Pinacoteca de São Paulo, the art museum of the São Paulo State Secretariat of Culture, with sponsorship by Companhia Paulista de Parcerias (CPP) and BM&FBOVESPA, from March to June this year, presents “Imagens para uma nação” [“Images for a nation”], an exhibit on the history of engraving in Brazil, which aims to revive the period of introduction and development of printing techniques in the country, pointing out its uses and its development throughout the nineteenth century, and to establish a dialogue with the long-term exhibit “Arte no Brasil: uma história na Pinacoteca de São Paulo” [“Art in Brazil: A History at Pinacoteca de São Paulo”], which displays part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Researchers Francis Melvin Lee and Marianne Farah Arnone serve as curators, coordinated by Valeria Piccoli, chief curator at the Pinacoteca. Roughly 100 works will be distributed in rooms A and B, which are located on the second floor of the Pinacoteca Luz building. The Pinacoteca plans to publish a catalog in Portuguese, with around 100 pages featuring text and images on the works, slated for release in April.
One of the exhibit rooms will feature displays of the first initiatives of engraving in the colonial period, the official implementation of the press in 1808, the production of the earliest Luso-Brazilian engravers (and after 1816, also French engravers), and some of the printing techniques developed in Brazil’s imperial period.
“During this period, engraved images stand out more because of their utilitarian function rather than for their artistic intentions. With the end of prior censorship, in 1821, the artistic aspects of the dies and engravers began to be more highly appreciated, which allowed engraving to cease to be primarily an object at the service of the state, and begin to approach the Fine Arts more and more, becoming a privileged instrument of culture,” explains curator Francis Melvin Lee.
The second part of the exhibition will consist of works that explore graphic production that took place in the second half of the nineteenth century. “During this period, engraving was regarded as a branch of industry and, therefore, apart from the world of Fine Arts. Still, there has been a growth illustrated publications and prints that reproduced works of art, especially by established artists. Also noteworthy was the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro, the foremost institution of art education of that period, which used engraving as one of the main tools for training students,” adds curator Marianne Farah Arnone.
The exhibit will also feature publications such as books, periodicals and catalogs that used engraving to reproduce works of art. Also on display are a set of didactic prints used by students of the Academy of Fine Arts and that now make up the collection of the D. João VI Museum. These works will be placed into dialogue through studies of Academy students such as Henrique Bernardelli and Oscar Pereira da Silva.
“Images for a nation” will be showing through June 5, 2017, on the second floor of the Pinacoteca – Praça da Luz, 2. Admission is open Wednesday through Monday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, and visitors are allowed to remain until 6:00 pm. Tickets cost R$ 6 (full price) and R$ 3 (half-price for students, seniors, etc.). Admission is free-of-charge for children under 10 and adults over 60. On Saturdays, admission is free for all visitors. Pinacoteca de São Paulo is located across the street from the Luz station of the Sao Paulo Metrô and CPTM, and also offers free parking.