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b. 1935, São Paulo, Brazil
d. 2015, São Paulo, Brazil

Antonio Henrique Amaral is a pioneering figure in Latin American art. Born in Brazil in 1935, Amaral developed his signature style during the second half of the 20th century, coming of age under the 1964 coup d’état which installed military rule in his home country.

His shrewd and allegorical works of this period in the 1960s deal with political violence and existential discontent through an incisive visual approach that seeks to challenge authoritarianism.  In 1971, Amaral began traveling frequently to New York where he took a studio and joined other artistic expatriates who found far more favorable conditions in the US for producing work without the constant risk of censorship.  Amaral's paintings from this time reach a peak of combativeness and visceral impact.  When the military dictatorship in Brazil was overturned through democratic elections in the late-1980s, Amaral shifted his attention to representations of forests, water and other forms of nature- and, frequently, the dangers to their survival- very much in keeping with his career-long interest in shining a light on modes of oppression.

With his innate ability to form an immediately recognizable visual vocabulary for the much-needed expression of criticism, satire and provocation, Amaral created a body of work which speaks to global concerns as much now as it ever has.

All images Courtesy of Instituto Antonio Henrique Amaral and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York