Emigrant Ship

Museu Lasar Segall

The exhibition presents the process of creating the work Ship of Emigrants with reproductions of drawings, engravings, photographs and the work that is one of the greatest treasures of the collection of the Museum.

Emigrant Ship
This painting of Segall, a great allegory of emigration, is the center of this exhibition. The display also includes the annotated drawings, engravings, sculptures, photographs, and documents related to this theme and to the artist's creative process.

The fate of Segall, who traveled across enormous geographic, cultural, and emotional distances to become a Brazilian artist, crosses paths with that of the emigrants honored in this canvas, a passionate testimony of 20th century history.

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Lucy and the Ship
In 1935, Mário de Andrade introduced the young painter, Lucy Citti Ferreira, to Segall. Lucy began to attend the artist's studio, working alongside him and assisting in the documentation of his work.

For more than ten years, she was Segall's favorite model. He was impressed by the expressive power of her countenance, especially the deep eyes and arched eyebrows.

Lucy is present on the Ship, as she was photographed by Segall himself in innumerable poses, then transposed into the multiple characters of the painting.

The Emigrants
For the first time in my life I saw the sea and ships. I saw how men of all nationalities climbed aboard these ships and went on to distant and unknown worlds, driven by destiny and something else... I did not let go of my pencil for a moment, which I used continually to fix my traveling companions and models on paper, these emigrants in whom the whole of humanity seems to be reflected. Lasar Segall "My Memories" (1950).

His diaries gave origin in the end of the 1920s to the series of engravings "Emigrantes," and during the Second World War, to the painting "Navio de emigrantes," developed between 1939 and 1942.

Segall's destiny -- which contemplates he passing through enormous geographic, cultural and affective distances -- to become a Brazilian artist intersects with all emigrants honored in the work that is a vehement testimony of 20's century history.

The Ship
A ship is a large vessel, usually with one or more decks, which is capable of carrying cargo and/or passengers. In the "Navio de Emigrantes," Segall creates curious dialogues between the human forms and details of the ship, such as the circular vents, which look like eyeless heads watching the world around them.

The biography of Lasar Segall (1891–1957) is marked by long sea voyages and changes in direction. At the age of fifteen, he left his hometown of Vilnius in Lithuania to pursue his artistic training in Germany. From his first voyage to Brazil in December 1912, he recorded the experiences he had of living aboard ships in small sketch books.

Sailors
Sailors frequently appear in the work of Segall in the subjects connected to the "Emigration" series. In the engraving to the side, two aspects caught Segall's attention: the harbor quays with their floating population of sailors and prostitutes, and the imposing landscape of the Botanical Garden, with rows of imperial palms.
1st and 3rd Class
A first-class passenger, Segall always felt a sense of pathos for the dispossessed. This can be seen both in Germany after World War I and in Brazil, in the Mangue series, for example, which joins together marginalization and prostitution.

Although Segall himself was not one of the passengers of third class, his status as a Russian Jew and emigrant made him sensitive to the plight of all refugees

Although Segall himself was not one of the passengers of third class, his status as a Russian Jew and emigrant made him sensitive to the plight of all refugees

Segall's displacements between the Old and New World across the Atlantic fueled his experience of the ocean's immensity in contrast to the fragility of human destiny.

Landscapes
The "Navio de Emigrantes" canvas is, in this sense, a grand allegory of emigration, much more than just a maritime landscape. The fate of Segall, who traveled across enormous geographic, cultural, and emotional distances to become a Brazilian artist, crosses paths with that of all the emigrants honored in this canvas, a passionate testimony of 20th century history.

Segall's journeys between the Old and New World across the Atlantic fueled his experience of the ocean's immensity in contrast to the fragility of human destiny.

A Current Topic
Segall scholars, beginning with Mário de Andrade and Jorge Coli, frequently point out that there are two planes in the "Navio de Emigrantes:" the architecture of the whole, with its straight lines, angles, and visual reference points, such as the large vent tubes and the individualization of an infinite number of human figures huddled in the bow of the ship.

Segall, with his intimate vision gives life to each of these figures—whether alone, in pairs, or in groups—with great aesthetic care. That is why "Navio de Emigrantes" is a picture that deals with complexity, combining the revealing allegory of the message of the whole with the individualized perspectives of human beings, caught in the bow of the ship.

Segall stated that his picture was symbolic rather than documentary. It was, therefore, outside of time and space. Hence the allegorical significance of the two doves at the top left corner of the "Navio de Emigrantes" that simultaneously reveal and hide, evoking, but not asserting, the possibility of land and hope. For this reason these two doves are indicative of our own time, marked by so many migrations, by undocumented refugees facing the new Cape Chaunar of our borders.

Lasar Segall
Lasar Segall (Vilnius, Lithuania, 1889–Sao Paulo, SP, 1957), painter, engraver, sculptor, and designer of Jewish origin. He starts his art studies in 1905 at the Drawing Academy of Master Antokolski in Vilnius, Lithuania. He moves to Germany in 1906 and studies at the School of Applied Arts and the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin. In 1910, he goes to Dresden, where he attends the Academy of Fine Arts. In this initial period in the city, he becomes more familiar with impressionist painting, and holds his first individual exhibition in the Gurlitt Gallery in 1910. At the end of 1912, he comes to Brazil and, the following year, exhibits in São Paulo and Campinas. He returns to Europe in 1913 and, from 1917, becomes involved with the new expressionist generation in Dresden. In 1919, he founds the Dresdner Secession Group 1919 with Otto Dix (1891–1969), Conrad Felixmüller (1897–1977), Otto Lange (1897–1944), and others. This group brings together the city's expressionist artists. In 1921, he publishes Bubu, an album of lithographs, in 1922, and Memories of Vilnius in 1917, with etchings. He returns to Brazil, where he settles in São Paulo, at the end of 1923. In the São Paulo state capital, Lasar Segall becomes one of the protagonists of the modern art scene, considered a representative of the European avant-gardes. In 1924, he made the decorations for the futuristic ball of the Automobile Club and for the modernist Pavilion of Olívia Guedes Penteado (1872–1934). He is one of the founders of the Pro Modern Art Society (SPAM), in 1932, of which he becomes director until 1935. Ten years after his death, in 1967, the house where he lived in Vila Mariana, in São Paulo, is transformed into the Lasar Segall Museum.
Credits: Story

Exposição Navio de Emigrantes

Museu Lasar Segall
Presidente da República: Michel Temer
Ministro da Cultura: Roberto Freire
Presidente do IBRAM: Marcelo Mattos Araújo

Diretoria do Museu Lasar Segall
Diretor Emérito: Mauricio Segall
Diretoria: Jorge Schwartz | Marcelo Monzani

Exposição
Coordenação: Marcelo Monzani
Concepção: Pierina Camargo
Produção: Ademir Maschio
Estagiários: Gabriel Felix e Guilherme Dias

Textos de Celso Lafer (Um tema atual), Jorge Schwartz (1ª e 3ª classes), Lasar Segall (Os emigrantes) e Vera d'Horta (Navio de emigrantes, A obra, Lucy e o navio, Marinheiros e Paisagens)

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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