Contributors

The Essex Collection of Art from Latin America is supported in its work by academic staff and students at the University of Essex, as well as external researchers. This community contributes texts and papers to our online catalogue and to other ESCALA publications.

Isobel Whitelegg

Carlos Martins biography

Carlos Martins studied architecture at Mackenzie University, São Paulo, before taking up a postgraduate scholarship in urban and environmental design at Edinburgh University (1973-75). In his final year at Edinburgh, Martins took engraving classes in London before going on to complete a specialised course in printmaking techniques at the Slade (1975-77). Several of the works held by ESCALA were produced while Martins was living in London, the city where he had his first solo exhibition in 1977.

Martins returned to Brazil the following year and had a successful solo show at the Luisa Strina gallery in São Paulo. In 1981, following the completion of the series 10 Cantos, Martins was awarded an annual prize for best engraver by the APCA (Associação Paulista de Criticos de Arte). In 1982 Martins created the Gabinete de Gravura (Print Rooms) at the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, and acted as its Curator in Chief until 1987. 1987-89 he was Director of Cultural Activities at the Paço Imperial, and 1991-1995 Director of the Museus Castro Maya (comprising the two museums Chácara do Céu and Museu do Açude) in Rio de Janeiro.

Since 1996 he has acted as a consultant for the organisation, conservation, research and classification of the Fundação Estudar’s Coleção Brasiliana (a collection of works produced by European traveller-artists in Brazil in the 19th century) in São Paulo. Martins’ closely studied knowledge of the history of printmaking is reflected across his work. His involvement with the arts of 19th century Brazil provides another point of access, particularly to the series of prints inspired by the opera O Guarany, written by composer Carlos Gomes in 1868-70.

Exhibitions that Martins has curated include Roberto Burle Marx, Retrospectiva, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro (1992); A Gravura de Iberê Camargo, uma Retrospectiva, Espaço Cultural BFB, Porto Alegre; Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro; Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo; Viajantes Britânicos no Rio de Janeiro do século 19, Museu da Chácara do Céu, Rio de Janeiro, 1991; Coleção Brasiliana, Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, 2000; and Países Lusófonos: Paralelos e Meridianos, Palácio do Itamaraty, Brasília, 2002. He has also authored publications including Introdução ao Conhecimento da Gravura em Metal (1981); A Gravura de Iberê Camargo, uma Retrospectiva (1990) and Fayga Ostrower (2001).

Isobel Whitelegg, 2008

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