Log in to
Email Address
Password
Forgot your password?
Not a member? Sign up now!

Selections from Mário Pedrosa: Primary Documents

Mário Pedrosa is widely considered Brazil's preeminent critic of art, culture, and politics and is one of Latin America's most frequently cited public intellectuals. Three selections from his writings included here ("The Vital Need for Art"; "Environmental Art, Postmodern Art, Hélio Oiticica"; "The New MAM Will Consist of Five Museums") come from the anthology Mário Pedrosa: Primary Documents and illustrate his penetrating critical approach to the art of his time. A fourth text, "The Machine, Calder, Léger, and Others," does not appear in the anthology and is available here in English for the first time.

Mário Pedrosa: Primary Documents is the first publication to provide comprehensive English translations of Pedrosa's writings. Texts range from art and architectural criticism and theory to political writings as well as correspondence with his artistic and political interlocutors, among them such luminaries as André Breton, Alexander Calder, Lygia Clark, Ferreira Gullar, Oscar Niemeyer, Hélio Oiticica, Pablo Picasso, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Harald Szeeman, and Leon Trotsky.

Author

Pedrosa headshotsm

Mário Pedrosa

Mário Pedrosa (1900–1981) is Brazil’s preeminent critic of art, culture, and politics and one of Latin America’s most frequently cited public intellectuals. As Edward J.... Read more »
Show Less

Selections from Mário Pedrosa: Primary Documents

Mário Pedrosa is widely considered Brazil's preeminent critic of art, culture, and politics and is one of Latin America's most frequently cited public intellectuals. Three selections from his writings included here ("The Vital Need for Art"; "Environmental Art, Postmodern Art, Hélio Oiticica"; "The New MAM Will Consist of Five Museums") come from the anthology Mário Pedrosa: Primary Documents and illustrate his penetrating critical approach to the art of his time. A fourth text, "The Machine, Calder, Léger, and Others," does not appear in the anthology and is available here in English for the first time.

Mário Pedrosa: Primary Documents is the first publication to provide comprehensive English translations of Pedrosa's writings. Texts range from art and architectural criticism and theory to political writings as well as correspondence with his artistic and political interlocutors, among them such luminaries as André Breton, Alexander Calder, Lygia Clark, Ferreira Gullar, Oscar Niemeyer, Hélio Oiticica, Pablo Picasso, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Harald Szeeman, and Leon Trotsky.

Show More

Mário Pedrosa is widely considered Brazil's preeminent critic of art, culture, and politics and is one of Latin America's most frequently cited public intellectuals. Three selections from his writings included here ("The Vital Need for Art"; "Environmental Art, Postmodern Art, Hélio Oiticica"; "The New MAM Will Consist of Five Museums") come from the anthology Mário Pedrosa: Primary Documents and illustrate his penetrating critical approach to the art of his time. A fourth text, "The Machine, Calder, Léger, and Others," does not appear in the anthology and is available here in English for the first time.

Mário Pedrosa: Primary Documents is the first publication to provide comprehensive English translations of Pedrosa's writings. Texts range from art and architectural criticism and theory to political writings as well as correspondence with his artistic and political interlocutors, among them such luminaries as André Breton, Alexander Calder, Lygia Clark, Ferreira Gullar, Oscar Niemeyer, Hélio Oiticica, Pablo Picasso, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Harald Szeeman, and Leon Trotsky.

Source contents

The Vital Need for Art

In this landmark 1947 lecture, the legendary Brazilian critic and public intellectual Mário Pedrosa advocates a Universalist view of art that includes the creativity of children and the mentally ill. The text also outlines the importance for modernism of what was then called primitive art. Drawn from the recent publication Mário Pedrosa: Primary Documents, this lecture was given on the occasion...

Read more »

Environmental Art, Postmodern Art, Hélio Oiticica

This 1966 essay is renowned for its early use of the term “postmodern.” Unlike later theorizations, the Brazilian critic Mário Pedrosa deploys the concept to discuss how immersive environments replace distanced visual perception in the artworks of Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark. New attention to the essay—where the text is interpreted as an alternate theoretical point of departure—has...

Read more »

The New MAM Will Consist of Five Museums

In this 1978 text, the influential Brazilian critic Mário Pedrosa lays out a plan for a museum of modern art that is very different from other institutions bearing that name. Acknowledging the relationships of modern art to folk art, indigenous art, African art, and art created by children and the mentally ill, he proposes a new museum called the Museum of Origins (Museum das Origens) to house...

Read more »

The Machine, Calder, Léger, and Others

In this 1948 essay, available in English for the first time, the Brazilian critic Mário Pedrosa considers the machine, the quintessential industrial object, in dialectical relation to the modern work of art. Finding precedents in "primitive" and Byzantine arts, Pedrosa goes on to consider how the machine is stylized, repurposed, and mastered in the work of Fernand Léger and Alexander Calder. He...

Read more »
Discuss Print

Latest discussion on:
Selections from Mário Pedrosa: Primary Documents

Sign in or create your account to participate in the discussion.