a critic, curator, and art historian. She is a full professor of art history at FAU USP, a fellow of FAPESP and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. She holds a degree in journalism from PUC-SP, a master’s degree from FFLCH USP and a Ph.D. from ECA USP (1971). She was the director at the Pinacoteca do Estado (1975–1979), at the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo (1980), and at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da USP (1982–1986). She was a fellow of the Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1978) and member of the Prince Claus Awards Committee (2002–2005), The Hague. She has authored and edited books and publications on art in Brazil and Latin America. She has curated exhibitions in Brazil and overseas.
Regina Teixeira de Barros holds a Ph.D. in aesthetics and art history from USP. She coordinated the research team and edited the Catálogo Raisonné Tarsila do Amaral (2006–2008). She was curator at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo between 2003 and 2015, where she organized several exhibitions, including Tarsila viajante (Pinacoteca and Malba, Buenos Aires, 2008) and Arte no Brasil: uma história do modernismo (2013). In 2018, she was the recipient of the ABCA and APCA awards for the exhibition Anita Malfatti: 100 anos de arte moderna (MAM, 2017). She was co-curator with Aracy Amaral, of the exhibition Tarsila: estudos e anotações (Fábrica de Arte Marcos Amaro, Itu, 2020).
Modern Where? Modern When? The Modern Art Week of 1922 as Motivation
Curated by: Aracy A. Amaral and Regina Teixeira de Barros
Exhibition period: September 4 – December 12
Venue: Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo
Address: Parque Ibirapuera (av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/nº – Portões 1 e 3)
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm (tickets sold up until 5:30 pm)
Phone: 55 11 5085 1300
Free admission, with suggested contribution Visits must be schedule in advance.
Tickets available online www.mam.org.br/ingresso
Accessible for persons with disability