Among the signers mentioned throughout the document are the artists Clovis Graciano, Waldemar Cordeiro (1925–1973), Alfredo Volpi (1896–1988), Renina Katz (b. 1925), and Vitor Brecheret (1894–1955), along with the critics José Geraldo Vieira (1897–1977) and Mário Baratta (1921–2007). There are no signatures at the bottom of this document.
Painter, printmaker, set designer, and illustrator Clovis Graciano formed part of the Grupo Santa Helena. European artists who had immigrated to Brazil and frequented the studios of Spanish artist Francisco Rebolo (1902–1980) and Italian artist Mario Zanini (1907–1971) formed the group in 1937. Starting in the fifties, after having lived in Paris for an extended period, Graciano focused on mural painting. In Brazilian art history, he is seen as an artist who remained true to figuration.
Painter, sculptor, printmaker, and landscape designer Waldemar Cordeiro was an essential figure to the Manifiesto Ruptura [see ICAA digital archive ICAA (771349) and, for the manuscript version, doc. no. (1232213)] and, later, to what is known as Concretism, a tendency that advocated a radical rejection of figuration in favor of geometric abstraction. Because they considered their interests threatened by Concretism, conservative critics led by Sérgio Milliet reacted quickly against it in the press (1085337). Concretism was an important presence at the fourth and fifth editions of the São Paulo Biennial held in the second half of the fifties. For further information, see Lourival Gomes Machado’s texts “Sobre nós mesmos” (1110726) and “Ainda não é amanhã” (1110722).
Painter Alfredo Volpi was a crucial figure in the formation of the Grupo Santa Helena. Significantly, in the fifties, his work veered away from figuration to become more abstract. At the II São Paulo Biennial held in 1953, Volpi and Emiliano Di Cavalcanti (1897–1976) shared the award for best Brazilian painter. Volpi took part in the 1956 and 1957 editions of the Exposição Nacional de Arte Concreta.
Printmaker and illustrator Renina Katz studied at the Escola Nacional de Belas-Artes de Rio de Janeiro. She moved to São Paulo in 1951, where she taught printmaking and drawing, at the Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP), the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo—Universidade de São Paulo (FAU-USP) and at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), an institution founded by journalist Assis Chateaubriand
A widely known sculptor, Vitor Brecheret studied first at the Liceu de Artes e Ofícios de São Paulo and then in Rome (1913–1919). Twelve of his sculptures were included in the Semana de Arte Moderna held in São Paulo in 1922, an event that would prove fundamental to the Modern art movement in Brazil. Brecheret was commissioned to make a number of monuments and works for public space, among them the Monumento às Bandeiras (1936–1954, located in front of Parque do Ibirapuera), a set of works that commemorated the four hundredth anniversary of the founding of São Paulo.
As an art critic for the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, physician, professor, and writer José Geraldo Vieira wrote important reviews of a number of editions of the São Paulo Biennial.
Historian, professor, museologist, and art critic Mário Baratta worked with governmental agencies dedicated to historical and artistic patrimony as well as the Brazilian chapter of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). His writings in the field of art criticism constitute a major contribution to Brazilian art history.