MARIA LEONTINA

(São Paulo, 1917 - Rio de Janeiro, 1984) Painter, engraver, draughtswoman. Began drawing studies with Antônio Covello, in São Paulo, in 1938, and during the first half of the 1940s, she studied painting with Waldemar da Costa. In 1946, in Rio de Janeiro, she attended the studio of Bruno Giorgi and a course in museology at the Museu Histórico Nacional - MHN [National Historical Museum] from 1946 to 1948. In 1947, she took part in the exhibition, 19 Pintores [19 Painters], at the Galeria Prestes Maia [Prestes Maia Gallery], in São Paulo, together with Lothar Charoux, Marcelo Grassmann, Aldemir Martins, Luiz Sacilotto and Flavio-Shiró. In 1951, she was invited by the psychiatrist and art critic, Osório César, to guide the visual arts section of the Psychiatric Hospital of Juqueri. In the same year, she organised an exhibition of the patients' work at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo - MAM/SP [Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo]. In 1952, with a study grant from the French government, she went to Europe with her husband, the painter, Milton Dacosta. From 1952 to 1954, while in Paris, she attended the engraving workshop of Johnny Friedlaender. During the 1960s, she executed a panel of tiles for the Copan Building and stained glass for the Igreja Episcopal Brasileira da Santíssima Trindade [Brazilian Episcopal Church of the Most Holy Trinity], both in São Paulo. Her initial work lay within Figurativism of an Expressionist nature, but she gradually moved towards abstraction, without following the rigour of pure geometry. In 1960, in New York, she received the national prize of the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 1975, the Associação Paulista dos Críticos de Arte - APCA [São Paulo Association of Art Critics] painting prize.

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1963 - 100x81cm - Estandarte - oil on canvas
Photo: Jaime Acioli