• An aesthetic impasse in Artigas: between socialist realism and concretism

    Raphael Grazziano (see profile)
    Architecture, History, Brazilians--Social life and customs, Socialist realism
    Item Type:
    Brutalism, Concretism, João Batista Vilanova Artigas, Olga Baeta, Rubens de Mendonça, Architectural history, Art theory, Brazilian culture, Modernism
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    This article explores the ambivalent position of Artigas in the political-cultural debate of the Cold War, during the 1950s, when two principal art movements were opposed. On one side, socialist realist tendencies that emerged in post-revolutionary Russia, particularly after the ascension of Stalin, who intended it to be the new art of the proletarian masses, along the lines of cultural policies shared by many communist parties. On another side, concretism, already held as a new avant-garde art of geometrical abstraction, attacked by communist militants for its supposed “imperialist” links. To carry out this exploration, we have mapped the architect’s treatment of both currents from two simultaneous fonts. One refers to the writings and classes of Artigas, where it is possible to trace the changes in meaning that each movement underwent throughout his career. The other refers to his projects, where we studied two paradigmatical houses: the Olga Baeta, of 1956; and the Rubens de Mendonça, of 1958. Although the former is usually regarded as “socialist realist” and the latter as “concretist”, analysis of the drawings do not permit any narrow bonds to any of them. Both positions are mixed together in both houses, revealing the cultural impasse in which Artigas was set, present in both the texts and buildings, not only regarding the formal development assigned to each of them, but the link between long-term national and political projects.
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    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago
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