Artist's Work: Image and Self-image (1826-1929)

8 Dec 2018 – 25 Feb 2019

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Wednesdays through Mondays, 10 am to 5:30 pm – visitors are allowed to stay until 6 pm

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Pinacoteca de São Paulo

São Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil

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Around 120 works of 33 authors who represented their work and their characters as artists in Brazil


Pinacoteca of Sao Paulo will present from December 8, 2018 through February 25, 2019 the exhibition Artist's Work: Image and Self-image (1826-1929), spanning four rooms on the 1st floor at Pina Luz. Conceptually curated by Fernanda Pitta, of Pinacoteca of Sao Paulo, and co-curated by Ana Cavalcanti and Laura Abreu, the exhibition bring together around 120 works — paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He show features 33 authors, men and women, who represented their work and their characters as artists, between the 19th century and the early 20th century, the period when the modern artistic system in Brazil took shape.

Artist's Work: Image and Self-image (1826-1929) is organized around four cores: Creation and Craft, The Atelier as a Motive, An Artist's Persona (Portraits and Self-portraits) and The Artist and the Model. The collection includes works that, more than a simple exercise in the representation of portraits and self-portraits, or showing picturesque images of ateliers, represent the effort of generations of artists poured to introduce to the public their own images and their own work, their own personas and their own universe of creation, legitimizing their presence in Brazilian culture. Pieces such as Longe do lar (Far Away from Home, 1884), by Benedito Calixto, and O importuno (The Ill-Suited, 1898), by Almeida Júnior, both belonging to Pinacoteca's collection, are a testament to how self-aware the artists were when they created a public image of themselves and their craft.

Integrating the exhibition are also works from 25 other private and public collections, including D. Joao VI Museum (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), the Museu de Arte de Belém (Pará, Brazil), and the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil). Besides those, it introduces photographs of ateliers, illustrated magazines with articles on the lives of Brazilian painters and sculptors, albuns by artists, and the first books dedicated to the history of art and artists in Brazil, such as Belas Artes: estudos e apreciações (Fine Arts: Essays and Appreciations, 1885), by Felix Ferreira, A arte brasileira: pintura e escultura (Brazilian Art: Painting and Sculpting, 1888), by Gonzaga Duque, and the first edition of Antonio Parreiras' biography, História de um pintor contadas por ele mesmo (A Painter’s Story as Told by this Painter Himself, 1881-1926), released in 1926.

The set proposes demonstrating that the strategy employed by the artists then, consisting in creating an image of themselves and their work, meant elevating their own status in Brazilian society, traditionally marked by a disregard for all trades associated with handicraft and manual labor. It also evidences the contradicting demands placed by the academic system upon art students, which dictated an orientation towards history painting or public monuments at the same time it demanded that they establish themselves as "exhibiting" professionals, who were supposed to craft their image and reputation to compete in a slowly-expanding market.


Abigail de Andrade, Amadeu Zani, Antônio Parreiras, Arthur Timótheo da Costa, Beatriz Pompeu de Camargo, Benedito Calixto, Benjamin Parlagreco, Carlos Chambelland, Carlos De Servi, Dario Villares Barbosa, Edgard Parreiras, Eliseu Visconti, Eugênio Latour, Gaston Gérard, Georgina de Albuquerque, Giuseppe Leone Righini, Henrique Bernardelli, José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior, Lucilio de Albuquerque, Marques Campão, Modesto Brocos, Nicolas Antoine Taunay, Numa Camille Ayrinhac, Oscar Pereira da Silva, Pedro Américo, Pedro Peres, Pedro Weingartner, Rafael Frederico, Regina Veiga, Rodolfo Amoedo, Rodolpho Bernardelli, Theodoro Braga and Theodoro de Bona.


Ana Cavalcanti

Laura Abreu

Fernanda Pitta


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