"The Raising of Lazarus" (1928), by Anita Malfatti. Courtesy: São Paulo Museum of Sacred Art

En September 1928, back in São Paulo after five years in Paris, Anita Malfatti came across the city's cultural stagnation. Deceptive doldrums, one might say, similar to the one that also seemed to prevail there at the end of 1917, when she opened the exhibition of the works she had produced abroad and in Brazil[1]. At that time, the exhibition was received with a certain indifference, but it would soon become the subject of controversy between “pastists” and future “modernists”.

In 1929, more experienced, when Anita opened her solo show to show her Parisian production, she must have realized that, beneath that apparent placidity, there was a convulsion in the São Paulo environment, a sinkhole that could swallow her up if she wasn't careful. However, everything suggested that the exhibition would be received without controversy. After all, still in November of the previous year, friend Mário de Andrade had published an article about his French experience, contextualizing Anita's production in the climate of “return to the past”, of reflux through which a significant fraction of international art had passed, the from the outbreak of the First World War.

Concerned with explaining and, more than that, naturalizing that reflux noticed in his friend's production, the critic begins his considerations by stating that each artistic period was divided into three stages: Constructivism (a term here understood as a synonym for “Primitive”), Classicism and, finally, Romanticism. In the first phase, a series of laws relating to form would be established and, as it evolved, it would eventually lead art to reach a more refined level, thus arriving at Classicism. As these laws from the “Primitive” period forged the “classical” period, they began to mix, seeking to integrate art into the “dramas of social life”, thus beginning the last stage of the cycle, “Romanticism”. ” which, in turn, in the not-distant future, would give rise to a new Constructivism and so on.[2]

***

Once these assumptions were established, Mário applied them to the individual trajectory of any artist, however, reversing that initial order. If at the broadest level of a given society a new cycle always began with Constructivism – to rise to Classicism and then flow into Romanticism – the evolution of each artist began in an unstructured and ambiguous way – “Romantic” – to, in sequence, become “Primitive” and then “Classic”.

Mário used the trajectory of his friend Anita to explain his point of view:

[…] Anyone who saw the exhibitions that the artist held here before her last trip to Europe will certainly remember the “extravagance” of the paintings she presented then. In fact, her theories then, imbued with the deforming Expressionism that she had followed in Germany, had led her to research a formidable romantic exacerbation, in which few were able to perceive the artist's enormous passionate, dramatic temperament, imbued with mysticism. What they saw was that Anita Malfatti had not set her eyes on one figure and had put green hair on another. What they saw were the artist’s technical processes and not her personality, her expressive strength, her painful “daughter of the century” phenomenon.

Anita Malfatti was then in the “Primitivism” period of her art. And she was essentially concerned with the doctrines of painting, the generic and particular manifestations of Technique. She was acquiring the technical strengths she lacked so that, combined with the expressive strengths she already possessed, she achieved Classicism, I mean, the perfect balance of her personality.[3]

Thus, the critic associated Anita's production with the return to order[4], praising the controversial painting Resurrection of Lazarus[5]. Despite the density of the article, Mário's praise for that production is strange, a painting that adds nothing to Anita's prestige, on the contrary[6].

***

In an apparently different stance from that expressed by Mário de Andrade, critic Raul Polillo[7] (of whom Anita was not friends) summarized how she understood the painter's exhibition: “There is nothing about modernism there. As pastism, it is naive and lacking in skill and even spiritual significance […][8]“. It is important to consider that Polillo's words, placing Anita's production in a kind of limbo between modernity and tradition, also highlighted both the lack of technical quality of the works presented (“it is naive and lacking in skill”), as well as its irrelevance from an aesthetic and/or philosophical point of view (lack of “spiritual significance”.

***

In 1917, in the article that Monteiro Lobato published about Anita's exhibition, the critic stated that, out of respect for the painter's talent, he would not do as others who, when referring to the productions of “girls who paint”, granted them half a dozen of candy adjectives[9]. For it was sweet adjectives that Anita's friends, Oswald de Andrade, Guilherme de Almeida and Yan de Almeida Prado gave when they spoke about her 1929 exhibition. For Oswald, the painter had transformed into “our” Marie Laurencin; Almeida, in turn, paid attention to the “femininity” of her production and Almeida Prado praised her “sincerity”[10].

