Artist

Artur Pereira

Artur Pereira
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Hunting
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 Hunting Jaguar
Antler
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Biography

Artur Pereira
1920, Cachoeira do Brumado | MG - 2003, Mariana | MG

He began working very early in his life to help support his large family (father, mother and seven siblings). He was a land worker, charcoal dealer, stonemason and carpenter, before discovering his talent for sculpture. When a lad he modeled little clay animal for the Nativity Scene and dried them in the sun. He took a much bogger step from the little clay figures to the larger single image, carved in wood, because of the different kind of materials. The characteristics of smoothing and handling clay modeling perhaps gave his figures the rounded appearance of polished smoothness. He continued sculpting single pieces, often painted, until he moved on to groups in 1968. The figures were now carved by the artist directly from blocks of cedar. Animals, men e birds are never treated separately, so that they later fit into the piece, but created one by one from the solid material. Artur Pereira’s sculptures cover three kinds of elements: those referring to the Catholic liturgy, consisting basically of the Nativity; those concerning rural activities, such as hunting, horsemen, herds of cattle; those representing wild life, such as land (leopard, ox, sheep, dog, lion, snake), aquatic (fish) and winged (birds resting, flying or pecking at fruit) animals. There are very few plants. We only encounter, even as a very stylized plant element, a forest, a magnificent hollowed cylinder, where the main elements are leopards. Often in his creations is the prevailing presence of the leopard, very often placed in hollows under Nativity scenes, emerging from symbolic forests or even looming large at the bottom of large carved tables, on whose top are spread a large herd of feline ambiguity, with its cowboy on horseback. The last piece reproduced here, of an extraordinary symbolic symmetry, has the three kingdoms of the nature world: aquatic, land and winged, by distributing fish, sheep and birds on the three levels corresponding to them, organized around a remarkably simple geometrical axis. A timeless vision, reintegrated and globalising the earth, considered not from interplanetary capsules but from the infinity of the unconscious. Artur Pereira is an exponential figure in the Brazilian sculpture. His work, analyzed by me in Mitopoética de nove artistas brasileiros (1975), belongs to the permanent collection of the Edison Carneiro Folklore Museum, the popular art collection of the São Francisco of Paraíba, in Casa do Pontal Museum in Rio de Janeiro, which houses the Jacques van de Beuque collection. He participated in all major Brazilian popular art exhibitions held abroad, such as Brésil – Arts Populaires ( Paris, 1978) and the Rediscovery Exhibition ( São Paulo Biennial Foundation, 2000). During his life time, Artur encouraged the work of other sculptors in Cachoeira do Brumado, namely Adão de Lourdes Cassiano ad his own son José Pereira. In his lifetime Artur Pereira stimulated the work of local artists, such as his son José Pereira, and Adão de Lourdes Cassiano (1946, Mariana, Cachoeira do Brumado, Minas Gerais State), who worked many years in civil construction before devoting his time solely to sculpture in 1965. He began working soapstone and pumice, but soon moved on to carving wood. In his workshop next to his home he makes sculptures designed to tell stoires. He is quite well known for his work and has frequent exhibitions.

Little Dictionary of the Brazilian People’s Art – 20th Century, by anthropologist and poet Lélia Coelho Frota

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