The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, December 29, 2014


Painting depicting a foundational episode in the history of Brazil by Candido Portinari to be offered at Christie's
Candido Portinari, Navio negreiro, 1950. Oil on canvas, 28 7/8 x 23 5/8 in. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.
NEW YORK, NY.- "I paint to teach my people what is wrong," Portinari once remarked, and his body of work speaks powerfully to the social upheaval and injustice that he witnessed in his native Brazil.[1] Recognized as one of his country's foremost modern artists, he plied his painting as a form of protest and critique, portraying the working and immigrant classes that he knew firsthand from a childhood spent among the coffee plantations of São Paulo. The son of poor Italian immigrants, Portinari left home at the age of fifteen to study at the National School of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, and in 1928 he was awarded a scholarship to study in Europe. His return to Brazil in 1931 coincided with sweeping nationalist sentiment that would span two decades, and his iconic paintings and murals from these years embody the racial and social politics that helped to redefine, and diversify, the country's national identity.

The 1930s and '40s marked a defining moment of nationalism in the arts, and Portinari aligned his practice with that of a group of like-minded intellectuals, including the critic Mário de Andrade and the composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, who "[strived] to give their work an essential national expression--in subject, in spirit, and in style."[2] There was new political acknowledgment of Brazil's indigenous and African roots during the Getúlio Vargas regime, and Portinari's brand of social realism effectively portrayed these marginalized classes in an integral historical and national light. Such characteristic early paintings of Afro-Brazilian life as The Mestizo (1934) and Coffee (1935) gave way in the 1940s to more universal and transnational subjects, as seen in his important murals for the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. (Discovery of the New World, 1942) and the United Nations in New York (War and Peace, 1956).

Portinari's contemporary oil paintings kindle the intense human emotion of his murals on a more intimate scale, and the present work depicts a foundational episode in the history of Brazil. Navio negreiro traces the African presence to the colonial-era slave trade, recalling the forcible origins of the modern Afro-Brazilian community in a dramatic image of slaves bound for Brazil's fazendas. Indeed, Portinari may have found a valuable point of reference in a number of widely circulated eighteenth-century woodcuts that illustrate the conditions of the Middle Passage through similarly graphic and expressive forms. Like Tiradentes (1949), Descobrimento do Brasil (1954), and the "Retirantes" series, which spanned the 1940s and '50s, Navio negreiro participates in a broader national project that sought to shed light on Brazil's history from the first moment of contact and colonization through the present day. Here, densely clustered masses of slaves fill the brightly sunlit deck, their anonymous forms overshadowed by the immensity of the ship and the sails, which compress the space of the painting and amplify the exploitation and injustice of the scene. An homage to Brazil's African roots and, at the same time, an indictment of the conditions of the slave trade, Navio negreiro is a powerful national acknowledgment of Brazil's past and, no less, a testament to the diversity of its present.

Abby McEwen, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, College Park





Today's News

May 21, 2012

Dale Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit opens in the shadow of the Space Needle

Exhibition at Canadian Museum of Civilization exposes doomsday prophecy and secrets of the Maya

Dancing with Renoir reunites trio of Impressionist paintings in Boston for first time since 1986

Tate Britain reaches £45 million funding goal; scheme to conserve and upgrade galleries

Daido Moriyama, Japan's foremost photographer, opens two-month solo exhibition at Galerie Alex Daniels

Exhibition of the art and material culture of India's maharajas opens at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Painting depicting a foundational episode in the history of Brazil by Candido Portinari to be offered at Christie's

First fifty objects to enter the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago collection featured in exhibition

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg spotlights Studio and Contemporary art glass in major summer exhibition

Newest series of work by Gregory Johnston on view at Stephen Haller Gallery in New York

"President in Petticoats! Civil War Propaganda in Photographs" at the International Center of Photography

CAM Raleigh presents José Lerma: The Credentialist; museum premiere of newly commissioned works

Alex Harsley: Fifty years of fine art images opens at June Kelly Gallery

Solo exhibition by Japanese artist, Chiharu Shiota, opens at Haunch of Venison

Taryn Simon's first solo exhibition in Istanbul opens at Galeri Mana

Rarest Glenfiddich ever released on offer at Christie's London in June

First large-scale contemporary art exhibition opens at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco

New Museum screens Dani Gal's Nacht und Nebel as part of the Stowaways Series

Helium sought for Civil War replica balloon in New York

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site