6 female artists who marked Brazilian modernism before and after the Week of 22

The centenary of the most hyped art week of the 20th century is upon us! On this International Women's Day, we talk about six artists who were important to the modernist movement in the country

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

When we talk about the “invention” of modernism in Brazil, especially about the 1922 Week, it is immensely more common for people to remember the names of just two visual artists who were part of that moment in our history: Tarsila do Amaral and Anita Malfatti. It is undeniable, moreover, that both contributed a lot to the movement and to the fateful week.

In this year that precedes the centenary of the Week of 22, ARTEQUEACONTECE will produce a series of materials, lists, articles and much more to help you understand this historical moment that is so important for the country, and also to go beyond what is normally already known. do you know. For this reason, on March 8, 2021, International Women's Day, we have prepared a list of 6 female artists who were part of the construction of modernism in Brazil and who suffered from a certain erasure over the years, especially due to the construction of the canon of History of Art — which we know to have been permeated with elitist, sexist and racist views.

For this list, we start from the book Modern Woman's Inventions, by Paulo Herkenhoff, released on the occasion of an exhibition of the same name held at Instituto Tomie Ohtake in 2017. In the exhibition, the curator sought to tell the trajectory of several artists who contributed to the movement, whether before or after 1922, either directly or indirectly .

See below who some of these women were:

Antionieta Santos Feio

Born in Belém, Pará, in 1897, the artist Antonieta Santos Feio specialized in portrait painting in Italy, at the School of Fine Arts in Florence, where she stayed until she was 20 years old, in 1917, in the midst of the turmoil that preceded the Week of 22. Then, she started working as a drawing and painting teacher at the Pará Education Institute and exhibiting her work across the country, having the concepts brought by the modernist ideal deeply rooted in her influences. In her works, she often brought portraits of ordinary people.

Maria Pardos

Maria Pardos, Chiquinho do Tico-Tico, 1915. PHOTO: Cássio André

Spanish based in Brazil, Maria Pardos migrated from her hometown, Zaragoza, to Rio de Janeiro in 1980! She was a ballerina and intended to make a career here, but ended up taking painting classes with Rodolfo Amoedo. Between 1913 and 1918, with the canvases he was producing and which were considered pre-expressionist, he took part in some of the General Exhibitions organized by the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes, alongside the names of exponents of modernism, such as Anita Malfatti, who held in 1917 a fateful exhibition in São Paulo that is seen as the show that inaugurated modernism in the country.

Nicolina Vaz De Assis and Juliet of FranceThe

Brazilian sculptor born in Campinas in 1874, she is considered one of the pioneers of sculptural work in Brazil. Several of his works are installed in popular public spaces, such as Quinta da Boa Vista (in Rio de Janeiro) and Praça Julio Mesquita Filho (in downtown São Paulo). Together with Julieta de França, from Pará, who was controversial when she became the first woman to participate in live model courses at the National School of Fine Arts, she is part of the first generation of Brazilian sculptures.

They studied together on two occasions: in Rio de Janeiro, at the National School of Fine Arts, and in Paris, at the Academie Julian. In the book, Herkenhoff points to both as “modern before modernism” and who only had their life and work revisited and revised from the 2000s onwards.

Abigail de Andrade

Born in 1864 in the city of Vassouras, in the interior of Rio de Janeiro, the painter Abigail de Andrade was one of the most important artists of the pre-modernist period. Even at the end of the 19th century, she was already producing works that would only come decades later to emanate the spirit of Brazilian modernism. According to Herkenhoff, she was the first woman to gain ground among “emerging modernizing criticism”, taking notice from critics such as Angelo Agostini and Gonzaga Duque.

Georgina de Albuquerque

Georgina de Albuquerque, manaca, ç. 1922.

The impressionism of Georgina de Albuquerque was very important for Brazilian modernism. The painter born in Taubaté (SP) in 1885 was quite daring, breaking paradigms, such as the fact that she was the first woman to paint a historical theme, questioning values of the time and seeking to transform the environment of national art. That was before and after the week of the 22nd. She even became the first female director of the National School of Fine Arts.

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