Modern Art Week turns 100 in 2022; understand its importance

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In 1922, the most important and innovative Brazilian painters, architects, musicians and poets of the time came together to change art, and they marked not just that time, with their influence being felt to this day. This meeting became known as the Modern Art Week.

The event, as the name suggests, was inspired by the ideas of the Modernism, a movement artistic from the beginning of the 20th century, which sought to break with traditionalism through aesthetic freedom, constant experimentation and, above all, for the country’s cultural independence.

The Week of Modern Art, which took place at Theatro Municipal São Paulo also celebrated the centenary of Brazil’s independence.

It turned out to be a modernist symbolic landmark, but several manifestations of modern art took place before and after it.

In the first phase of Brazilian Modernism, the main names were Anita Malfatti, Mário de Andrade, Lasar Segall, Di Cavalcanti, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Cândido Portinari, Menotti Del Picchia, Victor Brecheret, Oswald de Andrade and Tarsila do Amaral.

“They were very intelligent, cultured, but without elitizing them, they wanted the art to become popular”, says Tarsilinha, curator of the legacy of the painter Tarsila do Amaral.

The Week of Modern Art actually lasted three days – February 13th, 15th and 17th – and featured an exhibition of modernist paintings and music and poetry presentations.

Luiz Armando Bagolin, professor at IEB-USP, says that the Week was “a collective event, the first organized in São Paulo, by a group of intellectuals and artists with the desire, desire to do something new, to bring the new, to the literature, music and visual arts”.

And the ideas defended by this group of artists ended up influencing several generations that succeeded them.

“Modernism influenced in several areas, such as architecture, urbanism, in cultural production as a whole. Mário understood, and taught us, that we need to investigate deep Brazil, because this is the Brazil we are part of, we came from”, says Bagolin.

Regina Teixeira de Barros, PhD in Art History, says that the “legacy of the Week is to think about Brazil, and the world, society, the times we live in, with current eyes”.

As for Bagolin, “the main legacy in my opinion is to make us still dream of the utopia of a fairer society”.

With the centenary of the Week of Modern Art approaching in February 2022, the CNN Brasil will deal in depth with the theme, addressing both the event and its participants and Modernism, its great inspiration.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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