This essay appeared in the catalogue for BR/80 - Pintura Brasil Década 80, the exhibition organized by the Instituto Cultural Itaú in 1991, coordinated by Maria Eugênia S. T. Saturni, and curated by Frederico Morais. The goal of the event was to orchestrate the simultaneous presentation of nine regional exhibitions in the following cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Campo Grande, Fortaleza, Goiânia, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Vitória. Participating artists included: Adir Sodré, Alfredo Nicolaiewsky, Beatriz Milhazes, Cristina Canale, Emmanuel Nassar, Jorge Guinle, Karin Lambrecht, Leonilson, Marcos Coelho Benjamin, Nuno Ramos, Paulo Pasta, and Rodolfo Athayde, among others. The remaining art referred to by the exhibition was presented at an “online exhibit” coordinated by the author Maria Cristina Castilho Costa, which consisted of documents including, of course, a chronology that described the Brazilian socio-political context that spawned the art of that period. The essay “BR/80 - Cenário social da década” is one of the results of that process.
Frederico Morais (b.1936) is one of the key figures in Brazilian art criticism. He was a newspaper art critic for many years, at Diário de Notícias and at O Globo, both of which were in Rio de Janeiro. He was one of the most active of the “committed” critics of the 1960s and 1970s, having supported a number of avant-garde movements of the period and worked as a curator.
Morais was one of the critics who wrote most extensively about the Geração ’80, as in his essays “Como vai você, geração 80?” [see 1111355]; “Gosto deste cheiro de pintura” ; and “Gute Nacht Herr Baselitz ou Hélio Oiticica onde está você?” , in which Morais provides a list of the artists from that generation. Morais also wrote about “Leonilson: a Geração 80 ficou para trás” , about whom Lisette Lagnado published two essays: “Leonilson: símbolos coloridos” , and “Entrevista com o artista: a dimensão da fala” . On the subject of other artists from that group, such as Jorge Guinle, Ronaldo Brito wrote “Voltas de pintura , and Ricardo Basbaum contributed a broader view in “Pintura dos anos 80: algumas observações críticas” .