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Geopolitical Criteria and the Classification of Art

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The article addresses the use of geopolitical criteria as a method for classifying art, so as to revise what is considered prejudicial to the appreciation of art in its symbolic and sociological dimensions. These criteria applied to Brazilian art produce classification models based on dichotomies such as exoticism versus civilization, centre versus periphery and nationalism versus universalism. These models have guided museum directors, historians, art critics and curators alike for more than a century. They are analysed in the critical discourses on Albert Eckhout's painting and the Baroque style, as well as those related to Brazilian modernism. This article concludes that only further investigation into the finer nuances of the interactions between individuals and groups will lead to a comprehension of the complexity of artistic creative processes, breaking free from the constraints of geopolitical classification categories and allowing a transit through yet unknown areas.

Keywords: Albert Eckhout; Alfons Hug; Ana Maria Belluzzo; Brazilian Baroque; Brazilian art; Constructivism; Modernism; classification; figurative art; geopolitical criteria

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2012

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