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Alcides exhibition catalog | paintings | 12/11/2013

I met Alcides in the early 1990s. He had just arrived in São Paulo, coming from Mato Grosso where he had been living since 1950. He was born in Bahia, and this succession of changes of landscape had an influence on his work.
In São Paulo, he came to live with a daughter in an East Zone shantytown. This new dwelling caught my attention because I imagined the significant changes occurring in his life and also in his mind. After living in a place where nature is abundant, he started to live with the crawling traffic and the terrible pollution of our city.
Alcides was a very humble man, with a lot of faith and a good personality, something rare to come by these days.
In his first year in São Paulo, I felt that his work found this new habitat very strange, and that he was looking for a habitat where he could recognise himself. I would go to his home nearly every month, to watch him work and also to acquire his paintings, and I felt that he was still in the search phase. However, I wanted to encourage him to press on, as everything I saw showed me what a great painter he was.
One day he came to meet me, bringing a painting depicting an aeroplane. I was very much surprised, as this was a new element in his work. The aeroplane was wonderful! Everything was marvellous: the composition, the colours, the geometrism – everything was very well dealt with. This heralded the start, among Alcides’ works, of a long series of paintings about means of transport: lorries, motorcycles, aeroplanes and trains. So he left behind the beautiful Mato Grosso landscapes, and once again found the path that, I felt, he had been seeking intuitively.
I would buy all his works, and slowly I managed to introduce him to the difficulties of the São Paulo cultural circuit. His paintings were present at the Rediscovery Exhibition, 500 years, at the Biennial Foundation of São Paulo, in the popular art section. Alcides started to be better known, and his work started to be admired.
In 2007, with the Estação Art Gallery already operational, I felt it was time to have his first individual exhibition. He came over, and was very happy to meet people who admired his work. He received the acclaim of the Press, by means of an excellent article in the Caderno 2 section in São Paulo’s leading newspaper, the O Estado de S. Paulo, signed by journalist Camila Molina. However, he was already extremely frail, and only three months later he passed away! It was very sad indeed!

Alcides did not live to see the continuation of the acclaim about his talent. In 2010, Paulo Sérgio Duarte, who is now the curator of this individual exhibition, and who was then already an admirer of his work, put him beside a work by Nuno Ramos in the exhibition known as Arte Brasileira: além do sistema. [Brazilian Art: Beyond the system]. In 2012, his paintings participated in the exhibition Histoire de voir at the Cartier Foundation, and are now part of the institution’s collection. Later in 2012, Alcides’ works participated in another group exhibition, this time in New York, at the Andrew Edlin Gallery. There are also works by Alcides in the collection of the Pinacothèque of the State of São Paulo, in the Afro Brazil museum and in the Brazilian Cultures Pavilion, as well as in the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM-RJ), in the Gilberto Chateaubriand collection.
For all this, this exhibition has a special meaning to us. This is a final and fitting tribute to Alcides Pereira dos Santos, who was born in Bahia in 1932 and died in São Paulo in 2007.
Missing you!

Vilma Eid

Galeria Estação