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Born 1932 in Rui Barbosa, BA, Brasil 

Died 2007 in São Paulo, SP, Brasil

Born in Bahia in 1932, Alcides Pereira dos Santos moved to Mato Grosso in 1950, where he settled down. Before becoming a painter, Alcides tried his hand in various occupations, ranging from shoemaker to barber to stonemason. When he was 19 years old, Alcides, acccording to Aline Figueiredo, “achieved the greatest revela- tions in his life: religion and painting.” He was evangelical and believed that art is a gift from God. His painting, consequently, is meant to highlight God’s ‘divine gifts’ of the land, particularly nature’s life-giving properties. However, Alcides’ symbolic representations are not restricted to scenes of nature. Without any indication of proselytism or explicit depictions of the supernatural, Alcides also takes on reli- gious subject matter through everyday scenes of technology and city life.

Much of Alcides’ work from the seventies and eighties is comprised of these subtly religious landscapes, which are known for their serenity. However, Alcides is also known to have painted more explicitly religious scenes, such as his series of works depicting the creation of the world in seven days and other biblical narratives. His landscapes are often accentuated by geometric forms and small graphic details such as human figures - a feature that appears most often in his works from the seventies. These small figures, however, are never large enough to be considered the central focus. For Alcides, the emphasis is placed on the entire landscape as a kind of ‘macrocreation’.

Alcides took part in numerous exhibitions in Brazil, and until today his works are often shown in Brazil, New York, Paris and Madrid. His works are part of the collections of the Fondation Cartier in Paris, the Museu Afrobrasil in São Paulo, and the Popular Art Museum of São Francisco Cultural Center in João Pessoa, Paraíba. He was also part of the notorious exhibition Histoires de voir, Show and Tell at Fondation Cartier in 2012.

February 2024

Alcides Pereira dos Santos

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