Vicente de Rego Monteiro

Born in Recife in 1899 into a family of artists, Vicente de Rego Monteiro arrived in France in 1911. Guided by his sister, who was also a painter, he attended the Julian and Colarossi Academies and the Grande Chaumière in Paris. An artist of precocious talent, he took part in the Salon des Indépendants in 1913 among the members of the Ecole de Paris. He was thus brought to meet its most brilliant representatives, such as Picasso, Léger, Modigliani, Metzinger, Braque and Miró. Returning to Brazil because of the Great War, he exhibited in São Paulo in 1918 and met Di Cavalcanti, among others. He returned to Paris around 1920 and devoted more than ten years to painting, constituting an important corpus of modernist works, recognized and appreciated by his contemporaries. His European exile did not prevent him from continuing to exhibit in Brazil, particularly in 1922, during the Modern Art Week in São Paulo.

His art is characterized by a mixture of indigenous South American cultural themes with a modernist European aesthetic. The artist takes up the codes of the Art Deco and Cubist style which he retranscribes in his canvases, marked by a sobriety of forms and an economy of colours. On the other hand, he chooses popular subjects, based on values strongly anchored in his original South American culture: religion, craftsmanship, rurality. His work reveals a certain influence of Fernand Léger, particularly in the treatment of figures, as well as a reference to his research on pre-Columbian marajoara ceramics.

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