Black Art in Brazil: Expressions of Identity

Kimberly L. Cleveland

Details: 216 pages    6x9
Cloth: $74.95   ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-4476-7   
Pubdate: 5/28/2013
Review(s): 3 available

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"Cleveland successfully problematizes the term Afro-Brazilian art as a category, challenging many assumptions about black art in Brazil specifically, and in the African Diaspora more broadly." --Heather Shirey, University of St. Thomas

"An insightful and clear discussion of the world of contemporary black art in Brazil. Cleveland’s handling of the ways and means through which these artists deal with artistic production and its intersection with broader sociocultural and racial matters is spot-on. This is an important contribution to Afro-Brazilian studies." --Anani Dzidzienyo, Brown University

For decades, Afro-Brazilian art was primarily associated with religious themes. However, developments in the national discourse on race, ethnicity, and black art in the latter part of the twentieth century have produced a shift away from sacred symbols to art more representative of the complete Afro-Brazilian experience.

In this book, Kimberly Cleveland analyzes how certain modern and contemporary Brazilian artists visually convey "blackness." Through the work of Brazilian artists from different parts of the country who utilize a wide range of media, including photography, sculpture, and installation art, Cleveland investigates how each artist articulates "blackness" through his or her unique visual vocabulary and points out the ways it reflects their lived experiences.

By examining how these artists explore their African cultural heritage, Cleveland reveals the many diverse ways artists confront social, economic, political, and historical issues related to race in Brazil. Most important, Black Art in Brazil highlights how the markers of black art and culture in Brazil have continued to grow and diversify.

Kimberly L. Cleveland is assistant professor of art history at the Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University.

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