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The Paris Review – The Amateur Photographers of Midcentury São Paulo

Outside of Brazil, the achievements of the São Paulo–based amateur photography group Foto-Cine Clube Bandeirante have long been overlooked. Its ranks included biologists, accountants, lawyers, journalists, and engineers, all of whom were united in their passion for the art form. To encourage innovation, the club held monthly contests, which often resulted in photos that look unreal from today’s vantage point: crisp shadows of circus goers roosting on bleachers, nightmarish skyscrapers slurring across the frame, pedestrians wandering among the streetcar rails like planets locked in lonely orbit. Presenting the group’s work for the first time internationally, “Fotoclubismo” will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art through September 26. A selection of images from the show appears below.

André Carneiro, Rails (Trilhos), 1951, gelatin silver print, 11 5/8 × 15 5/8″. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of José Olympio da Veiga Pereira through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund. © 2020 Estate of André Carneiro.

 

Thomaz Farkas, Ministry of Education (Ministério da Educação) [Rio de Janeiro], ca. 1945, gelatin silver print, 12 7/8 × 11 3/4″. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist.

 

Julio Agostinelli, Circus (Circense), 1951, gelatin silver print, 11 1/2 × 15″. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Richard O. Rieger. © 2020 Estate of Julio Agostinelli.

 

Palmira Puig-Giró, Untitled, ca. 1960, gelatin silver print, 15 3/8 × 11 1/8″. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Agnes Rindge Claflin Fund. © 2020 Estate of Palmira Puig-Giró.

 

Aldo Augusto de Souza Lima, Vertigo (Vertigem), 1949, gelatin silver print, 11 × 14 3/4″. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of James and Ysabella Gara in honor of Donald H. Elliott. © 2020 Estate of Aldo Augusto de Souza Lima.

 

Maria Helena Valente da Cruz, The Broken Glass (O vidro partido), ca. 1952, gelatin silver print, 11 7/8 × 11 1/2″. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Donna Redel. © 2020 Estate of Maria Helena Valente da Cruz.

 

Geraldo de Barros, Fotoforma, 1952–53, gelatin silver print, 11 7/8 × 15 1/8″. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of John and Lisa Pritzker. © 2020 Arquivo Geraldo de Barros. Courtesy Luciana Brito Galeria.

 

Roberto Yoshida, Skyscrapers (Arranha-céus), 1959, gelatin silver print, 14 5/8 × 11 5/8″. Collection Fernanda Feitosa and Heitor Martins. © 2020 Estate of Roberto Yoshida.

 

“Fotoclubismo” will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art through September 26.

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