Journal of Surrealism and the Americas, Vol 8, No 1 (2014)

‘Don’t Forget I Come From the Tropics’: Reconsidering the Surrealist Sculpture of Maria Martins

Michael Richard Taylor


The work of the Brazilian sculptor Maria Martins (1894-1973) was for several decades completely marginalized in accounts of Surrealism, despite her prominent role in the movement during the 1940s, when her sculpture was included in several Surrealist exhibitions and publications. Maria’s sculpture was rooted in the debates and themes of Brazilian modernism before World War II and the emphasis in her work on Afro-Brazilian culture, as well as the myths and folklore of the Amazon Rainforest, needs to be placed within the context of a larger movement in Brazilian modernism, in which artists, writers, and musicians explored the theory of cultural cannibalism put forth by Oswald de Andrade in his “Manifesto Antropófago” (Cannibalist Manifesto).

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