Milton Dacosta, 'Construction on a red background', 1957

Posted on September 5, 2018


More than a decade after his last solo show in São Paulo, Milton Dacosta is honored with a retrospective at Galeria Almeida e Dale. The exposure
It also enters the set of tributes for the centenary of the artist's birth, which took place in 2015. Died in 1988, Dacosta was not a fan of labels, having a free path in his passage from figuration to abstraction, while fellow artists disputed the importance of styles.

Perhaps this willingness to move was what made Milton one of the greatest Brazilian painters of the XNUMXth century. For Paulo Pasta, an artist who is very fond of Dacosta's work, this has a name: “There is no precipitation in his painting, he has displacement. I think it would be better than abstraction to call what he does synthesis”. Paulo did not get to know Milton, but he had a lot of contact with his work and with friends of the painter
from Rio de Janeiro: “I think that this path he takes towards abstraction, he walks through it step by step. You notice his path. And how he goes about debugging the figures. I think this is very beautiful and an ethical response from Milton”, he comments.

The exhibition at Almeida e Dale follows a chronological order, starting with paintings from the 30s, including Self-portrait, from 1938. It is in the 40s that the influence of Italian metaphysics on Milton can be seen.


For Pasta, who also carries a metaphysical gene in his painting, it is a phase in which Dacosta “begins to evade the figurative towards abstraction”. But, instead of De Chirico – as many point out – Paulo perceives an influence mainly from Carlo Carrá and adds: “I think that his choice of a metaphysical influence would also respond to his somewhat intimate and restrained vocation. I think everyone agrees that he makes a sensitive constructivism, very Brazilian in what he has of modesty and discretion”.

Married to the painter Maria Leontina since the late 40s, he worked a lot alongside her. Some rumors spread that Milton would have appropriated characteristics of his wife's work in what he produced in the following decade. It was during this decade that he participated in the Venice Biennale and won the prize for best national painter at the II Bienal de São Paulo. The son of the relationship, multi-artist Alexandre Dacosta says that some people even confuse the work of the two, but he disagrees: “I think it is not possible to confuse because her painting was a more fluid thing, in his it was a painting more settled on the ground. , so to speak”.

Born in 1959, Alexandre remembers that when they lived in São Paulo in the 60s, the couple had a studio in my own home. In a kind of two-story shed at the back of the house, Maria produced on the ground floor while Milton produced on the top floor. It is also clear that the artist couple exchanged stickers about their studies and ideas. Alexandre defines this closeness of both as “a closeness of soul”.

Also dedicated to painting, in addition to other artistic modalities, the son says that he has already tried to deny Milton's influence on what he produces. But he couldn't, when he saw that he was already doing work connected to the constructive, with both father and mother traits. “The phase I'm doing now is called deconstructive”, he says. Paulo Pasta also believes that he was influenced in some way by Dacosta. The balance of light between composite colors, despite using different palettes, is for him a lesson he learned by observing the work of the painter who, for him, “abandoned realism, but never abandons the real”. The exhibition at Almeida e Dale can be visited until November 24th.

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