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 based 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.
In this essay, the author takes a long look at the history of art throughout the Americas, mentioning some of the ideas that have had the most impact on Latin American Constructive art. Morais seeks to reconstruct the development of the movement and its influence on European and North American artists, inverting the standard view that Latin American culture is based on foreign models. In his synthesis of the various constructive and geometric abstraction trends in Latin America, Morais is searching for common ground regarding the matter of these two very different movements.
On this subject, Frederico Morais authored the ambitious book entitled: Reescrevendo a história da arte latino-americana (a curatorial introduction to the I Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul, 1997 [see 808314]). Another work that should be mentioned here because of its relevance is the book by Aracy Amaral, translated into English, Abstract Constructivist Trends in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia (1993).