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Born 1932 in Rui Barbosa, BA, Brasil 

Died 2007 in São Paulo, SP, Brasil

Born in north-east state Bahia, Brazilian artist Alcides Pereira dos Santos (1932–2007) settled in the central-west state Mato Grosso in 1950. Coming from labouring in the countryside, he tried his hands at shoemaking, barbering and bricklaying. At the age of 19, he experienced what Brazilian art critic Aline Figueiredo describes as “the revelations of his life: religion and painting.” As a devout evangelical, Alcides viewed art as a divine gift, a perspective that permeated his oeuvre. Through his paintings, he sought to praise the inherent blessings of the land. This led him to reflect on the provision of life through the cultivation of land and livestock, and depict human’s utilization of the earth.

In 1992, a revelation altered Alcides' life once again: after years of searching, he found his only daughter living in a favela of São Paulo, battling alcoholism. In his determination to support her, he left his solitary life behind to reunite with her, and continued to paint tirelessly. 

The move from the rural to the urban environment marked a significant shift in Alcides' artistic style, as he became influenced by the bustling energy of the suburban industrial environment. While his earlier works from the 1970s and 1980s predominantly showcased serene, subtly religious landscapes, this later phase of his career saw him exploring urban subjects with a refined aesthetic sensibility. He began to depict cars, boats, motorcycles, and houses with a newfound emphasis on geometric and graphic elements, culminating in a minimalist style that alludes to modern infographic design.

Since his passing, Alcides' paintings have been shown in art institutions in and outside of Brazil, being exhibited in New York, Paris and Madrid. Some of his works found their place in the collections of the Fondation Cartier in Paris, the Museu Afrobrasil in São Paulo, the Popular Art Museum of São Francisco and the Cultural Center in João Pessoa, Paraíba. 

His work was part of the notorious exhibition Histoires de voir: Show and Tell at Fondation Cartier in 2012, which brought together 400+ works of more than 40 self-taught artists from around the world in an attempt to explore the terms “naive”, “primitive” and “self-taught” in art and to give voice to artists who pursue paths outside the norm of conventional visual codes, examining the relationships between contemporary art and folk art, artist and artisan.

Contact us for more information @wouters.sablon or

February 3 - February 24, 2024

Alcides Pereira dos Santos (1932-2007)

Alcides Pereira dos Santos (1932-2007)

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