Sonho Tropical by Beatriz Milhazes, whose work is at the White Cube Bermondsey. Photograph: © Pepe Schettino / © Beatriz Milhazes / Courtesy White Cube
Tropical Dream by Beatriz Milhazes. Photo: © Pepe Schettino / © Beatriz Milhazes / Courtesy White Cube

AIn addition to fighting in Italy during the Second World War, Brazilians unconnected with the field battle sought other ways to intervene in the conflict. About 70 artists decided to help the tupiniquin aviators and, at the same time, improve spirits on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The story is curious to say the least. There were 168 photos framed by the artists themselves to reduce costs and make life easier for the Royal Academy. All the Brazilians asked for was 25 pounds to pay for the transport of the works to the United Kingdom. However, the proposal ran into the Royal Academy, who did not like the photos and refused to show them.

According to a report by “The Guardian”, the artists themselves had not liked the results. Apparently liking the works or not “wasn't the point”. After a year of negotiations, in November 1944 the works traveled to the island country and in a short time died in the oblivion of the collections in several British cities.

back to the surface

In the 40s, with few exceptions, Europeans had no idea what to do with Latin American art. Today, the demand for contemporary Brazilian art is different. Numerous English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German galleries participate in Latin American fairs, collectors and museums study modernism and several of our artists participate in exhibitions and win prizes at the Venice Biennale. 

It is in this climate that employees of the Brazilian embassy in London decided to bring together works by 20 of the artists from the original World War II project and, after extensive research, this year set up the exhibition The Art of Diplomacy: Brazilian Modernism Painted for War. The curator is Adrian Locke, official curator of the embassy, ​​responsible for cultural exchange and promotion. The exhibition was set up in the Sala Central de Arte Brasileira, a space integrated into the embassy itself, in Westminster, downtown.

This came in handy at a time when renowned contemporary Brazilians open in the city throughout the year.

Cinthia Marcelle, whose work won the Brazil Pavilion Award at the 57th Venice Biennale, is at the modern art oxford with the installation “The family in disarray: truth or dare”. 

Luiz Zerbini which opens in June at South London Gallery and Paulo Bruscky in Richard Saltoun, until the end of May, have their first solo show in the UK. The collective OPAVIVARÁ! will present its colored nets at Tate Liverpool. 

"Rio azul”, by artist Beatriz Milhazes from Rio de Janeiro, has been open for visitors since April 14 at the White Cube Gallery Bermondsey

“I want to provoke optical movements, disturb vision”, says Milhazes. Each piece is designed with multiple layers of color. Achieving a dense process of physical and conceptual layering, the works employ an abundance of form and color to offer a dizzying visual experience. Milhazes calls this interaction between the pieces and the audience “Dialogue between Symbolism and Materiality”. 

Along with the exhibition with sculptures, collages and paintings, his first and only tapestry is presented, made especially for the exhibition.

Anyway, we don't need a war to be, now they are brilliantly represented.

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