Di Cavalcanti - Conqueror of Lyricism
Curated by Denise Mattar
03.18 — 05.28.2016
The exhibition Di Cavalcanti - Conquistador de Lirismos (Conqueror of Lyricism), with the curatorship of Denise Mattar and consultancy of Elisabeth Di Cavalcanti, casts more than two decades of this rich output, spanning from 1925 to 1949.
The show was followed by the launch ou the book Di Cavalcanti - Conquistador de Lirismos (Di Cavalcanti - Conqueror of Lyricism) by publishers Capivara. Also under the curatorship of Denise Mattar and consultancy of Elisabeth Di Cavalcanti, the edition is especially significant because, although one the most well-known and prominent Brazilian artists, there have been few publications on his work to date. Most publications are now dated and out of print.
The period of focus from 1925 to 1949 marks a period of maturing, transformation and a turning point in the work of the artist.
During these 24 years, Di Cavalcanti elected the main themes of his work: everyday suburban citizens depicted in shanty town, corner bars, docks, brothels, popular festivities and women, mulattoes, black, white, rich and poor, brunettes and blonds, portrayed in a lyrical and sensual atmosphere, melancholic and languid. He juxtaposed opposites – lyricism and sensuality, the real and fantastical, the everyday and extraordinary, reason and emotion –, conjuring an artistic universe he classified as magic realism.
More than any other artist before him, Di Cavalcanti managed to express in his paintings the lyricism of the Brazilian people and their sentimental and sensual sensitivity. His languid women, sweaty laborers, musicality emanating from gafieiras - honky tonk dance halls; all transcends poetry. His landscapes exude the scent of wild flowers, wrought iron latticework reflects a transparent blue sheen which blends with both sky and sea. This love is reiterated in a poetic and embracing form in the books Viagem de minha vida (My life´s Journey) and Reminiscências líricas de um perfeito carioca (Lyrical reminisces of a perfect carioca).Painter-cum-poet, friend of many friends, lover of many women, his own person, Di loved Brazil with a passion.