BRASÍLIA – FROM UTOPIA TO CAPITAL

Embassy of Brazil in London

This exhibition displays a collection of approximately three-hundred works of art and documents, including models of iconic buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer; drawings and a photographic model of Lucio Costa’s urban plan; sculptures by Maria Martins, Bruno Giorgi and Alfredo Ceschiatti; and photographs by Marcel Gautherot and Mario Fontenelle. These artworks come from public and private Brazilian collections, such as the Moreira Salles Institute, the Public Archive of the Federal District, and Domício and Izolete Pereira’s Brasília Collection. “The idea of the exhibition is to show the world the various facets of the arts that gave life to the city. The works that will be exhibited for the first time in London are essential for understanding the formation of the new capital. I believe this show will further increase the curiosity of the English about a page of our history that fills us with pride”, says Danielle Athayde, who signs the curatorship of the exhibition.

The Brazilian Government’s decision to move the capital from the Atlantic coast to the centre west of the country in the early 1960s aroused a sense of developmental euphoria in the Brazilian population. The Central Plateau, land of the Brazilian cerrado, with its infinite horizons and red dust, became a construction site of epic proportions. During the construction, which lasted three years and ten months, over thirty-thousand workers lived in Brasília’s precarious lodgings.

The effort of building Brasília, shared by civil servants, architects, artists and candangos, is clearly described in the historical documents displayed in Brasília – From Utopia to Capital. One of these documents is the ‘Pilot Plan’ submitted by Lucio Costa.

All these steps were recorded from beautiful geometric angles by photographers Peter Scheier, Marcel Gautherot, Jean Manzon, Mario Fontenelle and Jesco Puttkamer.

A bilingual catalogue (292 pages, English and Portuguese) containing texts, images and extensive documentary material will be available for purchase.

The Brasilia – From Utopia to Capital exhibition is the result of extensive research by Danielle Athayde at the Ortega y Gasset Foundation in Madrid, Spain, and have been in 10 capital cities, including Paris, Berlin and most recently Moscow.

31 July to 30 August 2019

    All images © Manuel Vason @ StudioRadar 2020