Modern Photography 
1940 – 1960

Luciana Brito Galeria and Isabel Amado present an exhibition composed of more than 90 photographs – including new pieces, vintage works and editions – by nine great modern authors


For the first time, it will be gathered in a modernist house in São Paulo – the Castor Delgado Perez residence, designed by Rino Levi and the headquarter of Luciana Brito Galeria – an expressive set of photographs by Geraldo de Barros, Gertrudes Altschul, Thomas Farkas, Ademar Manarini, Paulo Pires, Marcel Giró, Gaspar Gasparian, Eduardo Salvatore and Mario Fiori, representatives of the modern current of Brazilian photograph, a language that has radically shifted the concept of what is art in the universe of photography and visual arts. Presented in partnership with Isabel Amado, the exhibition Modern Photography 1940 – 1960 opens on June 29 and can be seen until September 7.

Given the growing interest that this period of the Brazilian photographic production has been attaining during the last decade, Modern Photography 1940 – 1960 proposes, with its more than 90 pieces, to gather hitherto unseen works and images that have not been intensely exhibited and that, therefore, are not broadly known by the public. Highlighting Geraldo de Barros, a precursor of Concrete art in Brazil and cofounder of the Ruptura Group, and Gertrudes Altschul, one of the few women to have the relevance of her production acknowledged during the time, the show intends to contribute to broadening the visual repertoire that has been built around these artists.

Modern photography in Brazil has united the desire for inventiveness and subjective interpretation of the world in the post-war context to the specificities of the industrialization and urbanization movements in the country. Propelled by the foundation of Fotocineclube [Cine-photo club] Bandeirantes, in 1939, the national photography scene has observed a unique effervescence from the 1940s onwards, when its representatives stepped away from the academic Pictorialism and opened up a discussion about the essence of the photographic making and its autonomy as art form on and by itself.  

It is exactly the roads followed on the pursuit of this new aesthetics capable of conferring to photography its status as art that can be seen in Modern Photography 1940 – 1960. On the one hand, this investigation consisted in the abandonment of classic themes for an interest in abstraction, shadow and light contrasts, cosmopolitan scenes and the rupture with the rules of perspective and composition. On a complementary level, these photographers have inaugurated a visuality marked by the investigation of technical resources inherent to the media by means of laboratorial experiences and direct interventions in the photographic process, such as: the multiple exposure or cutouts of a same plate; the realization of photograms (when objects were placed directly under the enlarger, generating photographs without the mediation of a camera); overlays and drawings executed directly on the negative.

To present the autonomy of the body of work of each participating artist – whose pieces are included in the collections of high profile institutions, such as MoMA and TATE Modern – without overseeing their possible dialogs and connections, the exhibition Modern Photography 1940 – 1960 is divided in two moments. While the Rino Levi Room of Luciana Brito Galeria is occupied by vintage photos traditionally exhibited and grouped by author, on the Annex can be seen contemporary editions, reunited by affinities of subjects, languages and themes.  

Thus, for example, some of Geraldo de Barros’ most famous Fotoformas can be seen next to enlargements of drawings on negative with tip-dry and China ink, or yet, Thomaz Farkas’ façades that are borderline abstract are accompanied not only by his documentary work but also by Surrealist experimentations. Similarly, composition studies, vintage still lifes and contemporary prints of architectonic studies represent the broad range of Gertrudes Altschul’s body of work in the show.


Participating artists
_ Geraldo de Barros (1923, Chavantes, SP, Brazil – 1998, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
_ Gertrudes Altschul (1904, Berlin, Germany – 1962, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
_ Thomaz Farkas (1924, Budapest, Hungry – 2011, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
_ Ademar Manarini (1920, Valinhos, SP, Brazil – 1989, Campinas, SP, Brazil)
_ Paulo Pires (1928, Franca, SP, Brazil – 2015, São Carlos, SP, Brazil)
_ Marcel Giró (1913, Badalona, Spain – 2011, Barcelona, Spain)
_ Gaspar Gasparian (1899 –1966, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
_ Eduardo Salvatore (1914 – 2006, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
_ Mario Fiori (1908 – 1985, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)


About Luciana Brito Galeria
Founded in 1997 to globally promote Brazilian artistic production, and to bring to Brazil the work of internationally relevant artists, Luciana Brito Galeria was created as a project with an international and intergenerational vocation. An open space for artistic dialog, the gallery represents the estates of some of the most essential names for Brazilian Concretism, such as Waldemar Cordeiro and Geraldo de Barros; worldwide renowned artists, in the likes of Regina Silveira, Marina Abramović, Caio Reisewitz and Héctor Zamora; and young artists whose careers started in the 21st century, like Tiago Tebet. In April 2016, after 15 years located in Vila Olímpia District, Luciana Brito Galeria moved to a modernist residence designed by Rino Levi with a landscape design by Burle Marx, in Jardim Europa. The change of address marked the beginning of a project that merges contemporary visual production with the modernist architectural heritage and with urban design issues, searching for new ways of perceiving and showing art.

About Isabel Amado
Gallerist, marchande, collector and expert, Isabel Amado (1963, Rio de Janeiro) works in the field of photography since 1988, when she began her career at Galeria Fotoptica, founded by Thomaz Farkas. She is one of the most prominent experts in Brazilian modern photography and has been developing a remarkable work in “discovering” names of the period. She mediated the acquisition by MASP (Brazil) of 297 photographs in lending regime in 2014; in 2016, she mediated the sale of 28 vintage Works to MoMA (USA), followed by her sales coordination of 12 modern photos to Tate Modern (UK). Since 2000, she directs the company Anima Montagens, in São Paulo, specialized in organizing and maintaining photographic archives and collections, and, since 2009, she also dedicates herself to the art market through the platform Isabel Amado Fotografia.


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