Cultural Tip: MASP Exhibit "Tarsila do Amaral"

I believe that at some point of your life you must have heard about Tarsila do Amaral. The Brazilian painter was essential for the creation of the Modernist movement during the 20th century. She was associated with big brains of their times, like Mário de Andrade, Oswald de Andrade and Anita Malfatti.

Now, most of her lifetime works are being exposed at MASP – São Paulo Museum of Art – where you can find around 90 pieces of Tarsila paintings. The exhibition is going to happen until 28 of July, and has “Tarsila Popular” as the central theme. Which means the artist's special touch representing the real Brazil, of course, seeing from her eyes.

She tried to show on her art works the process of constructing a national identity. So a lot of paintings have scenarios like suburbs, favelas, farms, are populated by indigenous or black people, and characters from legends with mythical plants. But something never changed: her Brazilian side.

Since the museum is free on Tuesdays, a long line is always formed in front of the entrance. It can last for more then one and a half hour. However, the time goes fast and most of the visitants really want to see the art show. There is a certain amount of people that can get in the room, so an extra line is formed in front of the doors of the exhibition.Image Source: Carolina Rodrigues 

But when you get in, there is a real feeling, because one of the firsts paintings that you see is one Self Portrait. Actually, a lot of self portraits with different perspectives and times. It’s a perfect entrance, where you get to know a little bit more of the artist.

Tarsila's Self Portrait

Image Source: Carolina Rodrigues Tarsila's Self Portrait

Image Source: Carolina Rodrigues

The hallways are formed in different paths, so you can see the dynamic disposals of the works of art. When you keep walking in direction to the end of the room, you get to see one of the most famous paints of Tarsila, called “Operários”, where she represents different factory workers on top of each other. 

Image Source: Carolina Rodrigues 

One of the most shocking pictures that you will ever see in your life is Macunaíma. This painting has a lot of information in it, where you can visualize the indigenous surrounded by plants and a lot of the “traditional” Brazilian florist. What really calls the attention are the colors that were chosen by Tarsila, that can only be seen truly right in front of you.

Image Source: Carolina Rodrigues 

And at the end of the room, there is two of the most expected paintings ever: “A Negra” and “Abaporu”. Both of them show the human body in a different form and have a lot of kinds of interpretation. But something is sure, on her artworks, Tarsila always tried to represent the Brazilian essence somehow.

Image Source: Carolina Rodrigues 

If you want to know even more about the artist, you can also see “A cuca”, “Antropofagia” and “Estrada de Ferro Central do Brasil”. With special touches and techniques, and while walking around the exhibition you can really feel how the artist lived.

Image Source: Carolina Rodrigues ​