The opening of the MASP (Museu de Arte de São Paulo) in 1947, the MAM-SP (Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo) in 1948, and the Bienal Internacional de São Paulo in 1951 were hugely important events that contributed to the education of the general public and its ability to appreciate modern art. This obviously included the education of young artists. The events organized by these institutions greatly increased Brazilian public exposure to international contemporary art, particularly the works produced by the Constructivist and abstract movements. This document is important because it shows the concern of Waldemar Cordeiro about the financial challenges faced by local artists at that time.
The combative painter, designer, landscape painter, and art critic Waldemar Cordeiro (1925–73) was born in Rome, but settled in Brazil shortly after the Second World War. In the late 1940s he began to publish his theories in national newspapers. “O objeto” (1086891) is representative of the sort of ideas Cordeiro was advocating—during that period of profound disagreement concerning the visual arts in Brazil—based on the “concrete aspect” of art in terms of its potential for self reference and the concept of art as a real, totally autonomous object. This prompted discussions of all kinds with contemporary artists and critics, in particular with the poet, journalist, and art critic [José Ribamar] Ferreira Gullar (1930–2016), who endorsed the subjectivity of art, outlining his “Teoria do não-objeto” (1091374) that would subsequently lead to the Neoconcrete movement in Rio de Janeiro.
[As complementary reading on this subject, see other articles by Cordeiro in the ICAA digital archive, as follows: “Ainda o Abstracionismo” (1085351); “Arte concreta semântica” (1110835); “Arteônica” (1110836); “Computer plotter art: primeira mostra na América Latina” (1110487); “Exposição nacional de arte concreta: artes visuais poesia” (1232176); “Novas tendências e nova figuração” (1110840); “Ponto parágrafo na pintura brasileira” (1085281); “Prêmio Leirner de Arte Contemporânea, 1960” (1232976); (untitled) [“Produto direto de uma atitude crítica (…)”] (1087239); “Realismo: ‘musa da vingança e da tristeza’” (1110839); “Realismo ao nível da cultura de massa” (1090748); jointly written with Lothar Charoux, Geraldo de Barros, and others, the “ruptura” manifesto (771349), and its manuscript (1232213); “Teoria e prática do concretismo carioca” (1087287); “Todos atentos” (1090623); “Expressionismo fordista” (1110323); and “VII Bienal: ‘nova figuração’ denuncia à alienação do indivíduo” (1110842)].