January 18–October 19, 2014

Samba Spirit

Modern Afro Brazilian Art

Painters and sculptors find inspiration in all aspects of Brazilian life

For the first time the MFA presents a selection of works by 20th-century Brazilian artists of African descent. Rarely studied in the United States, these painters and sculptors drew on indigenous, European, and African traditions, and found inspiration in all aspects of Brazilian life—religious rituals, urban and rural life, music, and dance. Each artist has a distinct approach to subject, style, and iconography creating a lively range of imagery. The exhibition features key works by Heitor dos Prazeres, Maria Auxiliadora da Silva, and Waldemiro de Deus. All are recent acquisitions from the collection of John Axelrod.

Above: Maria Auxiliadora da Silva, Chuva Sobre São Paulo (Rain over Sao Paulo), 1971. Oil and mixed media on canvas. The John Axelrod Collection—Frank B. Bemis Fund and Charles H. Bayley Fund.

  • Bernard and Barbara Stern Shapiro Gallery (Gallery 231)