LULA CARDOSO AYRES (1910/1987), BRAZILIAN AVANTGARDE PAINTER – Birds, emus and bulls between Abstractism and Figurativism


LULA CARDOSO AYRES 1/3 – He was born in Recife in 1910, spending his childhood on family farm. Already at the age of 12, he began painting studies with a German painter, his fellow citizen. In 1925, he went to Paris, visiting museums and devoting himself to study various modern artistic trends. When five years later he returned to Brazil, he settled in Rio de Janeiro, illustrating books and painting theatrical scenery. Throughout his life his creativity found expression as painter and photographer, designer, muralist and set designer.

LULA CARDOSO AYRES 2/3 – He returned to Pernambuco, where he participated in the exhibition of Afro-Brazilian paintings held in Recife in 1934. This commitment represented the re-approach of black and Iberian culture, even in visual representations. Since 1944 he spent full time with painting, making murals in Recife and Sao Paulo, Salvador, Boulder and Maceio. For his first mural he was commissioned by a doctor for the clinic Piazza Chora Menino, Boa Vista. In the early 1950s his production was again abstract. Between 1951 and 1955 was present at the biennials of St. Paul.

LULA CARDOSO AYRES 3/3 – Since the mid-1970s, he painted with acrylic paint imaginary animals (such as birds, emus and bulls), using strong colors and big black lines, which formed animals. Looking at the totality of his artistic production, we can distinguish between an abstract and a figurative phase (predominantly inspired by countryside landscapes and human types). He was also a professor at the School of Fine Arts (University of Pernambuco) for 25 years. He died in Recife at the end of June 1987. He held personal exhibitions in San Paolo Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (Rio de Janeiro) and Museum of Modern Art in Bahia, on the occasion of 150 years of Brazil’s independence.

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