From the MALBA to the MoMA..


Abaporu, by Tarsila do Amaral (1928)
Technique: oil on canvas
04/09/18 - The emblematic painting "Abaporu" (in Tupí-Guaraní aba: man, poru: cannibal), from MALBA's permanent collection, is now taking part of "Tarsila do Amaral: inventing modern art in Brazil", at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibition is a tour around the artworks of the Brazilian artist from her origins and the influence she received of the European masters to her return to Brazil, where together with Oswald de Andrade, begins the road to modernity. 
The Anthropofagi Manifest, written by Andrade and inspired by "Abaporu", was taken from the cannibal rituales practiced by the natives, as a metaphor of how the influences from abroad (specially European) are devoured, digested and later transformed into something completely new and specifically Brazilian. This artistic movement allowed Brazil to get rid of the influence of thousands of years of colonization and become culturally independent. Tarsila was a key part of this transformation.
A very special place was given to "A negra". Tarsila belonged to a wealthy Brazilian family and she was brought up by a black wet nurse. From those memories, and a family photo, she found inspiration for this painting while living in Paris. Together with "Antropofagia", both aesthetically attractive, it is on display in a privileged spot in the exhibition. However, they don't have the historical importance of  "Abaporu".
A negra, by Tarsila do Amaral (1923)
Technique: oil on canvas
Antropofagia, by Tarsila do Amaral (1929)
Technique: oil on canvas
This is a well-deserved tribute to an artist who defined the cultural identity of Brazil. For all of us that see in "Abaporu" one of the most iconic pieces of MALBA's collection and a symbol of Latin America, to find the painting in New York, or see the banners promoting the exhibition all over the city, is very special, almost magical. 

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Liliana Wrobel

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Carla Mitrani