As Marta R. Batista rightly pointed out, only Menotti Del Picchia – another friend of the painter – would demonstrate perplexity at her production, in an article published on February 20, 1929. There, he wondered what had happened to Anita's recent painting and whether they could be characterized, in fact, as an evolution[11]. In this text, Menotti, “perplexed”, expresses his opinion in a discreet way. However, in that same edition of Paulista Post Office, the chronicler, in another article – now signed “Helios” –, places Malfatti’s production in the middle of a crisis that was beginning to take over São Paulo’s modernism, a crisis that would lead it to its imminent and definitive collapse. Here the whirlpool through which Anita’s “French” painting could be swallowed was made clear. Helios begins the article like this:

The aesthetic modernism of S. Paulo is going through a very serious crisis.

I really don't know if he will escape such a serious ailment [...] Perhaps Oswald d'Andrade's “anthropophagy” awakened in them the gluttony of eating each other... What is certain [is] that a mess has been made, where no one else understands .[12]

***

Despite numerous other previous crises[13], the collapse suffered by modernism in São Paulo between 1928 and 1929 is well known, when the various currents that formed within it intensified internal disputes until the values ​​of 1922 became something of the past.

For what interests us here, Helios' text shows that that collapse also hit the visual arts sector hard, affecting the reception of Anita's work.

***

If, at the beginning of São Paulo's modernism, some young intellectuals in the city gathered strength around the productions of Malfatti and Victor Brecheret – then understood as unequivocal representatives of modern art –, now it would be precisely the two artists who would be the first to see their works questioned. as truly original examples of modernity. Returning to Helios’ text:

The fact is that Brecheret – the formidable sculptor of Eva, who with Anita Malfatti represented the cry of reaction in plastic art – is beginning to be considered passé... For me, the cyclopean creator of so many admirable things, despite having gone down an alley of dangerous, intellectualistic [sic] and mannered art, he continues to be one of the greatest artists born in Brazil.

Anita is going down the same ramp, in the opinion of those who rush art down the abysmal slope of all “isms”… Anita too, like Brecheret, needs to reverse gear and return to those healthy and strong expressions of personal and admirable art, which I already knew how to document with beautiful canvases. But Anita is still, with Brecheret, a saint of my highest cult. Great talent, great sensitivity, great culture[14].

This bite and blow, so typical of Menotti's chronicles, did not hide the fact that dissent had been installed in the perception that modernists had about the recent productions of the pioneers Brecheret and Malfatti[15]. Or rather, he did not hide the fact that, in those circumstances of crisis, it was possible for a first-time modernist, like Menotti, to publish unpleasant comments on the production of his friends Brecheret and Malfatti. After all, circumstantial or not, such considerations demonstrated that the pioneering heroes of São Paulo's modernism were not untouchable.

The perplexity and disappointment expressed by Del Picchia were deepened in Anthropophagy Journal, second set of teeth, in the text by intellectual Oswaldo Costa, a journalist close to Oswald de Andrade, identified with the anthropophagic movement and with no link to the modernism of 1922[16]. Signing “Tamandaré”[17], Costa writes precisely to proclaim the bankruptcy of modernism in 1922 and to destroy the “little church” in which Mário de Andrade supposedly stood as supreme pontiff.

It is no coincidence that the title of your long article is Moquém, a grill made with sticks by indigenous people to roast food. The metaphor is obvious: in the article, Costa roasts modernists not linked to, or critical of, the anthropophagic movement, and devours them, sucking them down to the bones. Mário de Andrade was the main dish to be devoured.

Despite his widespread hunger for modernists (among them Paulo Prado, for example) it is Andrade that the columnist's hunger falls on, always focused on the desire not only to discredit the writer, but to humiliate him. From Mário's farm, Costa only respected Macunaima. Furthermore, for him, there was nothing left to increase the intellectual's reputation: Mário was linked to cliques, practiced cronyism, flattered his friends and, just as terrible, he spoke well of those who didn't deserve it.

It is with this purpose that, after criticizing the fact that the author Macunaima having praised the “passadista” painter Navarro da Costa[18], that “Tamandaré” focuses on the productions of Brecheret and Malfatti. Given the suspicious compliments they had both received from Mário de Andrade, they too should be, if not devoured, at least bitten. After all, it was Mário “who drools over Brecheret’s idiotic pastiches – […]. Who highlights in Anita's exhibition what was bad about it, what Lazarus"[19].

Tamandaré was interested in launching a new cycle for literature and the arts in São Paulo. For him, the modernism of 1922 would have been nothing more than a “preparation” for the anthropophagic movement.

Thinking this way, in an article published on the occasion of Tarsila do Amaral's first exhibition in São Paulo, still in 1929, Costa – now signing Antônio Raposo – hails Tarsila as the great revelation of modern art: “for the spirit of unity that in her If we observe, due to the extraordinary creative power and the deep feeling of our things that the illustrious painter reveals, it is, without a doubt, the first great and serious offensive of Brazilian Modernism”.[20]

If Tarsila was the “first great and serious offensive of Brazilian Modernism”, what place would Anita Malfatti, the “sensitive” belong?

