Black arts giant Emanoel Araújo dies at 81 – 07/09/2022 – Illustrated

The visual artist and intellectual Emmanuel Araujo, one of the giants of Afro-Brazilian root arts in the country, died this Wednesday at his home in São Paulo, at the age of 81.

The vigil takes place on Thursday in the pavilion of Afro-Brazilian Museumwhich will now officially bear the name of Araújo, who was the curator of the institution since its foundation in 2004 until its death. According to the Secretary of State for Culture, Sérgio Sá Leitão, Governor Rodrigo Garcia will declare official mourning in the state for the death.

Araújo has built, for more than six decades, a multiple career ranging from sculpture to illustrationfrom engraving to scenography, always emphasizing the role of black heritage in national culture.

His first personal exhibition dates back to 1959, in his native Bahia, with a work marked by woodcuts and illustrations focused on the theater. From the following decade, his work became more abstract.

In the 1970s, he was awarded at the 3rd Gráfica Biennial in Florence and by the Association of Art Critics of São Paulo, which considered him the best sculptor and engraver in the country. His first personal exhibition at Masp, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, took place in 1981.

It didn’t take long for Araújo to become one of the country’s leading curators and museologists, having headed the Bahia Art Museum from 1981 to 1983 and the São Paulo Art Museum from 1992 to 2002.

the direction of Afro-Brazilian Museumlocated in Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo, came in 2004 to crown his work in the conservation and dissemination of black art in Brazil.

His research also materialized in the book “The Afro-Brazilian Hand”of 1988, a reference work in which he reflects on the artistic and historical contributions of the black population, republished by the Official Press of the State of São Paulo in 2010.

Emanoel Araújo was going through a moment of rediscovery of his work as a visual artist, expanding his international projection shortly before his death.

He began to be represented by the Simões de Assis gallery, based in São Paulo and Curitiba, and again had major solo exhibitions at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake and Masp.

He would also pass under the umbrella of the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, where he had an exhibition scheduled for next year. Major museums such as the Guggenheim in New York, the Tate Gallery in London or the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have recently purchased works from him.

In recent years, too, he has been the target of allegations of sexual harassment by two ex-employees of the Afro Brasil Museum, just in case appeared on social media. The posts were taken off the air by court order, since the accusers were prosecuted by Araújo, in a case that remains secret from Justice.

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