Artist

Agnaldo

Agnaldo
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Biography

Agnaldo
[Agnaldo Manoel dos Santos]
1926, Ilha de Itaparica | BA - 1962, Salvador | BA

He was a descendent of Indians and Africans and started to work when He was tem years old. After a variety of employment, including a miner in a lime pit, in 1947 he worked as a wachtman in the Salvador city studio for the sculptor, engraver and draughtsman Mario Cravo Junior. Agnaldo was encouraged by this artist to begin sculpting in 1953. He traveled with Franco Terranova along São Francisco river, and this trip resulted in his recovering numerous old carranca (figureheads of riverboats). There he meet the best 20th century carver of carrancas, master Francisco Biquiba Dy Lafuente Guarany, who, he said, taught him new ways of viewing the creative process. His wood pieces were displayed in major collective and individual exhibitions, such as the 1957 São Paulo Biennial. Four years after his death, he was awarded the international prize for the sculpture Rei at the 1st World Festival OF Black Art and Culture , in Dakar, Senegal, in 1966. His work was studied by Clarival do Prado Valladares, who saw in it “the eternal expression his cultural ancestry”. Agnaldo’s work, focusing therepresentation of the African super-natural and cross-cultural imagination, mainly from Catholicism, emerged with adsolute authenticity from his individual historic experience and knowledge of the great African arts, and it is one of the most original expressions of the 20th century Brazilian sculpture. His work is to be seen in the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, RJ, and major private colletions.

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

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Agnaldo dos Santos | An Afro-Brazilian artist

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