Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Brazil enthralls with an art show of Afro-Atlantic history

By Holland Cotter
José Alves de Olinda, a Brazilian artist, created “Eshus’s Barge,” from wood, vegetal fiber and metal, at the Tomie Ohtake Institute. Figures of two dozen Yoruban divinities, armed, have taken charge of a miniature slave ship.CreditMuseu Afro Brasil
SÃO PAULO, Brazil — It’s worth going a distance for greatness. And great is what the exhibition “Histórias Afro-Atlânticas” (“Afro-Atlantic Histories”) is. With 450 works by more than 200 artists spread over two museums, it’s a hemispheric treasure chest, a redrafting of known narratives, and piece for piece one of the most enthralling shows I’ve seen in years, with one visual detonation after another. Its timing, for better or worse, is apt. The story of the westward African diaspora has been told many times, but never, in my experience, with this breadth or geographic balance. Installed at the São Paulo Museum of Art, known to everyone as MASP, and the smaller Tomie Ohtake Institute, the exhibition is divided into eight thematic sections. [More]
Installation view of “Afro-Atlantic Histories” at São Paulo Museum of Art.CreditEduardo Ortega