Artist Statement

I was born in Brasil and I live in São Paulo. I am married and we have two children. Since I was a little girl, I was always fascinated with nature, all shades of green, its mood and its beauty. But I started painting in oil on canvas and only in 1980 when my landscapes were already very transparent, I moved to paper and watercolors. Watercolors was for me like a box of chocolates. I just fell in love with a block of paper one day and little by little I left my canvas and oils tubes aside, to follow my true love. It is quite intriguing because I was not a big fan of water and paper when I was at art school... but now, just watch me !!!

Education: Fine Arts School “Curso de Belas Artes na Casa São Vicente de Paula”- 1967 - 1969. Michigan University – USA – Proficiency in English – 1974 “English Language” at “Faculdade de Filosofia Ciências e Letras Oswaldo Cruz” - 1977. Graduation in Watercolor “Pós Graduação em Artes Plásticas na Faculdade de Artes Plásticas Santa Marcelina” – Lato Sensu - 1996 – 1998.
Since 1967 I have been attending and teaching courses and workshops in Art / Watercolor, as the one I took with Dong Kingman in New York in 1998.
In addition to my activities in the art field, I am involved in the teaching / translating process of the English language.
I have been a member of the “Núcleo de Aquarelistas da FASM’,since 1991 and been doing voluntary work for this watercolorists organization as International Secretary since 1994. I have been a Sustaining Associate of American Watercolor Society since 1998.

Artist Exhibitions

2002- " The Amazon - a link between Brazil and Guyana" - Le Meridien & Centre of Brazilian Studies Georgtown - Guyana
2002- Museum Antonio Parreiras - Niterói - RJ.
2001- Curator of “ Images of Malaysia São Paulo 2001” Gallery Eugenie Villien – FASM – São Paulo – Br. August / September
2001- “Brasil Água Acqua Venezia”– IBRIT – Milan – Italy.
2000- Gold Medal with a Diamond – Iº Brazilian – Arab Art Show –
Arab – Syrian Cultural Center São Paulo – Br.
2000- “Trees and Brazilian Landscapes” – Haus Rosenbrunn – Palmengarten - Frankfurt – Germany – May.
2000- “Forests and Brazilian Landscapes” – UCBEU´s Gallery – São Paulo – Br. - November.
2000- Curator of the Exhibit “At the Millenium Doors” – Contemporary Art Museum – Americana – Br. - February.
2000- “500 Years of Brazil: A Passage to the 21st. Century”- Union´s Club Gallery – Frankfurt – March - Traveling Exhibit to Sparkässe –Giessen Germany – July.
2000- “Brasil Água Acqua Venezia” Scuola Internazionale di Gráfica-
Venezia –July. Traveling Exhibit to Rome at Gallery Candido Portinari - September – Italy.
1999- II Biennal of Watercolors - Barueri – Br.
1999- Watercolor reproduced in the book “ Trajetória do Esquecimento” –Givan Cravo – pages F and H.
1998- One of the seven Brazilian artists selected to represent Brazil at the “ Tercera Bienal Internacional De Acuarela” – México – October 17 - November 29.
1998- Exhibit “Graduating Group in Watercolor at FASM” – São Paulo - Br. September.
1997- Invited for the “ Exposição de 10 Anos do Núcleo de Aquarelistas da FASM ” – São Paulo – Br – August.
Selected for the Exhibit “ Brasil Hungria 97” – Sopron – February - This art show was later taken to Budapest - Hungary.
1997- Special Invitation to be the only artist to Represent Brazil at the Asian Watercolours’97 Singapore – 12th Annual Exhibition of the Asian Watercolor Confederation – Singapore – October.
1997 – Award – “Menção Honrosa” – “III Salão de Artes Jornal das Artes”-Ipê Club - São Paulo – Brazil – May.
1997 – Award – “ Honra ao Mérito” – Brazilian Art in Italy – Taranto – Italy- September.
1996 – Gold Medal -“I Salão de Artes Plásticas Astra” – The Colors of the Spring- São Paulo – Brazil – October .
1996 – Exhibition “ Brasil - México 96” - Museo Nacional De La Acuarela Coyoacán – Cidade do México – D.F. México- July.
1995 – Exhibit & Art Agenda “Remembering Monet” - “Remembering
Monet” at Gallery Apamagis - São Paulo- Br. – October.
1992- Work reproduced as a Christmas Card - “Guías e Scouts do Chile” - Santiago – Chile – August
1988- Work reproduced as a Christmas Card by LBA -Government Charity Association – at an Art Show at Casa Tabacow- São Paulo- Br.
1987 – Centro Cultural de São Paulo – “Brazil through my Watercolors”–São Paulo – Br. April.
1986 – “Feira Internacional de Lisboa - Brasileiros de Além Mar” – Lisbon - Portugal – Oils and Watercolors -July.
1985- “ SOCIARTE Art Show” Monte Líbano- São Paulo- Br.
1985 – Work reproduced in the book “Artes plásticas seu Mercado e seus Leilões”- Júlio Louzada - pages 554 to 557. São Paulo – Br.
1984- “ SOCIARTE” Art Show” – Monte Líbano – São Paulo- Br.
1983 – Gold Medal – “II Encontro de Artes de Osasco” – São Paulo – Br.
1982 – Watercolors at UCBEU – Art Gallery– “União Cultural Brasil –Estados Unidos”– São Paulo- Br. – May.
1976- Oils Exhibition Ornat Gallery – São Paulo- Br.
1968- V Art Show – UCBEU – São Paulo – Br.


