Tarsila do Amaral's Brazilian Modernism: colour, culture and art

From the start, at Havaianas we have always liked to spread the authentic Brazilian spirit around the world. We have immersed ourselves in its tradition, its nature, its landscapes, its people… but also in its art: one of the most beautiful ways to discover any country's culture.

Once again, we are banking on Tarsila do Amaral's work to showcase that famous Brazilian spirit. Having introduced some of her most emblematic paintings in our 2012 and 2014 collections, in 2019 we turned to her artistic talent for the design of three incredibly innovative models.

The artist depicts one of the most overlooked features in Brazil: its primitive and naturist elements. Indeed, Tarsila do Amaral, in her central role as a Latin American artist, has the ability to find beauty in her use of colours and curved forms which she uses to depict the country's traditions, legends and luscious landscape: all this in her very own style, influenced by the Cubist tendencies of her mentor, French artist, Fernand Léger.

 

Tarsila do Amaral's Brazilian Modernism: colour, culture and art

Described as "the Brazilian artist who best achieved the Brazilian aspirations of expressing a national form of Modernist style", Tarsila do Amaral was born in Capivari in 1886. When she was 16 years old, her family moved to Barcelona (Spain), where she painted her first work. Only two years later, Tarsila returned to Brazil and, following her divorce from André Teixeira Pinto, she began working in the studio of sculptor William Zadig, in 1916. For four years, she studied drawing and painting with Pedro Alexandrino Borges and Georges Fischer Elpons.

Her career as an artist took off from that point onwards: in 1920 she settled in Paris and met Émile Renard at the Académie Julien, then, the one who would be her most famous master and mentor: Fernand Léger, with whom she completed what she called her “military service in Cubism”.

Tarsila do Amaral's Brazilian Modernism: colour, culture and art

In 1922 she took part in the official Salon of the Society of French Artists. It was also in Paris that she presented her first solo exhibition at the Percier Gallery, in 1926. During this period, one of her most famous works of art, Abaporu – in the indigenous Tupí-Guaraní language, meaning "man who eats man" – inspired the Anthropoghagia (cannibalist) Art Movement. Another of her famous paintings from this period is A Cuca, depicting a Brazilian legend in the naïve art style which is so characteristic of Tarsila's work: the Cuca is a cannibalistic being dressed as a woman who snatches naughty children. This being became famous in the artist's country in 1921 through Monteiro Lobato's children's book, O Saci.

Around 1930, she turned to paintings which took on a more social character, with such works as Conheça Operários (Meet the Workers) or Procissão (Procession).

Tarsila do Amaral's Brazilian Modernism: colour, culture and art

“I want to be the painter of my country”, Tarsila do Amaral, wrote in 1923. And, she almost certainly achieved that goal: she was the first Latin American artist to inaugurate an exhibition of her own work at MoMA, a museum that still celebrates her as the artist who was responsible for “inventing Modern Art in Brazil”.

And no wonder: in her work, one finds a new form of beauty depicted through her characteristic style, filled with sensuality, luscious landscapes, scenes of everyday life and beings borne of her passionate artist's mind. Hers is a spirit we are excited to share with you through these new models.

You May Also Like

Editorial Page Andrea Faccio

SUMMER FUN & SAILING BY ANDREA FACCIO

Read more
Editorial Page Naia

“RETRATOS DO BRASIL 2 ”NAIA CESCHIN

Read more
editorial page local soul summary

LOCAL SOUL

Read more
editorial page IPE summary

Havaianas joins forces with Game of Thrones: have all of Westeros at your feet!

Read more