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Women artists: The pioneers (1880–1930)

13 Jun 2015
25 Oct 2015

JUN 13, 2015
OCT 25, 2015

Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo – a museum run by the São Paulo State Secretariat of Culture – will host the Mulheres Artistas: As Pioneiras (1880-1930) exhibition on April 11.

Curated by Ana Paula Simioni and Elaine Dias and accompanied by Fernanda Pitta of the Pinacoteca curators team, the exhibit titled “Mulheres artistas: as pioneiras (1880–1930)” [“Women Artists: The Pioneers (1880–1930)”] aims to show how women entered the Brazilian art system, emphasizing the processes of training they had access to, and their affirmation as professional artists. Contrary to the discourse of that time, which sought to restrict women to the home environment, by reducing them to the status of “naturally amateur,” several painters and sculptors created works of historical importance.

The show will be a fundamental occasion to appreciate their productions, many of which have never before been viewed by larger audiences, or in relation to one another. The time frame denotes a production arc between 1880 and 1930, respectively, from the award given to Abigail de Andrade at the 26th General Exposition of Fine Arts in 1884, ending in the 1930s, with the so-called “routinization” of Modernism in Brazil, at which time women artists definitively come to occupy a prominent place in Brazilian art.

The works will be arranged in two rooms. The first room features the academic practices that comprised their artistic training, including the study of drawing based on the female and male bodies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the imitation of the old model, and masters of drawings and painting. The second room will feature the varieties of art genres that women have dedicated themselves to throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, showing how they incorporated and elaborated the rules, values and methods of the academic circles with which they were associated. The quality of many of these works unequivocally allows one to challenge the “amateur” label by which they were judged.

Thus, visitors can have contact with artists and works that are still virtually unknown and at the same time wonder about the reasons for such ignorance and how much they are debtors of an art history whose criteria for inclusion and exclusion are marked by matters of gender and, therefore, power.

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