***

What, in Anita's production, would have led three commentators as different from each other, as Polillo, Del Picchia and Costa, to take such a similar stance on her? After all, the first focused, among other aspects, on the artist’s “flawed skill”, demonstrated in the 1929 exhibition; the second proposed that she return to “healthy and strong” painting and “personal” and “healthy early career” art.[21], and the third decreed that Resurrection of Lazarus – considered the main painting of Anita by Mário de Andrade – was simply “bad”.

Is at Resurrection of Lazarus that the main problems of Anita's production are summarized, visible not only in her, but in her entire production from the 1920s.

Anita's Parisian works, in general, attest to how distant the artist was in relation to her apparent initial interest in the avant-garde languages ​​of the early 1917th century. It is certain, however, that, in the exhibition she hosted in XNUMX, the painter had already shown clear signs of a certain distance from the avant-garde. After all, if some critics and scholars considered, for example, the yellow man e Green haired woman (both 1915/16), as indexes of the artist’s adherence to the avant-garde, Tropical (1916c.) and India (1917) – also presented in that exhibition – indicated that, in Anita, there was also an interest in a production less committed to the assumptions of the avant-garde at the beginning of the century.

Thus, a less passionate analysis of the painter's production at the beginning of her career will show that, if she experimented with the styles of different currents of the avant-garde at the beginning of the XNUMXth century, she was also sensitive to the first signs of the beginning of the return to order in art that was processed in Europe and the Americas[22].

***

Anita's interest in returning to order, within the scope of São Paulo's modernism, was not in itself a problem, as such a return or fixation to a more or less conventional type of figurative art (depending on each case) was a place to be. common in the production of several other artists, including those linked to the city's modernism, such as Tarsila, Di Cavalcanti and Lasar Segall, among others[23]. The problem is that, within the possibilities of a figurative art, but not academic and linked to a “moderate” modernism – as the return to order could be interpreted –, Anita had chosen, as Pollilo suggested, to establish herself in a limbo between modernity and tradition, with a production subject to severe technical restrictions, also perceived by Mário de Andrade (who, let us remember, had not appreciated Resurrection of Lazarus.

***

As mentioned, Mário de Andrade, in the 1928 article, paid attention positively to Anita's adherence to the return to order and, even though he did not appreciate Resurrection of Lazarus, praised the work. However, more than ten years later, in 1939, in a letter sent from Rio to his friend, he recalls that he publicly lied about the work just to help her. He also writes that her pictorial production had lost the singularity of her early career, as Anita would have given in to the pressures of her environment. Claiming his right to question her, the critic continues:

[…] I'm sorry, Anita dear, tell you these things […] But if you clear up your past, you will always have one thing left, this friend of yours […] You were the biggest victim of the infected environment in which we live. All the forces in the city turned against you […] Even your family […]. And with that you changed course, consenting. But tell me one thing: has the change improved your life and your art? It seems not to me. And if you had continued to rise, to progress towards that spontaneous destiny that was yours, because it was born of your flesh, would you be rich? Certainly not. But, through the obstacles, one consolation remained and who knows what artistic greatness? You would have been you. What I tell you is unpleasant, I know. But remember […] And remember that man to whom you yourself came to say that you knew he publicly lied in the praise he had given to Mr Lázaro, in his friend's intention of getting something, a purchase from the Government, etc. for you.[24]

***

What Mário wrote above is similar to what Del Picchia expressed in 1929 about the “deviation” that occurred in the painter's production and what Polillo, in the same period, mentioned about the naive and flawed dimension of her production. Thus, both Mário and Menotti believed that their friend would have left her spontaneous, “personal and admirable” streak, never returning to being the original painter at the beginning of her career, while Polillo highlighted the lack of technical sophistication in the 1929 paintings.

This was not the first nor the last time that Mário explained that, for him, after the pressures suffered from 1917 onwards, Anita had never returned to the quality of her initial work. This positioning, in turn, has made it clear – to the majority of scholars on the issue – that the critic missed the “expressionist” Anita.

However, despite one or two laments from the critic for the fact that his friend had lost her “expressionist” edge, it is known that Mário was never an unconditional supporter of avant-garde experiments, on the contrary[25].

