Fotoclubismo explores the unforgettable creative achievements of São Paulo’s Foto-Cine Clube Bandeirante (FCCB), a group of amateur photographers whose ambitious and innovative works embodied the abundant originality of postwar Brazilian culture. Although their work was widely heralded by other artists, particularly in the 1950s, this is the first major museum exhibition to present this fascinating moment in photography’s history to audiences outside of Brazil.
Photography was a hobby for most FCCB members: on weekdays, group members—many of whom were women—went to their jobs as industrialists, accountants, journalists, engineers, biologists, and bankers. On weekends, they often traveled to photograph together. They were nonetheless quite serious about their artistic ambition, not unlike millions of people on Instagram today. Their pictures assumed many forms—from inventive experiments to distillations from everyday life—and their attentiveness to abstraction emerged alongside peers in design, painting, and literature.
More than 140 photographs demonstrate the group’s extraordinary range, provide valuable insight into the way photographic aesthetics were framed in the mid-20th century, and invite us to reflect on the significance of amateur status today.
Organized by Sarah Hermanson Meister, Curator, with Dana Ostrander, Curatorial Assistant, Robert B. Menschel Department of Photography.