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Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis

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Finalist, Alfred H. Barr Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions, 2019
Presented by College Art Association (CAA) to the author(s) of catalogues produced by smaller museums, libraries, and collections with an annual operating budget of less than $10 million dollars.



Edited by Patrick A. PolkRoberto ConduruSabrina Gledhill, and Randal Johnson

Axé Bahia examines the unique cultural role played by Salvador, the coastal capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia. An internationally renowned center of Afro-Brazilian culture, Salvador has been a vibrant and important hub of African-inspired artistic practices in Latin America since the 1940s. This volume represents the most comprehensive investigation in the United States of Bahian arts to date and features essays by eighteen international scholars. While adding to popular understandings of core expressions of African heritage, such as the religion Candomblé, the essays explore in depth the complexities of race and cultural affiliation in Brazil and the provocative ways in which artists have experienced and responded creatively to prevailing realities of Afro-Brazilian identity in Bahia. Lavishly illustrated, the book features works by artists ranging from modernists, among them Mário Cravo Neto, Rubem Valentim, and Pierre Verger, to contemporary artists Rommulo Vieira Conceição, Caetano Dias, Helemozão, Ayrson Heráclito, and others―including a stunning array of sculpture, painting, photography, video, and installation art. The exhibition was part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.

$50.00 Hardcover
288 pages
273 illustrations


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