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Volume 62 / Humanities

ART: BRAZIL


JOSÉ M. NEISTEIN, Executive Director, Brazilian-American Cultural Institute, Washington DC

THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE ITEMS annotated for this volume are works on modern and contemporary art, as well as on architecture, city planning, and landscape architecture. A smaller number of works examine colonial art, 19th century art, and photography; also reviewed are a small number of theoretical and reference works. Under the quite sizeable miscellaneous subdivision are assembled a number of books that did not fit in the other subdivisions. Missing are publications on indigenous cultures and Afro-Brazilian traditions either because we did not have access to them or because their publications declined highly. In either case their absence is to be regretted.

Among the noteworthy theoretical and reference works are a study of women in Brazilian art (item #bi2005000698#), the journalistic essays on art and and interviews on art with artists from Paraíba (item #bi2005000695#), and "Envisioning Brazil," a comprehensive gathering of sources extant in the US for the study of Brazil, art included (item #bi2005003727#).

For the colonial period, a study that takes a broad approach to examining the baroque in Brazil stands out (item #bi2005005826#). As for the 19th century, only five items are annotated, but all of them are important contributions (items #bi2005005832#, #bi2005001666#, #bi2005005818#, #bi2006000463#, and #bi2005005835#).

One third of the annotations on Brazilian art this biennium discuss 20th and 21st century artwork. Item #bi2006000521# celebrates the output of Aldemir Martins. Items #bi2005001679# and #bi2005005111# celebrate the work of Tomie Ohtake. Item #bi2005001663# celebrates the output of Câmara. Art and technology in Rio is brought to our attention (item #bi2005001684#). Antonio Maluf, a pioneer of modern graphic design, is presented in item #bi2005005802#. The short but intense creative life of Jorge Guinle is studied in item #bi2005005843#. The informative, polemic dimensions of contemporary Brazilian art are the focus of item #bi2005005833#. Modernism in Rio is explored in items #bi2005005106#, #bi2005005824#, and #bi2005005107#.

An overview of 500 years of Brazilian architecture is provided in item #bi2005001660#. A monograph examining Brazilian architecture after Brasilia is welcome new addition to the body of architectural literature (item #bi2005005837#). An encompassing study of urban parks in Brazil is worthwhile (item #bi2005001672#). The impact of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture in Brazil is beginning to get the attention it deserves from scholars (item #bi2005005108#)). The architecture of the favelas is beginning to emerge as field of study (item #bi2005005830# and #bi2005005828#). Roberto Burle Marx, famed ecology and landscape architect, is the object of two new studies (items #bi2005005804# and #bi2005005803#). The relationship between art and architecture in São Paulo is explored in a new monograph (item #bi2005005806#).

Among the photography books, a contemporary look at Rio (item #bi2005005810#) and the portrait of Brazil by Marcel Gautherot (item #bi2005005598#) stand out. The use of photography by contemporary artists is a welcome contribution (item #bi2005005103#). A publication featuring the photograph collection of Emperor Pedro II deserves attention (item #bi2005005821#).

Only five items on folk art are annotated, each one of them covering different aspects of the field (items #bi2005005813#, #bi2005005814#, #bi2005005836#, #bi2005005104#, and #bi2005000685#).

Under the miscellaneous section, two studies by Frederico Morais call our attention. Both show Brazil as it is seen by artists: the country and its people, nature and art (items #bi2005001661# and #bi2005001668#). Aquarela Brasileira is a history of watercolor in Brazil (item #bi2005001687#). Obras raras base on an exhibit held at the National Library in Rio focuses on the book as art work (item #bi2005001681#). The Nemirovsky collection of Brazilian art is presented in two books (items #bi2005001653# and #bi2005005801#). Bahia's Museum of Modern Art has been reopened and reorganized (item #bi2005005113#). Funerary art is the object of an elaborate study on Italian marble carvers in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo state (item #bi2005005829#).


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