Historically, Afro-Brazilians have been neglected by both museums and galleries in their country. Few institutions dedicated to black artists do exist in the country. Yet Brazil didn’t select an Afro-Brazilian artist to represent the country at the Venice Biennial until 2015, when Paulo Nazareth received the invitation. This is particularly notable considering that, according to the most recent census in 2010, Brazil was home to the most people of African descent outside of Africa. And to date, the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), widely considered to be the most important museum in Brazil, has not hosted a solo exhibition by any Afro-Brazilian female artist. That will change in November of this year when the museum presents an exhibition of the work of Sonia Gomes.
When Paulo Nazareth, first Brazilian artist to receive the invitation, got the official communication, he said that he would only attend once he visited each and everyone of the African countries.
This is the context for MoMa’s long awaited exhibition on one of the key figures of the Anthropogia movement, Tersilia de Amaral.