The critic’s text expands the reading of the work of Antonio Henrique Amaral, calling attention to the specific elements of the work that pertain to visual art. The referenced exhibition took place at the Grifo Galeria de Arte (São Paulo) from October 6 to 23, 1981, the year Amaral returned to Brazil after a long voluntary exile in New York City. His stay in New York coincided with the reign of the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964−85).
In addition to being a painter, printmaker, and draftsman, Antonio Henrique Amaral (1935?2015) is the younger brother of the well-known art critic, Aracy Amaral. His life as an artist began in the 1950s in graphic art, when he would print fantasy images and superimpose elements from popular graphics and mass culture on them. The artist made countless trips through Latin America before he reached the United States, where he stayed for a long time. Starting in the late 1960s (a determining moment in his work), he began to develop a figurative language that approximated photographic images [Photorealism]. He used these works to formulate metaphors of the Brazilian social condition, especially the asphyxiating political situation under the military régime. He lived out the entire decade of the 1970s based in New York.
For additional information about the artist, there is a transcription of “Depoimento gravado especialmente para o acervo da Galeria de Arte Alberto Bonfiglioli em 26.02.75,” regarding Amaral’s experience of exile [see 1111039], and a letter written to a Czech philosopher, “[Letter] 1974 October 12, New York [to] Vilém Flusser” .
Olívio Tavares de Araújo is a journalist and art critic. During the 1960s, he wrote an art column for the daily newspaper Estado de Minas; in the 1970s, he wrote about art for Veja, a publication with a large national circulation. He has published some books and also made some films as well as organizing exhibitions of work created by Brazilian artists.