Biography of Livio Abramo (1903-1992)

Brazilian engraver born in Araraquara (São Paulo) in 1903 and died in Asunción in 1992. Deep socialist ideology, was a pioneer of art as a denunciation of an equal concern. Along with Oswaldo Goeldi, is considered one of the introducers of modern engraving in Brazil.

Descended from European immigrants, began his studies in Santos to continue them in Sao Paulo. In 1926, he/she carried out his first experiences in the field of the woodcut, being the first Brazilian engraver conducted experiences on their own in this field. The first strong influence of his work was the German Expressionism, through some German exhibitions made in Sao Paulo, as the of art decorative German, and the German exhibition of books and graphic arts. To cope with economic hardship, he/she devoted himself for some time to elaborate fashion designs, billboards of propaganda, painting advertisements and scenes of theatre and films. At this time of hardship, he/she joined the Brazilian Communist Party, which then spread. For many years he/she worked for the newspaper Jornal da Noite; later, once he/she left the Communist Party and joined the Socialist Party, he/she worked for various Socialist newspapers. In 1948, he/she illustrated the book hair Sertão, Afonso Arinos de Mello Franco, xilograbados 27. In 1949, he/she won the prize trip abroad, in the national Salon of modern art of Rio de Janeiro, which allowed him to spend two years in Europe. On his return to Brazil, he/she worked as a professor in the school of crafts of the Museum of modern art in São Paulo, and organized, together with other artists, Studio Gravura. In the second period of the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas, when he/she was 59 years of age, he/she was forced to move to Paraguay, where he/she developed an extraordinary work in the field of the plastic arts for more than 30 years; He/She founded the Centre for Brazilian studies, and was a co-founder of the Julián de la Herrería printmaking workshop. During his stay in Paraguay, it influenced on a whole generation of artists from that country.

He had numerous exhibitions, including major retrospectives, such as the Cultural Center of São Paulo (1983), the Museum of modern art of São Paulo (1984), and the French Bank and Brazilian (1991). He/She participated in important samples, as in the Biennale of Venice, the Biennale de São Paulo, Brazilian shows in Buenos Aires and others in Latin America, United States, Europe and Asia. Among other awards, he/she received the of the biennials of São Paulo in 1952 and 1961.

Although Lívio Abramo has been best-known as recorder, by being expressed in all the techniques of engraving, however it was before anything, an excellent draftsman and watercolorist. The artist himself recognized the difference of his engravings and drawings, when he/she said: my prints are much more synthesized, forms are worked, much more severe, while in the drawing, I'm more spontaneous (1981).

Throughout his life, to a received different influences, first of German Expressionism (Kokoschka, Kubin and Kolwitz), after the Russian painter Lasar Segall and, later, of the geometric and abstract art in the decades 1960-1970. This gives rise to distinguish in the work of the artist, three stages:

In the first, which corresponds to the expressionist period, dominate the social and political aspects. The main reasons are the labor and manufacturing environment, the Spanish civil war and the scenes of everyday life. In this period of the work of Abramo emphasizes the contrast of the white and the black. From this period are works such as: 1 may, operator ('worker') and two worlds.

The second stage is known as"formal", or the search of pure form, in which the black and white contrasts are qualified with ash tones; dominated by the themes of landscapes, festivals and folk customs. Series River, party and by the Sertão works stand out.

The third and final stage is the geometric abstraction, in which, according to critics, Abramo reaches the Summit of their artistic creativity. At this time dominate the architecture, the force of nature and life and the urban landscape. They are works of Paraguay and As summer showers ('rain') series.

All his work is imbued with a key theme: the man and his environment, focusing on all aspects and feelings of human life.