The exhibition features works by 20 of Brazil’s finest modernist artists, on loan from British public collections including Tate, the Hepworth Wakefield, and the Scottish National Gallery, commemorating the story of an extraordinary collaboration between the UK and Brazil at the outbreak of the Second World
War, and the first Brazilian art exhibition held in London.
In 1944, alongside the nearly 25,000 Brazilian troops that joined
the Allies to fight in the War, a group of 70 of Brazil’s mosprominent artists offered their works for the first ever Brazilian collective exhibition in Britain.
The exhibition took place at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Whitechapel Gallery in London, alongside six other galleries across the UK.
The works were sold to raise funds for the British military efforts, giving voice to the artists’ support of democracy, domestically and in the context of the war.
Many found their way into leading UK public collections. In 2018, following three years of painstaking international research by Hayle Gadelha, Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Brazil in London, paintings by 20 of the artists have been traced in public collections in the UK. Among the works discovered are paintings by some of Brazil’s most renowned figures of modernism including Candido Portinari, Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Lasar Segall, José Pancetti and Roberto Burle Marx. 24 of the newly discovered works will be shown, reunited for the first time since the original show in 1944.
The exhibition, co-curated by Adrian Locke, Senior Curator at the
Royal Academy of Arts, and Hayle Gadelha, will be presented at
Sala Brasil, the gallery of the Embassy of Brazil in London, as part
of its programme of historic and contemporary exhibitions. The UK lenders to the exhibition are Tate, Hepworth Wakefield, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Manchester Art Gallery, Ferens Art Gallery, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, Calderdale Museums, Tullie House
Hove Museums and Art Galleries, and Kirklees Museums and
To coincide with the exhibition, a new book will be published
documenting the story and including extensive contemporary
illustrations and reproductions of the works alongside a facsimile
copy of the original 1944 catalogue. The book includes essays by
curators Dawn Ades, Michael Asbury, Adrian Locke and Hayle Gadelha, and a foreword by Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Hayle Gadelha said: “Working closely with distinguished colleagues at the Royal Academy of Arts and with the UK’s museums, this project has given me the chance to uncover a little-known history of friendship and mutual support between our two countries in a time of war, not just through military cooperation but between artists in both countries.
I am proud that we can today acknowledge this story and bring the work of these great artists to a new generation.” THE ART OF DIPLOMACY BRAZILIAN MODERNISM PAINTED FOR WAR
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