Artist Publications

Sunday September 15, 2002

Arts on Sunday
by Al Creighton

The romance of watercolour
As part of Brazil's 180th Independence anniversary activities, the Centre of Brazilian Studies in Georgetown hosted the visit of celebrated Brazilian artist, Maria Ines Lukacs, who exhibited her work at the Le Meridien Pegasus from September 6 to 13. The show was titled 'The Amazon - A Link between Brazil and Guyana,' which is a significant theme for the recently accelerated cultural relations between the two countries. There have been two festivals of Brazilian film and an exhibition of prints mounted by Ambassador Ney do Prado Dieguez, depicting interesting aspects of the country's colonial history. These have been among items in what appears to be a programme of cultural diplomacy that has been gathering pace over the past year.
At the centre of the watercolour paintings in this most recent of the cultural links, is the Amazonian rainforest, which both nations share, and which thus presented a familiar subject. From a superficial glance, one may even deem it an ordinary subject - landscape, nature study and nothing new. Yet, the way it was interpreted showed something different to the Guyanese audience. It was certainly Brazilian art, but there was nothing typical or representative about it. Those watercolours are less symbols of nationalism than personal statements and expressions of the moods and feelings of the artist as an individual. The discussion of this work, which follows, arises from an interview with the painter during her visit to Georgetown.

Artist Maria Ines Lukacs explains her painting to Mrs Yvonne Hinds, while Supriya Singh looks on.

Maria Ines Lukacs
When Maria Lukacs started university study, her intention was not to be an artist, and even when she turned to professional painting, her career was well advanced before she became a watercolourist. Her first university degree in Brazil was in English, which she read at University Osvaldo Cruz. She then studied Law at Mackenzie University before realising that she wanted to express herself better as an artist. She completed her degree in Art at Casa Sao Vicente de Paula in 1969, followed later on by post-graduate studies in watercolour at Facultade Santa Marcelina, 1996-1998. She then went to New York for a workshop with Don Kingman, but her studies in that great urban centre, ironically, served to deepen her interest in trees, forests and abstraction.
The way Lukacs' interest in watercolour developed is of direct relevance to what was shown in 'The Amazon - a link between Brazil and Guyana' and to the main difference between her techniques and those of the Guyanese watercolourists. There is watercolour in Guyana as interesting as Lukacs', but the local studies are realistic, using a drier brush, sometimes thicker paint with a greater emphasis on realistic form and technique. Lukacs prefers washes and aquarelle while avoiding strict realism.
Ironically, while the Guyanese explore this medium to perfect realistic studies, the Brazilian abandoned oil and embraced watercolour in order to get away from realism. This happened in 1980 "when I was still painting nature, scenery and still life in oil on canvas." But in order to get closer to desired expressionistic effects, "I began using thin, almost transparent techniques as if I was working on paper." Eventually, she did begin working on blocks of watercolour paper, finally changing her medium altogether: "Watercolour is more romantic." It was her dislike of realism that led her in the first place to experiment with new techniques, which led to the switch.
"I was trying to be more impressionistic. I do not like realism; it is too much like photography. I started to thin the paint in order to achieve greater sensation and feeling that was more difficult to do in oil. Also, because watercolour is much faster than oil, I can capture the immediate feeling that I see reflected in a landscape at the moment I am studying it."

