Brazilian Modernism and the Italian Paradigm. The Commemorative Exhibition of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Official Immigration

Dr. Fernanda Marinho

Studies on early Brazilian modernism tend to prioritize a French perspective that stimulates analysis based on parallels between Anthropophagy and European exoticism, between primitive and civilized, and even between nationalism and fetishism. The present Project proposes to instigate another view point, still little explored - that of the Italian perspective - with the aim of thinking about Brazilian modernism through its relations with the classical, the tradition and the past. 
This perspective will be investigated based on the analysis of the Italian participation in the Commemorative Exhibition of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Official Immigration, which took place at the Palace of Industries of São Paulo, in 1937. Clearly fascist in character, the Italian pavilion that had at its entrance a copy of the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta, was divided into three main sectors: the "Salone d'Onore", dedicated to a documentary exhibition that divulged the "rivoluzione fascista"; the "Mostra d'Arte", which included paintings, sculptures and engravings; and the "Mostra Merceologica", with publications that divulged the intellectual achievements of the "Italian genius". 
Still unpublished among the studies of art history, the 1937 Exhibition will be investigated from the point of view of the connections between Brazil and Italy in the constitution of their respective projections of modernity. We will address the impact of the 1937 Exhibition on the artistic and cultural context of São Paulo, welcoming the opportunity to insert them in the commemorating events of the “Semana de 1922” Centenary.

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