The Bear (1925) by Vicente do Rego MonteiroMALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires
Though he did not adhere to the anthropophagic movement, Vicente do Rego Monteiro was “anthropophagic” in every sense:
His art was clearly geared to effecting that unique synthesis of the Brazilian cultural tradition and the avant-garde languages developed in Europe in the early twentieth century—the stance championed in the Manifesto antropófago.
When he was only twenty-three years old, this artist from the state of Pernambuco took part in the Modern Art Week in São Paulo in 1922 before moving to Paris for the rest of that decade.
In 1928, Oswald de Andrade invited him to join the movement that he was spearheading.
Do Rego Monteiro declined, asserting that he had been advocating those ideas in his work for years. A painting of a small animal, O urso was produced in 1925; it is representative of the artist’s production from those years.
In a palette of ochres and browns inspired by the ceramics of the Amazon and with the faceted volumes and forms of cubism and futurism, do Rego Monteiro depicted a golden bear
a creature native to northeastern Brazil also known as the “pygmy anteater” because the smallest bear in the world.