Popau, Pop, or an “American Way of Living”? An Introduction to Aracy Amaral's “From the Stamps to the Bubble”
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Gotti, S. (2016). Popau, Pop, or an “American Way of Living”? An Introduction to Aracy Amaral's “From the Stamps to the Bubble”. ARTMargins, 5 (2), 105-119. https://doi.org/10.1162/artm_a_00150
The writings of Aracy Amaral, an academic, critic, and curator active since the mid-1960s, are a vital reference for the study of art history in Brazil, and though they have been gathered in several collections in Portuguese, her publications have been vastly undertranslated into English. After working as a freelance curator and critic in close contact with avant-garde artists from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro including Mira Schendel, Cildo Meireles, Hélio Oiticica, and Wesley Duke Lee, she was the director of São Paulo’s Pinacoteca between 1975 and 1979, and of the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of São Paulo (MAC-USP) from 1982 to 1986. Since 1988, Amaral has taught art his- tory at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at USP. Among her many articles and reviews covering 20th-century art in Brazil, the article translated here, titled “Dos carimbos à bolha” (“From the Stamps to the Bubble”), examines the effects of the 9th São Paulo Biennial (September 1967–January 1968), remembered to this day as the “Pop” Biennial, due to the remarkable number of participating Pop artists from the United States, whose work had not been seen before in Brazil. Amaral’s text addresses the adequacy of Pop as a taxonomy for Brazilian art in the 1960s. Laying out the plethora of factors—both local and imported—that converged into so-called Pop in Brazil, it exposes how the conflicted relationship between a “Brazilian reality” and an “American way of living” was threatening the development of a locally relevant artistic idiom. As such, this introduction seeks to provide the historical context needed to enable a contemporary reading of her text, in light of current debates over the expansion of canonical labels like Pop to non-Western locales.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1162/artm_a_00150
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/302325
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