Belem do Pará, PA, 1900 –
Campo Grande, 1934
Known as the “artiste maudit” of modernism, Nery saw painting not as a technique to be totally mastered like a good craftsman does, but as an instrument capable of supporting the complexity of his ideas. It is in this vein that the subjects proposed in his poems, paintings, drawings and watercolors expand to any form of register, since the idea was, for the artist, more important than the artwork per se.
Unlike artists of the 1st Modernist Generation, Nery did not seek a national identity, but universal values. He was highly influenced by cubism, and by the surrealism of Picasso and Marc Chagall, becoming a pioneer this movement in Brazil. Because of this originality, Nery went unrecognized and sold canvases during his lifetime. His work only started to gain visibility in 1966, with his artwork exhibited at the Petite Gallery, in Rio de Janeiro. Today, he is recognized as one of the best artists of his generation.