***

Already in the first text that Mario wrote about his friend's work, in 1921 – under the pretext of an individual exhibition of the painter in São Paulo –, his discomfort in relation to Anita's latest works is clear. This is so true that he states that he is not sure whether the artist, even though she is already “an achievement”, would acquire – in her future work – “greater depth than that achieved in certain paintings already made”[26]. Symptomatically, Mário dedicates himself to analyzing Anita's production until 1917, rather than that carried out later. It is interesting to highlight how much the critic, already imbued with his readings on the return to order, is able to perceive that in certain works produced by Anita until 1917, there was already a “constructive science”, reflections of the “serene architecture of Ingres or the artists of the Renaissance ”:

And constructive science… Anita completely moves away from impressionism. It effectively represents the return to balanced construction, which is one of the aspirations of contemporary art. The balance of some of her works, such as black head, Mulatto fruit seller: Homem amarello: Portrait of Lalive they denote an authoritative science and a deep knowledge of the serene architecture of an Ingres or Renaissance artists. Balance is precisely its greatest quality, just as color is its greatest expressive force.[27]

***

In at least two surviving letters of correspondence between Sergio Milliet (then in Paris) and Mário de Andrade, the latter demonstrates his concern for Anita, in her Parisian internship. In the first, dated August 1924, he seems to comment with dismay on something Milliet had written about her friend: “And Anita? What you all tell me about her horrifies me. Is she really lost? I still have hope[28]. On December 10 of the same year, Mário vents, apparently referring to Sérgio himself and Oswald: “Oswald is in Paris. Have you seen it? I think you are a little unfair to Anita. She sent me an excellent drawing and sketches of several new compositions. Excellently well built”[29]. Trying to convince Milliet about the qualities of her friend's production, Mário, rather, seems to intend to convince himself about the relevance of the paths that Anita then followed.

***

After the 1917 exhibition, Anita's interest in tradition led her to study with the conservator Pedro Alexandrino. Highlighting the continuity of this interest, when she arrived in Paris in 1923, for some time she managed to be guided by Maurice Denis, an artist who began his career at the end of the XNUMXth century in the group of nabis, and who, in the early 1920s, dedicated himself to decorative and religious painting.

One of the most interesting painters to emerge in France at the end of the XNUMXth century, Denis – taking as his initial parameter the work of the now little-studied painter, also French, Puvis de Chavannes –, developed a production that radically explored color and the planar dimension of painting. Also at the end of the century, Denis already expressed an interest in exploring the great tradition of primitive Italian art.

If at the beginning Denis was considered a “radical”, from the beginning of the XNUMXth century his experimental streak was exhausted, giving way to a production that, in seeking to revitalize the religious theme, began to produce – most of the time – insignificant pastiches. of the painting of the first Italian Renaissance. Linked to mural painting, like Chavannes, Denis decorated churches and chapels across France with the aim of reinvigorating religious painting, which had been in decline in his country since the mid-XNUMXth century.

***

Mário de Andrade believed that what could have led Anita to approach Denis was the fact that, in addition to being a mystic – or precisely because of that – she had always loved “the work of the Italian Primitive religious people”.[30] By choosing to be guided by Denis, however, the painter left any possibility of being guided by an artist in vogue at the time – Léger and Gleizes, among others –, guidance that would bring her closer to Tarsila's path, attentive to the transformative character of the productions of those artists.

Reflecting on her Parisian phase, it is clear that, even when she left Denis' guidance, Anita continued to be interested in religious painting, opting for a sacred theme – the resurrection of Lazarus – to create the painting that was to crown her specialization internship in Paris. . It was not just the option for a religious theme that brought Resurrection of Lazarus produced by Maurice Denis. Although unable to technically and plastically interpret the tradition of the primitive Italians – the “flawed” skill, noted by Pollilo –, Anita tried to bring to the canvas the way in which her advisor resolved the adequacy of forms in the pictorial space. However, the result was not good enough, and what should have been a modern, but “moderate” interpretation of the visual universe of the first renaissance, proved to fall short of any expectations. A “bad” painting, as Oswaldo Costa wrote.

***

Eclectic and, therefore, permeable to the various trends that were swarming through Paris in the 1920s, Anita would also come close to the production of Matisse who, in turn, surpassed Denis in producing a painting in which color and form came together to celebrate the painting and life. Anita approaches Matisse, but doesn't seem to reach him. Even in works like La rentrée, 1925 / 1927 e Monaco interior, 1925c.[31], Matisse is there, but from a vision that is not committed to pictorial reality – so dear to him. A “literary” approach, in the case of the first, and an intimidating one, in the case of the second.

The dispersion that characterizes her Parisian production will only find a positive direction in the series of nude drawings that Anita produced there – a highlight, not only of her works from that period, but of her entire career.