Maria Ines Lukacs' watercolours of Amazonia

Mood and colour
And indeed, what gives strength, meaning and interest to the several landscapes in the Lukacs exhibition is this element of sensation. Each piece has its own mood and the real achievement is in the way basically similar scenes express a different mood through use of colour, light and shade, bright times of day versus darkness. Sometimes there is a brooding forest or threatening rain clouds; in others the clouds are darkened by a forest fire, while in one of the most striking studies, the light comes in through the leaves in a dazzling spectacle, creating an almost metaphysical composition.

Statements from the rainforest
There is a sense of personification as the artist infuses the rainforest, lake, river or seascape with moods and personalities. Lukacs worked at these effects during a period when her focus was intensely on trees and the forest. Her post-graduate thesis was on 'Shades of Green.' She declares, "In nature you have human life.
A tree is like a human, growing from seeds, a fragile plant, then a big tree." This is why it is easy for her to see different moments and periods reflected in landscape because for her, "it is just like life." She can then project these moods into her work. But more than that, she asserts, "I feel that I am passing my feelings on to the paper when painting," thus giving it life.
These dynamic inter-relationships among subject, artist and painting are very relevant to the individuality that each piece achieves as well as to the statements made by many of them. Lukacs contends that "works should not be just decorative because then they are not art any more, and artists should be very aware of that.
That is why sometimes artists change from painting one thing and go on to something else."
Her own statements have at times included protest. Two of the pieces on show at the Le Meridien, for instance, Burning Trees and Forest on Fire, are part of a protest against the devastation of the rainforest. She has witnessed the burning of forests and the cutting of trees: "it was like humans dying. The cut trunks, no leaves, like a spectre."

Maria Ines Lukacs' watercolours of Amazonia

In Lukacs' investigations into nature, her preoccupation with trees is accompanied by an ambivalent fascination with water. It is the subject of a number of pieces on the show as she tries to reflect muddy river water, the surface of a lake or river appearing like a mirror, or the different moods of the sea when it is turbulent or "when it is still; that's when it is very dangerous.
"When I gradually developed a conversation with nature, water was very important. Water frightens me a little. I am not afraid in ships at sea. I have spent hours in ships looking over the rails at the sea, whose different shapes and colours are imprinted on my mind. You can combat fire with water, but you can't combat water with anything. It's so powerful, but I've never felt threatened by it while painting."

The magician of the watercolour
Lukacs admits being influenced by eighteenth century English painter, Turner, famous for the Slave Ship. He is "the magician of the watercolour."
She has often gazed at his work in the Tate Gallery, at "what he could do with sea, sky" in his "almost abstract" fashion. Another English influence is John Constable: "My first love as a painter, whose work I have researched." She also lists an old Brazilian master, Hugo Adami, and her former tutor in watercolour, Iole di Natale as important influences. In 1994-1995 she visited Monet's house at Giverny in France, studying his work, his landscape and vegetation, which she contrasted with the Amazon, afterwards doing an exhibition called 'Remembering Monet'.
'The Amazon - a link between Brazil and Guyana' is the latest of many international exhibitions by Lukacs. These include shows in Milan and Rome, Italy (2001), Frankfurt, Germany (2000), Mexico (1996, 1998), Hungary (1997) and Singapore (1997). Her honours include first prize in the Brazilian Oil Festival (1977), a gold medal for another first place in 1997 and the gold and diamond medal for watercolour in the Arab and Brazilian Art Show in 2000.
Maria Ines had a brief look at Guyanese art in Castellani House. She remarks that there is some similarity in the works of Guyanese and Brazilian artists because "they share the same kind of nature," but the sharpest difference that appeals to her most is found in the architecture. The wooden buildings and colonial structures fascinate her. "They are unique," she says. © Guyana Publications Inc. 2002

“A sensibilidade da artista capta a harmonia da natureza provocando a emoção do observador frente às aquarelas reveladoras da beleza perfeita da flora e das matas brasileiras.

