Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil

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Tarsila do Amaral. _Carnival in Madureira (Carnaval em Madureira)_, 1924. Oil on canvas, 29 15/16 x 25 in. (76 x 63.5 cm). Acervo da Fundação José e Paulina Nemirovsky, em comodato com a Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. © Tarsila do Amaral Licenciamentos.

Tarsila do Amaral. Carnival in Madureira. 1924

Tarsila do Amaral. Carnival in Madureira (Carnaval em Madureira), 1924. Oil on canvas, 29 15/16 x 25 in. (76 x 63.5 cm). Acervo da Fundação José e Paulina Nemirovsky, em comodato com a Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. © Tarsila do Amaral Licenciamentos.

Curator, Luis Perez-Oramas: In February 1924, Tarsila went alongside her husband, Oswald de Andrade, and her friend, the Swiss poet Blaise Cendrars, to Rio de Janeiro where they attended the festivities of Carnival. For that festivity, the people of Madureira (a neighborhood in the outskirts of Rio) had built a reproduction of the Eiffel Tower, which Tarsila clearly depicts in this painting.

On top of representing the local population in this scene of carnival, Tarsila gives us an abstract, carefully composed version of the landscape showing these hills and these weird stones. She is integrating elements of folk art into her signature modern language in the 1920s.

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