***

As seen, in 1921, when referring to Anita’s initial production, Mário had written about “Ingres’ architecture”. The following year, he refers to Ingres again in his very interesting preface, when stating that modern painters disdained both Delacroix and Whistler, “to rely on the constructive calm of Raphael, Ingres, Greco”[32]. These texts confirm that, far from any avant-garde, from the beginning Mário thought of painting within the standards of a return to order. In fact, artists as traditional as El Greco, Rafael and Ingres began to serve as parameters for the “primitives” of the XNUMXth century, such as Picasso, Matisse – and why not? – Anita Malfatti. After all, as already mentioned, the best of the artist's production can be found in the series of drawings she produced in Paris, drawings in which the postulates on art by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres are evident as one of their main guides.

Ingres indoctrinated his students like this:

Drawing is the probity of art.

[…] You always have to draw, draw with your eyes when you can’t use a pencil […]

When studying nature, initially only look at the whole. Interrogate him, and only him. The details are of little importance and must be subjected to reason. The broad shapes, yes! Form is the foundation and condition of everything; even the smoke must be expressed by the line.

[…] Keep in your eyes and in your mind the figure you want to represent; the execution must only be the realization of this image already possessed, preconceived.[33]

Only the last recommendation seems to have been obeyed only partially because, despite all the graphic rigor visible in her drawings, it is also noticeable how Anita, in many of those drawings, lets the line flow, allowing her, alone, to find her outcome. .[34] Furthermore, those drawings are configured as the graphic explanation of what Mário had written in 1922: the “constructive calm” that should prevail in modern art, giving rise to a new era for art in Brazil, a “Primitive” art. structuring and structuring.

***

Anita and Mário had the same conceptions about what should prevail in art and, above all, in modern painting: “constructive calm”, “Ingres’ architecture” or – as the critic had written to Tarsila when she was also in Paris: “ I believe you will not fall into cubism. Take advantage of these teachings: Balance, Construction, Sobriety. Be careful with the abstract, painting has its own field […]”[35].

Anita also did not “fall into cubism”. On the contrary, she developed her pictorial production responding to the demands that were then operating on the Parisian scene, although she only demonstrated a strong quality in her already mentioned drawings which, possessing an impressive self-awareness, rarely served as a basis for her paintings.[36].

However, in addition to this less than refined skill that characterized her pictorial production and which, as seen, was commented on by practically all those who wrote about her production, Anita's painting failed to fulfill another commitment made by other modernists: in her Parisian phase she he disregarded the “subject” of Brazil, not mixing local themes with his “moderate” modernism and the “primitive” dimension of his imagination, as Mário wanted and as Tarsila, Di and Segall did.

After all, Mário understood that modern art should embrace tradition, an emphasis on the mastery of activity and, finally, to rehabilitate and enhance national affairs. These prerogatives were in line with what the critic thought about what modern art should be like in Brazil: attentive to modern European aesthetics, but adopting only its more moderate versions; attentive to the need to adopt a modern configuration, but not to the point of “falling into cubism” or becoming non-figurative. These, in fact, were the limits of the aesthetic freedom of the movement that Mário led. It was impossible to produce non-figurative art or even linked to some other radical current of modern art at the risk of seeing the Brazilian “subject” unable to permeate the artists' production.

Anita, in turn, produced a moderately modern painting, although lagging in terms of technical achievement and alien to the Brazilian subject. In her paintings she was unable to create what Tarsila conceived in her Brazilwood phase, for example, a primitivism concerned with “pure” figurative elements of “an intimate sensitivity”, formulated in a Brazilian ambience, for Mário, undeniable[37]. And he had not, like Di Cavalcanti, had a merely predatory view of the historical avant-gardes, worrying about removing from them what could characterize a moderate modern visuality impregnating “typically” Brazilian subjects.[38].

Anita, as Raul Polillo understood, remained in that limbo between tradition and modernity, with serious problems of realization in her paintings. Back in São Paulo and after the 1929 exhibition, her trajectory – practically stagnant during the 1920s[39] – fell into a deep decline.

From then on – as Marta Rossetti Batista [40] masterfully described and analyzed –, Anita gradually got closer to naïve painting, that is, the way of painting of those who had no training in the field of high art.[41].

***

Unburied corpse of São Paulo modernism[42], in 1955 she writes a posthumous letter to Mário, who had died ten years earlier. At one point Anita declares:

[…] I'm afraid I disappointed you. When you expect so much from a friend, he gets scared, because he knows that we can't do anything on our own and we're left wanting, wanting to be great artists and sad about falling short of expectations.

