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1 Painting in Collection

Fani Bracher


(B. 1947) Brazil

Fani Bracher grew up on an experimental farm in a small community in Brazil. Her father was a toanist and her mother a deeply religious woman. Perhaps it was this mix of fact and faith that spurred an interest in the mystery and strength of the land. Bracher is a self-taught painter who, after a solitary childhood, took a degree in journalism. She began to paint at the age of 22 and,although she never had any formal art training, her perspective eye and interest in the work of other visual artists has cultivated a specific stylistic path.

In 1970 Bracher and her husband traveled in Western Europe and then returned to Paris to live for a year. There Bracher was profoundly moved by exhibition of saw a Milton Avery exhibition. Bracher’s early work from the 1970s incorporates each of these influences. Like early American modernists Milton Avery and Arthur Dove, in Casa E Morros Bracher reduces the landscape to minimal forms and flat planes. While she does not embrace the Nabis’ use of vibrant color she extracts from them her use of saturated color and simple shapes. Inspired by the spiritual element found in many early modern American paintings, Bracher also looks to nature as a vehicle for self-exploration.

Bracher’s paintings from the 1980s become further abstracted, less clearly linked to landscape. The tendency toward a darker, more autumnal palette remains and she relies on oranges, browns and grays to create form and space. Bracher’s forms are contained—outlined with heavy black lines, which emphasizes their abstract nature. More recently, Bracher is painting monumental rock-like forms—square, stark, dark shapes that arise from a simple flat plane. Unlike the American and European modernists who celebrate nature, Bracher’s interpretations of the land are darker. Her landscape is often imposing, silent, empty. In part this isolation and stillness may be a reflection of her position as an artist working in Brazil, a country which feels separate from the Western world.

In an essay in the monograph, Fani Bracher, critic Frederico Moraes comments on this contemporary artist’s work: In general her painting has been economical, severe, informal. The form, closed, does not allow for the spilling of matter, the structure does not dissolve itself in graphic informality. Gestures are contained, color is curbed. Her main themes—mountains, stones, trees, clouds—after being explored in their symbolic dimension, are reduced to other visual signs, in meta-compositions which are, plastically, enticing.

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