Emiliano Di Cavalcanti
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 1897 – 1976
One of the most important artists of the first Brazilian Modernism group, Di Cavalcanti drew on characteristics of Expressionism, Cubism and Surrealism to portray national themes. As painter, sketch artist, illustrator, caricaturist, engraver, muralist and theater designer, he engaged in the modern art scene of São Paulo, getting to know Oswald de Andrade, Mário de Andrade and Guillerme de Almeida. In 1922, he was one of the mentors of Semana de Arte Moderna* (Modern Art Week), creating the brochure and poster of the event and displaying 12 artworks.
From 1923 to 1925 he lived in Paris, where he met the vanguard of French literature and artist of the time, which strongly influenced his work, including Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Georges Braque (1882-1963), Fernand Léger (1881-1955), Henri Matisse (1869-1954), among others. His best known drawings and paintings date from this time, as did his interest in Brazilian mulatto women, a recurrent theme throughout his art career.
* Modern Art Week - Held in February 1922 at the Municipal Theater in São Paulo, whose aim was to question the traditional concepts of the nineteenth century and to show new trends in arts, music, literature and architecture. Intellectuals and artists such as Oswald de Andrade, Guillerme de Almeida, Manuel Bandeira, Anita Malfatti, Di Cavalcanti, Oswaldo Goeldi got together at this historical event to discuss and show innovative ideas unfettered by disciplines and traditionalism. Many strands appeared from this modernist movement, such as the Pau-Brasil (Brazilwood) Movement, the Verde-Amarela (Green-Yellow) Movement and Anta (Tapir) Group and the Cannibalist Movement.