Américo Soares Braga

Matosinhos, Portugal, 21st january 1909 - Oaxaca, México, 26st july 1991


The scene

As the 1940s became the 1950s, and the neo-realist movement began a transition into non-figurative concepts in art, some artists began a trend towards a much-needed revitalisation of certain kinds of what was known as "the decorative arts", or "the lesser arts"; this was expressed in the burgeoning revival of ceramics, tapestry, furniture, of the graphic arts, probably as a sort of hailing back to the ideas developed by the Bauhaus School.

The sculptor Américo Braga is a part of this scene, moulded in the new thinking of the painter Jorge Barradas (1944) who paved the way for the first generation of modern Portuguese ceramicists, a thinking which was crowned, in 1949, by the wining of the Nacional Sebastian de Almeida prize by Jorge Barradas and of the Revelação Manuel da Costa Brioso by Américo Braga. In his turn, in the next awards in 1951, Américo Braga himself was the recipient of that highest of honours in the field, The Nacional Sebastião de Almeida prize.

Querubim Lapa and Antônio Pedro, among other cult artists of the genre, would later be entrusted to pass on the art of ceramics to a new generation. A fine example is Cecília de Souza.

In 1953 Américo Braga left for Brazil, taking with him his professional expertise. This expertise came to be acknowledged among the artistically educated public, and soon he was earning renown and prestige in his new homeland.



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