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"ARPAD SZENES AND VIEIRA DA SILVA (Brazilian period) "
2000-06-30 until 2000-09-17
Fundação Arpad Szenes – Vieira da Silva
Lisbon, , PT Portugal

Vieira da Silva and Arpad Szenes lived in Brazil between 1940 and 1947 where they found a refuge from the 2nd World War and it was there that an important part of their work was carried out. The environment of the Hotel Internacional in São Silvestre where Arpad and Vieira lived was a stimulating blend of artistic, intellectual, cultured and sophisticated Bohemianism Important friendships were struck with the poets Cecília Meireles and Murilo Mendes, his wife Saudade Cortesão, the critic Ruben Navarra and the young painter Carlos Scliar, among others. Vieira da Silva always felt out of place in Brazil, her thoughts focusing on the events taking place in Europe. Her works reflect her obsession with the War, examples of which are her studies for works such as Le Désastre (1942) or La partie d’échecs (1943). Arpad Szenes’s work was of a less dramatic nature: he made a great number of portraits of his wife and his friends in Brazil during this period. Unlike the darker tones used by Vieira, Arpad opted for much brighter colours prompted by the glow of the light in Rio de Janeiro. Arpad started teaching in 1944 and gave classes in the ruins of the Hotel Internacional.

In Brazil Arpad Szenes and Vieira da Silva had a number of exhibitions. The most important were an exhibition of Vieira da Silva’s work in the Rio de Janeiro Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in 1942 and the exhibition of Arpad’s works in the Biblioteca Municipal de Belo Horizonte in 1946. Illustrations in works of literature, magazines and book covers were also an important part of their Brazilian period. The Rio de Janeiro Escola Superior de Agronomia commissioned Vieira da Silva to paint a panel of tiles (which she called Quilómetro 44) for the canteen and Arpad Szenes to carry out a series of portraits of scientists for the classrooms.

This exhibition shows close to 100 works (drawings and paintings)of the artists, most of them belonging to the Fundação Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva as well as to other institutions (Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azeredo Perdigão and Metropolitano de Lisboa) which are permanently stored in the Foundation.

The works of the two artists are divided into themes which allows for each work to be seen from its own specific angle, but also in the context of the other works on the same theme: the War, landscapes and environments, portraits of friends, studies for Quilómetro 44. Arpad Szenes’s portraits of his wife and his works depicting the couple are shown separately, as well as illustrations and works representing games by Vieira da Silva.


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