I looked for all the techniques and came back to simplicity, directly; I am no longer modern or ancient, but I write and paint what delights me […][43]

***

It is worth noting how much, in this letter, Malfatti seems resigned to the fact that his production did not take on the meaning that his friend wanted to give it. Anita seems aware of having escaped the triumphal narrative that Mário and others wrote about art in São Paulo during the first half of the XNUMXth century. The artist had ended up removing herself from the role of heroine, of pioneer of modernism, to transform herself into a “martyr” – someone who fell in the first battle, unable to continue the war. It is pathetic how the artist recognizes that she would have failed in the face of the expectations that Mário and the others placed on her future. Worse: she shows signs of agreeing with this verdict, as if it were not the result of an arbitrary and triumphalist narrative that São Paulo modernism wanted to write about itself.

[1] – Here I am referring to the Anita Malfatti Modern Art Exhibition, led by the artist and held in São Paulo, between December 12, 1917 and January 10, 1918, traditionally understood as the beginning of modernism in São Paulo. In addition to the artist's work, some works by her colleagues and the secretary of the Art Students League, where Anita studied during her New York internship, were also exhibited. On the subject read, among others: BATISTA, Marta Rossetti. Anita Malfatti in time and space. Biography and study of the work. São Paulo: Editora 34/Edusp, 2006; CHIARELLI, Tadeu. A jeca at the vernissages. Monteiro Lobato and the desire for a national art in Brazil. São Paulo: Edusp, 1995.

[2] – In other texts published in that same decade, Mario stated that the most interesting art at the time was found in the Constructive – or Primitive – period, when the most restless artists began to search for the “eternal” structural elements of art that had been suppressed during the previous Romantic period – read the historical avant-gardes of the beginning of the 20th century. As an example, it is possible to remember that, on some occasions, the critic referred to Lasar Segall's production as “primitive”: “And that is why the compare with Giotto, with Signorelli and the Italian fourteenth century”. I will return to this subject. Mário de Andrade, “Lasar Segall I”. Diary of São Paulo, 23/12/1927; apud  CHIARELLI, Thaddeus. A modernism that came later. São Paulo: Alameda, 2012 p. 101.

[3] – Mário de Andrade. “Anita Malfatti”, National Gazette. apud CHIARELLI, Thaddeus. Painting is not just beauty. Florianópolis: Letras Contemporâneas, 2000, p. 58.

[4] – A phenomenon that occurred in European art between the two world wars, this reflux – also known as “return to order” (or “called to order”), took over the artistic production of several European and American centers (not only the United States, but also between countries such as Mexico, Argentina and others). Regarding the return to order in Brazil, consult, among others, CHIARELLI, Tadeu. Painting is not just beauty. Florianopolis, on. cit. and BATISTA, Marta Rossetti. Brazilian artists at the Paris School. 1920s. São Paulo Editora 34, 2012, among others.

[5] – In the 1929 exhibition, the artist highlighted three works: Resurrection of Lazarus (1928/29) belonging to the collection of the São Paulo Museum of Sacred Art; puritas (1927c.) and Woman from Pará w. – belonging to private collections.

[6] – According to a later letter from Mário de Andrade to Anita (which will be mentioned again), he would have issued false praise about the painting, aiming to influence the Government in the purchase of Resurrection of Lazarus. In the letter, Mário states that the painter herself would have remembered that, due to their friendship, he publicly lied about the work, providing it with qualities that she did not possess. Read: ANDRADE, Mário. Mario de Andrade. Letters to Anita Malfatti. Rio de Janeiro: University Forensics, 1989.

[7] – Raul Polillo, an intellectual not connected to the modernists, always had a critical view of the protagonists of that movement. This vision did not prevent him from appreciating the power of Victor Brecheret's sculpture.

[8] – Raul Polillo, “The futurism that forgot to evolve”. Diary of São Paulo, São Paulo, February 7, 1929 (apud: BATISTA, Marta Rossetti. Anita Malfatti in time and space. Biography and study of the work. São Paulo: Editora 34/Edusp, 2006, p. 365, Note 10.)

[9] - Monteiro Lobato. “About the Malfatti Exhibition”. The state of Sao Paulo. Night edition; São Paulo20 December 1917

[10] – BATISTA, Marta Rossetti. Op. Cit. p. 366.

[11] – Same. In the text, the author makes reference to Menotti Del Picchia’s article “Anita Malfatti”. Paulista Post Office. São Paulo, February 20, 1929

[12] – Helios (Menotti Del Picchia). “Crisis in modernism”. Paulista Post Office. São Paulo. March 20, 1929.

