PRINT January 2012


Adriana Varejão, Azulejaria “De tapete” em carne viva (“Carpet-Style” Tilework in Live Flesh), 1999, oil on canvas and polyurethane on aluminum and wooden support, 59 x 74 3/4 x 9 3/4".

THE CHURCH OF SÃO FRANCISCO in Salvador, the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, beautifully exemplifies both the early globalism and the warped chronology of the Brazilian Baroque. Its eighteenth-century interior is a classic example of the entirely gilt igreja dourada, or “golden church,” which sings its Gloria Dei in a profusion of swirling columns, irrational volutes, angels, birds, clouds, and other bulging, swelling, inverting, and extroverting folds and protuberances, all in exaggerated sync with the high Jesuit moment of the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese Baroque. The facade of the affiliated convent is also an exuberant piece of horror vacui, finished in the 1700s but bearing strong traces of Dutch and Flemish Mannerist architecture of the sixteenth century; its cloister is covered in narrative and allegorical azulejos. These blue-and-white tiles, imported from

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