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Black Art in BrazilExpressions of Identity$
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Kimberly L. Cleveland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044767

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044767.001.0001

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Abdias Nascimento

Abdias Nascimento

(p.46) TWO Abdias Nascimento
Black Art in Brazil

Kimberly L. Cleveland

University Press of Florida

Abdias Nascimento was an actor, activist, national politician, and self-taught artist from Rio de Janeiro. The chapter examines how this artist used his paintings to pay homage to the gods of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, as well as everyday black Brazilians. The chapter then discusses how Nascimento exemplified the group mentality characteristic of modern black artistic production through his strong focus on honoring Brazil’s African cultural traditions and his self-identification with Africans from the continent and across the Diaspora. Lastly, the chapter explores how his American audiences had to be told that Nascimento’s works reflected “blackness” or African influences, as they could not read his visual vocabulary when the artist exhibited his religious-themed paintings in the United States during a period of self-imposed exile (1968-1981).

Keywords:   Africa, Candomblé, exile, identity, Nascimento, painting, religion, Rio de Janeiro, United States, vocabulary

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