O Espaço Cultural da União Cultural Brasil - Estados Unidos apresenta a arte das aquarelas de Maria Inês Lukacs, buscando expor o observador à beleza de suas pinturas”.
Ana Maria Costa
Outubro - 2000

As Paisagens de Maria Inês


São Paulo, primavera de 2000.
Iole Di Natale



19. MAI bis 11. JUNI 2000
Haus Rosenbrunn" ist ein elegantes und romantisches Treibhaus, dessen Bau im neoklassizistischen Stil sich zwischen den prächtigen Blumenbeeten des Palmengartens erhebt, dem berühmten und angesehenen botanischen Garten der Stadt Frankfurt am Main. Als ich "Haus Rosenbrunn" zum ersten Mal sah, kamen mir unmittelbar die Aquarelle von Maria Inês Lukacs in den Sinn. Sie an diesem Ort auszustellen wurde seither ein Anliegen, das nunmehr Wirklichkeit
geworden ist: "Bäume und Landschaften Brasiliens im Palmengarten", so der Titel der Ausstellung von Arbeiten dieser bemerkenswerten brasilianischen Künstlerin, welche das Generalkonsulat von Brasilien heute die Freude hat, dem deutschen Publikum zu präsentieren.

Maria Inês Lukacs schöpft ihre Inspiration aus der brasilianischen Natur. Aber es erwarte niemand, auf jene stereotypen Reproduktionsversuche der tropischen Flora zu treffen, die aus Abbildungen einer üppigen Vegetation in kräftigen Farben mit bunten exotischen Vögeln bestehen. Den Landschaften von Maria
Inês Lukacs fehlt jede Aggressivität, selbst dort, wo sie eine Brandrodung einfangen, die sich hier wie ein Naturphänomen ausnimmt. Die klaren, wenngleich zarten Farben erinnern an die Gärten von Giverny und verteilen sich anft, ohne harte Grenzen, in Turnerschen Transparenzen. Das Ergebnis ist träumerisch und verführt zum Sichversenken.



19 DE MAIO A 11 DE JUNHO DE 2000.

A "Haus Rosenbrunn” é uma elegante e romântica estufa,
cuja estrutura, em estilo neoclá ssico, desabrocha entre os magníficos canteiros de flores do "Palmengarten", o famoso e conceituado jardim botânico de Frankfurt am Main. Ao divisá-la pela primeira vez, as aquarelas de Maria Inês Lukács vieram-me imediatamente à lembrança. Expô-las naquele espaço
transformou-se, desde então, em aspiração, que ora se realiza: "As Árvores e as Paisagens Brasileiras no Palmengarten", título da exposição dos trabalhos desta notável artista plástica brasileira, que o Consulado-Geral do Brasil tem a satisfação de apresentar à sensibilidade do público alemão.

Maria Inês Lukács encontra sua inspiração na natureza brasileira. Mas, que ninguém espere defrontar-se com os estereótipos que procuram reproduzir a flora tropical, ou seja, tufos de vegetação exuberantes,delineados em cores fortes, onde se equilibram pássaros exóticos e coloridos.
As paisagens de Maria Inês são desprovidas de agressividade, mesmo quando captam uma queimada, o que, nos seus traços, transforma-se em fenômeno natural. As cores, firmes, porém sutis, lembram os jardins de Giverny e se espalham delicadamente, sem fronteiras rígidas, por transparências turnerianas. ...

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Acervo da Pinacoteca Municipal, São Paulo, Brazil - Cultural Center of São Paulo, Tombo: 0000.090.377...

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