Exhibition | Afro-Atlantic Histories

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 5, 2018

From ArtForum:

Histórias Afro-Atlânticas / Afro-Atlantic Histories
Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) and concurrently at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, 28 June — 21 October 2018

Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Ayrson Heráclito, Hélio Menezes, Lilia Schwarcz, and Tomás Toledo

In the most violent and uncertain times of its recent history, Brazil is revisiting the origins of its racial frictions: the slave trade. Histórias afro-atlânticas (Afro-Atlantic Histories) is a massive, 380-work survey of African, Latin American, and European art from the past five centuries, chronicling the largest diaspora in modern history. Nearly half of all Africans captured by slave traders were brought to Brazil, from the time the Portuguese arrived, in the sixteenth century, all the way through the nineteenth century. The show is a sequel to Histórias mestiças (Mestizo Histories), staged four years ago at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, the cultural center that is also cohosting the current exhibition. Its scope is far-reaching, with pieces by colonial-era Dutch master Albert Eckhout and modern greats Théodore Géricault and Paul Cézanne, as well as contemporary art-world darlings Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, and Hank Willis Thomas. A fully illustrated catalogue and companion reader will help sharpen our perspective on it all.

As noted in the May–August 2018 bulletin from the Yale Center for British Art, the YCBA has loaned six works including four paintings by Agostino Brunias (1728–1796).

Note (added 14 October 2018) — Reviewing the exhibition for The New York Times (12 October 2018), Holland Cotter describes it as “a hemispheric treasure chest, a redrafting of known narratives, and piece for piece one of the most enthralling shows I’ve seen in years, with one visual detonation after another.” The full review is available here.

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