ANTÔNIO HENRIQUE AMARAL
Painter, engraver and draughtsman
Antônio Amaral was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1935, where he
still lives and works.
He got a degree in Law from the University of São Paulo, but his
interest in art stemmed from a visit to the first edition of the
Biennial of São Paulo, in 1951.
Next year, Amaral began his artistic training at the School of the
Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand
In 1959, he attended wood engraving classes given by Shiko
Munakata and W. Rogalski at the Pratt Graphic
Art Center, New York.
Early in his career, Amaral performed drawings and prints.
Later, painting became his primary activity.
In 1971, the Hall of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro awarded him
a foreign travel prize. He moved to New York, where
he lived untill 1981.
Using a hyper-realist approach in the North-American style and
elements of Pop-Art and mass culture, he nevertheless
managed to imbue his paintings with explosive
political content and social themes.
Amaral is perhaps best known for his “Banana Paintings”.
Performed in the „60s and „70s, these paintings came to be in the history
of Brazilian art a powerful tropical metaphor for repression
under the military dictatorship in his country.
My challenge was to paint and at the same time reflect on the
torture and imprisonment through an explosive,
sarcastic thing of debauchery ―
Antônio Henrique Amaral