Antonio Henrique Amaral's Battlefield paintings (1973-1974) and the Brazilian military dictatorship

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Fine Arts
Department Art & Art History
Author Adams, Margaret Hayden
Title Antonio Henrique Amaral's Battlefield paintings (1973-1974) and the Brazilian military dictatorship
Date 2017
Description My thesis explores how Brazilian artist Antônio Henrique Amaral grappled with the censorship and oppression of the military regime (1964-1985) in his series of oil paintings entitled Campos de batalha (Battlefields, 1973-1974). In these works, he included various representations of bananas that are decaying and bound or mutilated by knives, forks, and ropes. Central to these paintings is the multifaceted symbolism of the banana, and in particular the critical stance against oppression and human rights' abuses in the work Campo de batalha 3 (1973). I build my argument on art critic Frederico Morais's comparison of the banana as a surrogate human body and Czech born philosopher Vilém Flusser's interest in exploring the political meanings inherent to the fruit. My thesis develops these claims further by including testimonies and declassified documents that account for the violence and oppression at that time and how Amaral's paintings address these conditions. In general, art produced under the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964-1985) responded to the highly oppressive atmosphere, which manifested in selective arrests, institutionalized torture, and disappearances of those deemed dissidents of the regime. My research incorporates Amaral's role as a painter during a time when oil paint was not a popular medium and as a relocated artist contending with the art market in New York during the early 1970s. The last section of my thesis chronicles efforts by Brazil's National Truth Commission and other social groups not only to substantiate the events of torture and disappearances, but also to preserve this history for future generations. I make the claim that during our present moment, Amaral's oil paintings form part of a visual archive documenting the period of the military regime
Type Text
Publisher ProQuest Dissertations Publishing
Subject Antonio Henrique Amaral; Banana; Brazil; Dictatorship; Human Rights' Abuses; Painting
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management ©Margaret Hayden Adams
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s6pg5x0m
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2018-07-05
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 1346510
Reference URL
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