[13] – As early as 1923, it was possible to perceive the first crises in the modernist movement in São Paulo. The relationship between Anita and Tarsila, for example, was compromised as early as 1923, reinforcing the distance between them, not only in the field of interpersonal relationships, but also from the point of view of aesthetic choices. There were also ruptures between Menotti and Mário de Andrade, disagreements between Oswald and Di Cavalcanti because of Tarsila (mentioned in ANDRADE, Mário. Letters to Anita Malfatti. Op. Cit. P. 126.). 1928 begins by intensifying the disagreements between Oswald and Menotti, Mário and Oswald, among many others, which would weaken the bonds that linked all the São Paulo protagonists of the 1922 Modern Art Week. On this subject, consult, among others: Gênese de Andrade. “Friendship in Mosaic: Oswald’s correspondence with Mário de Andrade”. Teresa Brazilian literature magazine [8/9]. São Paulo. P. 61-188, 2008; Tadeu Chiarelli. “Anthropophagy versus modernism”. São Paulo. Magazine ARTE!Brasileiros. São Paulo, July 15, 2022. https://artebrasileiros.com.br/opiniao/conversa-de-barr/oswaldo-costa/

[14] – Helios (Menotti Del Picchia). Op. Cit.

[15] – In fact, the “reprimand” given by Menotti to Brecheret and Malfatti did not mean that the two artists were not admired by the intellectual. Especially in relation to Brecheret, reading Menotti's texts published in Paulista Post Office and other periodicals, since the 1920s and in the following decade, the support that the writer continues to grant to the artist is undeniable. This stance demonstrates that that “reprimand” was circumstantial, probably with the intention of reaching Mário de Andrade, due to the influence that the critic had over the two artists. To make the situation even more complex, it would be important to remember that, in 1930, Mário de Andrade would also take a position contrary to the directions that Brecheret was then giving to his sculpture. Mario de Andrade. “Victor Brecheret”. National Gazette, S. Paulo, 20 Jan. 1930. apud, CHIARELLI, Tadeu. Painting is not just beauty. Op. cit. p. 61.

[16] – Oswaldo Costa appears alongside Oswald de Andrade and Pagu, in a photo taken around 1930. Consult, CAMPOS, Augusto. Pay. Life-work. São Paulo: Editora Brasiliense, 1982, Caderno de Fotos.

[17] – One of the versions of the Tupi word, “Tamandaré”, states that it means “repopulator”. According to legend, a shaman learned from Tupã that he would flood the land. He would then have built a boat, thus saving himself and his family. After the flood ended, he would repopulate the earth. The use of this pseudonym by Oswaldo Costa is interesting. The intellectual here appears as the one who, after the (anthropophagic) destruction, repopulates the world. https://lugaresdememoria.com.br/tamandare-a-terra-do-diluvio-nordestino/

[18] – Mário de Andrade. “Modern-Antimodern”. Purple Earth and other lands. São Paulo n.3. February 31, 1926, p. 3. Regarding Mário de Andrade’s interest in Navarro da Costa, see: Tadeu Chiarelli. “You will not fall into Cubism. Mário de Andrade and the visual arts”. Science and Culture Magazine. https://revistacienciaecultura.org.br/?artigos=nao-cairas-no-cubismo-mario-de-andrade-e-as-artes-visuais

 [19]  – Tamandaré (Oswaldo Costa). “Moquem”. I, II, III, IV, V. Anthropophagy Journal. 2nd. Dentition. Diary of São Paulo. São Paulo April 7, 1929; April 14, 1929; April 24, 1929; May 1, 1929; May 8, 1929.

[20] – Anonymous (Antônio Raposo – Oswaldo Costa). “Tarsila do Amaral Exhibition”, Paulista Post Office. São Paulo, September 21, 1929. apud – AMARAL, Aracy. Tarsila. Your work and your time. São Paulo: Perspectiva/Edusp, 1975 vol.1 p. 465.

[21] – That is, the works that the artist had produced in her German and North American internships.

[22] – Next we will see that Mário de Andrade was also sensitive to this characteristic of his friend’s initial production.

[23] – In previous texts I had the opportunity to demonstrate that, in modernist São Paulo, the visual arts were more linked to the return to order than to the avant-garde. On the subject, consult CHIARELLI, Tadeu. Painting is not just beauty, on. cit. and CHIARELLI, Tadeu. A modernism that came later. Sao Paulo: Alameda, 2012.

[24] – ANDRADE, Mário. Letters to Anita Malfatti. on. cit. p.146.

