London

No Martins, Campo minado (self-portrait) (Mine Field [Self-Portrait]), 2019, acrylic on canvas, 7'2 5/8" × 14'1 1/4".

No Martins, Campo minado (self-portrait) (Mine Field [Self-Portrait]), 2019, acrylic on canvas, 7'2 5/8" × 14'1 1/4".

No Martins

Jack Bell Gallery

In the mid-twentieth century, Brazil’s multishaded racial democracy may have looked good compared to Jim Crow policies in the United States, but lately, bolstered by the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, the “tropical Trump,” racism in Brazil has violently worsened. In a country where about half the population is nonwhite, three-quarters of the victims of police killings are black.

This was the grim context for the exhibition “Social Signs,” displaying four of Brazilian artist No Martins’s large, brightly colored figurative paintings. His black-skinned subjects include a defiant-looking mother standing protectively over her two children in Dia do descobrimento (Day of Discovery), 2019, evidently in no mood to celebrate Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral’s “discovery” of her country. Após ler as notícias (After Reading the News), 2020, presents a seated older man in a vivid red sports

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