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Naive art takes on the world.

Brazil's naive, or primitive, art has been described by one writer as "too folksy to please the academic art crowd and too unassuming to satisfy the avant garde ..." As a result, the writer said, "it doesn't get much respect."

Respect or not, it is drawing large crowds and arousing deep interest in a four-year tour of the United States. Originally scheduled as a one year, 19-city tour, the exhibit has been booked into an additional 18 cities and the tour extended by three years.

The exhibit opened its U.S. tour at the Brazilian American Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., in October 1986. Since then, it has travelled to 42 U.S. states. Receiving rave reviews everywhere, the exhibit has made Brazil's rich cultural heritage known to a widening group of people in cities as far apart and diverse as Seattle, Washington; Orono, Maine; and Owensboro, Kentucky.

"It's the perfect antidote to a midwestern winter," said Chuck Levesque, a volunteer with Partners of the Americas and one of the organizers of the tour. "It's full of sunshine, colors, rural life, city life--just a spectrum of the Brazilian experience that can reach anyone."

The exhibit features 40 paintings by eight Brazilian "naive" artists, defined as those who use a folk, two-dimensional style of painting. It was donated to Partners of the Americas, a private Washington, D.C.-based voluntary organization by Morgan Guaranty Trust Company.

Artists in the show include Rosina Becker do Valle, Francisco Severino de Oliveira, Gerson Alves de Souza, Isabel de Jesus, Inocencio Alves dos Santos, Ivan da Silva Moraes, Rodolpho Tamanini Neto and Ivonaldo Veloso de Melo.

The success of the show has already prompted the Partners of the Americas to schedule a U.S. showing of another exhibition of Brazilian naive art which is currently touring Brazil's major cities. The new exhibit is expected to arrive in the U.S. in early 1991 for a 32-city tour.
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Title Annotation:!Ojo!; Brazil's naive or primitive art exhibition in the United States
Author:Goethals, Henry
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Article Type:column
Date:Sep 1, 1990
Words:322
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