Unpublished paintings by samba dancer Nelson Sargento are exhibited

A set of paintings produced by samba dancer Nelson Sargento is on display in the exhibition “Arte agonizes, but does not die: Nelson Sargento, 9.7”, on display at the Nise da Silveira Institute, in Engenho de Dentro, in Rio de Janeiro. Among the 15 works gathered at the site, six of them are unpublished.

Sergeant died in May this year, victim of covid-19, at 97 years old. He painted until the end of his life. Known as a successful composer, with over 400 songs in his repertoire, he also exercised his talent for painting. In addition to famous songs and paintings, Sargento left a collection with 80 unpublished sambas, poetry, short stories, drawings, paintings and erotic texts.

Read also: “Nelson Sargento’s heritage for culture is priceless”, says writer

The paintings displayed in the exhibition are inspired by Sargento’s everyday experiences. The paintings, which move between abstract and self-taught art, portray colorful scenes from Rio’s favelas and samba. The samba artist began painting paintings when he was a wall painter, before hitting samba hits.

The samba artist began painting paintings when he was a wall painter, before hitting samba hits / Divulgação

The exhibition occupies two floors of the Instituto Nise da Silveira, where old rooms were transformed into art galleries. Another 20 artists also have works on display. Because of the covid-19 pandemic, visits are free but must be scheduled.

The venue for the exhibition is Espaço Travessia, which has two floors of disabled infirmaries of the former Pedro II Psychiatric Hospital. The purpose of the space is to promote mental health through artistic activities.


Visiting hours: from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, until September 26th.

Local: Espaço Travessia – Nise da Silveira Municipal Institute, at 521 Ramiro Magalhães street, in Engenho de Dentro.

Due to the pandemic, visits should be scheduled by email: [email protected], or by cell phone: (21) 98909-1123. Admission is free.

Source: BoF Rio de Janeiro

Edition: Mariana Pitasse

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