Brazilian Art under Dictatorship is a sophisticated analysis of the intersection of politics and the visual arts during the most repressive years of Brazil's military regime, from 1968 until 1975. Raised in Rio de Janeiro during the dictatorship, the curator and art historian Claudia Calirman describes how Brazilian visual artists addressed the political situation and opened up the local art scene to new international trends. Focusing on innovative art forms infused with a political undercurrent, Calirman emphasizes the desire among Brazilian artists to reconcile new modes of art-making with a concern for local politics. Ephemeral, impermanent works, such as performance, media-based art, and conceptualism, were well-suited to the evasion of censorship and persecution. Calirman examines the work and careers of three major artists of the period, Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio, and Cildo Meireles. She explores the ways that they negotiated the competing demands of Brazilian politics and the international art scene, the efficacy of their political critiques, and their impact on Brazilian art and culture. Calirman suggests that the art of the late 1960s and early 1970s represented not just the artists' concerns with politics, but also their anxieties about overstepping the boundaries of artistic expression.
"Calirman's examination of three artists - Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio and Cildo Meireles - helps to challenge the myth that the Brazilian dictatorship fostered only "cultural emptiness". Via letters and manifestos, exhibition reviews and descriptions of artworks, and interviews with artists and critics, she reveals the ephemeral, performative and clandestine artwork produced during the period... [Calirman's] descriptions of the era's artistic productions allow her to develop a strong narrative that is interrupted only briefly by introducing social theory, such as Michel Foucault's, to analyse the significance of these art projects." - Sarah Sarzynski, Times Higher Education, August 23rd 2012 "This is a landmark achievement. Claudia Calirman deftly explicates the complexities and subtleties of the varied forms of visual expression that reacted to the atrocities of dictatorship in later 20th century Brazil. With its limpid writing and intelligent citing of parallels in other forms of avant-garde art in Europe and North America, her text affords the reader an 'insider's' look into one of the most vibrant and original art scenes of the 1960s and 70s. This volume should appeal to a wide public and will stand as a standard reference for many years." Edward J. Sullivan, New York University "Brazilian Art under Dictatorship is a welcome contribution to a growing body of scholarly work about cultural production in Brazil under authoritarian rule. Through meticulous archival research, Claudia Calirman illuminates the work of three great experimental artists of the 1970s who pursued distinct artistic strategies. She succeeds in showing how their work responded to the specific context of censorship and violence in Brazil, while remaining engaged in an international dialogue about the changing politics of art in contemporary societies." Christopher Dunn, author of Brutality Garden: Tropicalia and the Emergence of a Brazilian Counterculture
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 21st July 2012
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.5 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.408