Women, Artists and Brazilians
March 24 - May 8, 2011

This exhibition celebrates the social and cultural role of women by showing works of Tarsila do Amaral and Anita Malfatti, who were key figures in the 1922 Modern Art Week and in Brazilian modernism. One of the highlights will be Abaporu

The 20th century was decisive for Brazilian women and their struggle for emancipation and equal rights. In 1922, the Modern Art Week raised the profile of an artistic and cultural movement that influenced all contemporary artistic expression. In the case of the visual arts specifically, modernism introduced new visual language and defied the academic conventions of the period. Brazil's 1934 Constitution gave women the right to vote and other advances were to follow subsequently, but women discovered art and its wide range of means of self-expression as a path to active involvement in society.

To honor these artists and all women in the month in which World Women's Day is being commemorated, some 80 works including paintings, prints, drawings, tapestries, sculptures and objects from the 20th century have been brought together for the Women, Artists and Brazilians exhibition, opening March 24 in the West Room of Planalto Palace in Brasília.

Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation (FAAP) has organized the exhibition, which is sponsored by Banco do Brasil, at the request of the Presidency (Planalto Palace). The overview of art by Brazilian women includes works from the collections of public bodies such as the Central Bank of Brazil, Banco do Brazil, and Caixa Economica Federal, and from collections of FAAP's Brazilian Art Museum, the National Museum of the Cultural Complex of the Republic, the Museum of Art in Brasilia, the National Museum of Fine Arts, Museum Castro Maya and the Museum of the Republic.

The exhibition is divided into eight blocks. The first comprises 29 paintings honoring Anita Malfatti and Tarsila do Amaral as leading representatives of Brazilian modernism. Also on view will be a painting by Djanira borrowed from the office of President Rousseff especially for the exhibition, and art works by Zélia Salgado, Tomie Ohtake, Leda Catunda and others. The second block consists of drawings by artists such as Noemia Mourão and Mira Schendel. Visitors will also find a space for 14 sculptures and objects created by Regina Silveira, Mary Vieira and Maria Martinez.

The engravings section contains 18 works by artists including Renina Katz, Maria Bonomi, Anna Letycia, and Fayga Ostrower. In photographs are works by three artists, including Rosângela Rennó. The tapestry space includes pieces by Gilda Azevedo and Shirley Paes Leme, culminating in a selection of works from Brazilian popular culture. Paintings by Dalva de Oliveira, Cidinha Pereira and Zica Bergami will be shown. The coverage of women's artistic trajectory ends with an icon of the modernist movement's theme of anthrophagy: Tarsila do Amaral's Abaporu (oil on canvas).

 Abaporu is Tupi for "man who eats people," a reference to the modernist proposal of reinterpreting or "ingesting" foreign culture from a specifically Brazilian angle.

Since 1995, Abaporu has belonged to the Argentinean collector and businessman Eduardo Costantini, who placed it in the permanent collection at Malba (the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires).

Curator José Luis Hernandez Alfonso, of FAAP's Brazilian Museum of Art, notes that modernist artists Anita Malfatti and Tarsila do Amaral will be chiefly honored for initiating the robust and constant participation of women in Brazilian art. "They are joined by Georgina de Albuquerque, an example of pre-modernist art, Noemia Mourão, Colette Pujol, and Djanira, as representatives of the continuation of early modernism here. Also on view will be works by Lygia Pape and Mira Schendel, exponents of international contemporary art, and others by Tomie Ohtake, Edith Behring and Renina Katz. There will also be an opportunity to admire the creative work of artists from more recent generations, such as Georgia Kyriakakis, Mariannita Luzzati, Leda Catunda, and Rosângela Rennó,” adds Alfonso.

Cultural tradition

In the 50 years since it was founded and its 1961 opening, FAAP's Brazilian Art Museum, based in São Paulo, has held 468 exhibitions. Admission is always free, and events have highlighted Brazilian art and culture, as well as international art through major exhibitions brought from the world's leading museums.

Since 1995, FAAP has been holding exhibitions in Brasilia together with leading institutions such as the Presidency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Congress, the Supreme Court (STF), the Higher School of the Federal Prosecutors Office (ESMPU) and the Brasilia Institute of Public Law (IDP).

 Previous exhibitions have addressed issues that have permeated Brazilian history and discussed prejudice, discrimination and solidarity, as in We are all the same; artistic expression through Brazilian architecture and design in Aspects; the history of constitutions in Brazilian Constitutions; or the history of cinema through posters in Brazil - Cinema on Posters. Exhibitions are designed to cater for different kinds of visitors while adding to their knowledge and understanding through art.

 Exhibition - Women, Artists and Brazilians

Date: March 24 to May 8, 2011
Hours: Monday through Friday from 10am to 16h and from 18h to 20h
Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 10h to 16h
Location: West Hall of the Presidential Palace
Address: Three Powers Square - Brasilia / DF
Schedule of visits: (61) 3033-2929

Free admission

FAAP and Planalto Palace are also arranging educational visits to the exhibition with free transport for public schools.