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MASP receives donation of more than 10 thousand items from Rubem Valentim

Mostly rare and unpublished, documents include drawings, travel records, photos and notes of class preparations by the Bahian artist.

Rubem Valentim in a photo by Silvestre Silva

A newly created institution to promote and protect the work of the Bahian artist, the Instituto Rubem Valentim has just donated an archive of more than 10 items by Valentim (1922-1991) to MASP, including manuscripts, typescripts, letters, photos and drawings. – most rare or unpublished pieces. The material will be stored at the Research Center of the São Paulo museum, which held the show between 2018 and 2019 Rubem Valentim: Afro-Atlantic Constructions.

The artist, who created a very personal language mixing traces of constructive art with a symbolic universe linked to Candomblé, Umbanda and Afro-Brazilian culture, sought, in his own words, “a universal language, but with a Brazilian character”, without to join any of the foreign or national artistic movements or currents. Read here article that was the cover of issue 45 of ARTE!Brasileiros.

According to Fernando Oliva, curator of the exhibition at MASP, the donation fulfills an old dream of the artist: to gather most of his documents and personal archives in the same place, available for access by researchers from Brazil and the world. “The material can shed new light on the artist's work and its relationship with Afro-Brazilian and African art,” says the curator in a note released by the museum.

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