[25] – In fact, as I had the opportunity to state in another text, for Mário de Andrade the term “expressionism” was the general name given to all “isms” and was not dying (as Wilhelm Worringer wanted, but “evolving” into “ realism”: “In the same way it is easy to see in the realism reached by Picasso (in certain works), Kirling (sic), Dix, Grozs, Severini and many others, just a de-intellectualization of expressionism, which leads artistic deformation towards a more legitimately plastic sensoriality” Mário de Andrade, “Questões de arte”. National Gazette 30.9.1927. apud CHIARELLI, Thaddeus. Painting is not just beauty. Op. cit. p. 53.

[26] – Mário de Andrade. “Anita Malfatti”. Debate Journal. São Paulo. 5 Oct. 1921. apud BATISTA, Martha R. Anita Malfatti in time and space. Op. cit. p.272.

[27] – Idem, p. 274. According to notes by Marta Rossetti Batista on the same page, the work Mulatto fruit seller refers to the work already cited here and today known as Tropical (note 42). In the original, due to some graphical error, “arquitetura dum Ingres” was spelled “arquitetura dum Ingres” (note 43).

[28] – Letter from Mário de Andrade to Sérgio Milliet, dated August 11, 1924. IN DUARTE, Paulo. Mário de Andrade for himself. Commemorative edition of the 40th anniversary of Mario de Andrade's death. São Paulo, Editora Hucitec/Prefeitura do Município de São Paulo, Municipal Secretariat of Culture, 1985. p.298.

[29] – Letter from Mário de Andrade to Sérgio Milliet, dated December 10, 1924. In DUARTE, Paulo. Op. Cit. P. 299 et seq. Aracy Amaral informs that in a letter written from Paris, by Oswald to Mário de Andrade, on April 18, 1923, at a certain point the former writes: “Anita is a passista”. AMARAL, Aracy (org.). Correspondence Mário de Andrade & Tarsila do Amaral. São Paulo: Edusp/IEB USP, 2001, p. 65, note 5.

[30] – Mário de Andrade. National Gazette.

[31] – The first work belongs to a private collection in São Paulo; the second belongs to the São Paulo Art Museum (MASP) collection – Lease: BM&F Collection.

[32] – Mário de Andrade. “Very Interesting Preface”. frantic paulicéia, 1922. apud CHIARELLI, Thaddeus. Painting is not just beauty. Mário de Andrade's art criticism. Op. cit. p. 21.

[33] – Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Pansies. Selection by H. Delabord, 1870 IN LICHTENSTEIN, Jacqueline (org.). The painting. The design and color. São Paulo: Editora 34, vol. 9, 2006, p. 84.

[34] – Perhaps a legacy from your “expressionist” period experienced in the 1910s? Perhaps.

[35] – Letter from Mário de Andrade to Tarsila do Amaral, dated June 16, 1923. IN AMARAL, Aracy (org.). Correspondence Mario de Andrade & Tarsila do Amaral. Edusp/IEBUSP, 2001 p. 75.

[36] – I remember the painting here reclining nude, sd belonging to a private collection in São Paulo.

[37] – I draw your attention here to the text that Mário published about the artist. Mário de Andrade. Text for the catalog of the artist’s exhibition in S. Paulo, in 1929. apud BATISTA, Marta Rossetti (and others). Brazil first modernist period p.124

[38] – On the subject, consult: Mário de Andrade. “Di Cavalcanti”, National Gazette, S. Paulo, May 8, 1932 apud BATISTA, Marta Rossetti (and others). Op. cit. P. 158.

[39] – Remember that Menotti Del Picchia doubted whether there had been “evolution” in the artist’s Parisian internship.

[40] – I refer to the researcher’s book: Anita Malfatti in time and space. Op. Cit.

[41] – In this sense, Anita is very close to the trajectory of Fúlvio Pennacchi, who also focused, for a large part of his life, on painting “like the pure”. On the subject, read: “On the Brazilian experience of Fúlvio Pennacchi” in CHIARELLI, Tadeu. A modernism that came later. Op. Cit. p.191.

[42] – “Unburied Corpse” because Anita’s professional career exposes the contradictions of the modernist movement. About Anita’s trajectory as an “unburied corpse”, see: Domingos Tadeu Chiarelli. “Anita Malfatti in time and space” (review). Magazine of the Institute of Brazilian Studies at USP, v.1 p. 179, 1987.

[43] – Tadeu Chiarelli. “Anita Malfatti in time and space” (review). Magazine of the Institute of Brazilian Studies at USP, v.1 p. 179, 1987.

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