sao-paulo

Maria Auxilidora da Silva, Mobral, 1971, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 23 5/8 x 47 1/4".

Maria Auxiliadora da Silva

MASP - Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand

Maria Auxilidora da Silva, Mobral, 1971, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 23 5/8 x 47 1/4".

Brazil was the last Western nation to abolish slavery, in 1888, and 130 years later the Museu de Arte de São Paulo has dedicated its 2018 program to Afro Atlantic histories as part of its larger mission, adopted last year, to become “diverse, inclusive, and plural.” To inaugurate this cycle of programming, the exhibition “Maria Auxiliadora: Daily Life, Painting and Resistance” opened just after International Women’s Day in May. This exhibition, curated by Fernando Oliva and Adriano Pedrosa, revisits her work, neglected for decades because it was deemed irrelevant to the prevailing modern and Neo-Concrete narratives that have dominated Brazilian art since the 1950s.

Born in 1935 into a family of former slaves, da Silva rejected “good painting” as understood by European modernism and also pushed away labels such as primitive or naïf; additionally, she distanced herself from elitism

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