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Between São Paulo and Paris: Tarsila do Amaral and the Intersecting Identities of Antropofagia

Rodrigues da Cunha Castro, Maria (2020) Between São Paulo and Paris: Tarsila do Amaral and the Intersecting Identities of Antropofagia. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Tarsila do Amaral’s avant-garde paintings of the 1920s have become iconic works of Latin American modernism, her visions of Brazil integrated into a collective imaginary of national and regional identity. This dissertation demonstrates Tarsila’s essential contributions to transatlantic modernisms, while remaining alert to the counter perspectives obscured by her work and her privileged position as an elite white woman, the daughter of slaveowners. Four chapters, each anchored in key paintings by Tarsila, chart the development of her modernism as she moved between São Paulo and Paris, often alongside her partner, the writer Oswald de Andrade, beginning in the 1910s and culminating in the Antropofagia movement in 1928. In analyzing how the strategies of appropriation central to Antropofagia intersected with processes of national re-definition, I argue that this widely celebrated movement was from its inception in close dialogue with a rising discourse of mestiçagem and a new conception of race and identity in Brazil. Uncovering the transatlantic ideas that informed Tarsila’s very understanding of modernity—from colonial and nineteenth-century values and art historical traditions, to her encounters with avant-garde primitivism, Cubism, and Surrealism in Paris—I examine how her works defined a new, modern Brazilian identity, engaging with issues of race, gender, and class in ways that sometimes subverted and sometimes reinforced exclusionary social and cultural hierarchies.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rodrigues da Cunha Castro, Mariamac231@pitt.edumac2310000-0002-0128-117X
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairJosten, Jenniferjej40@pitt.edujej40
Committee MemberMcCloskey, Barbarabmcc@pitt.edubmcc
Committee MemberSavage, Kirkksa@pitt.eduksa
Committee MemberAndrews, George Reidreid1@pitt.edureid1
Committee MemberSullivan,
Date: 8 June 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 March 2020
Approval Date: 8 June 2020
Submission Date: 10 April 2020
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 261
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History of Art and Architecture
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tarsila do Amaral, modernism, race, Antropofagia, Pau-Brasil
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 16:05
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2024 05:15


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