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Japanese-Brazilian Modernists

Nipo-Tropicália

From Brazil's plantations to its early modern cities, Japanese-Brazilian 

artists articulated a modernism of their own

BY INTI GUERRERO

TOMIE OHTAKE, Untitled, 1979, oil on canvas, 100.8 x 100.8 x 4 cm. 

Courtesy Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, and Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro. 

I. Coffee Culture

In 1933, Tarsila do Amaral (1886-1973), one of the foundational figures of Brazilian modernism, painted Operários (“Workers”), a social-realist portrayal of a multiracial proletariat in the already industrialized city of São Paulo. With smokestacks and factory buildings in the background,

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