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Abelardo da Hora

Date Born.:

Sculptor, Designer, Engraver and Potter


Abelardo da Hora

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Last update: 09/05/2017

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Sculptor, designer, engraver and potter, Abelardo da Hora was born in 1924 at the Tiuma sugarcane factory in São Lourenço da Mata, Pernambuco.

He attended a Decorative Arts course at the Prof. Agamenon Magalhães Industrial College, an Open Course in Sculpture at the Fine Arts Academy of Pernambucoand a Bachelor of Law at the Faculty of Law in Olinda.

In 1942, in front of the Academic Directory of Fine Arts, he lead a group of students who painted and drew landscapes in the forests of the Várzea neighbourhood, when his work drew the attention of the industrialist Ricardo Brennand, who hired him. He worked for Brennand from 1943 until 1945, completing various works in ceramic, flower pots and plates with regional motifs in relief and in terracotta.

At that time, Francisco Brennand, the son of Ricardo Brennand, upon seeing his work became interested and made his first attempts at painting ceramics and drawing.

In 1945 he went to Rio de Janeiro where his improvised studio was in the garage of the house of Abelardo Rodrigues.

In 1946 he returned to Recife and spent the whole of 1947 preparing his first sculpture exhibition, which opened in April 1948, at the Association of Commercial Employees of Pernambuco, under the patronage of the Department of Documentation and Culture of the Recife City Council. The exhibition caused quite a stir not only due to its content and form, but also because it was the first exhibition of sculptures to take place in Recife.

He was awarded the First Prize for Sculpture at the 3rd and 4th Modern Art Salons in 1940 and 1950 respectively.

Along with Hélio Feijó and others, he developed and established the Modern Art Society of Recife (SAMR) and, in 1952, founded the SAMR Collective Studio at number 57 Rua da Soledade, where he was both a teacher and the director.

At the request of the Recife City Council, between 1955 and 1956 he created popular-style sculptures inspired by popular ceramics in city parks: The Singers and The Sugar-water Seller in 13 de Maio Park, The Backcountry Man in Euclides da Cunha Square, in front of the Internacional Club, and The Lollypop Seller in the Dois Irmãos forest reserve.

He was elected as the Pernambuco delegate in the Brazilian Section of the UNESCO International Association of Visual Arts in 1956.

Throughout 1957 and 1958, he gave exhibitions in various European countries, Mongolia, Argentina, Israel, the former USSR, China and the United States.

In 1962 he released an album of drawings entitled Boys of Recife and in 1967 put together a collection of drawings called Brazilian Carnival Dances at the Galeria Mirante das Artes in São Paulo.

He was also one of the driving forces of the Popular Culture Moviment (MCP), during the administration of the then mayor of Recife, Miguel Arraes. As one the MCP directors he constructed and directed the Art Gallery on the banks of the Capibaribe River, The Centre of Visual Arts and Handicrafts and the Culture Squares in Recife.

His body of work is very extensive and many of his pieces can be seen in various public places and buildings in Recife, such as Joaquim Nabuco and the Abolishment of Slavery tile panel at the Joaquim Nabuco building in Joaquim Nabuco Square; Monument to the Pernambuco Restoration at Sérgio Loreto Square; The Fisherman at the Itaú Bank in Parnamirim; Monument to the Beberibe Convention at Convenção Square; Monument to Youth in the Catholic University of Pernambuco; Woman Lying Down at the sculpture park in Shopping Centre Recife; Mermaid at the Mar Hotel, as well as various others in a wide-ranging number of residential buildings.

Of his work, Abelardo da Hora said:

I do my art responding to a vital need. Like who loves or suffers, is happy or rebelling, approves or denounces and attacks. The fruit of things life teaches…
The strongest mark of my work however has been suffering and solidarity. The tonic is love: love for life, which is also manifested by the violent reaction against hunger and misery, against all types of brutality, against oppression and exploitation.

Recife, 13 June 2003.
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2011.
Updated on August 19, 2009.
Updated on May 09, 2017.

sources consulted

ABELARDO da Hora. [Foto neste texto]. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 5 mai. 2017.

BRUSCKY, Paulo; LEITE, Ronildo Maia (Org.). Abelardo de todas as horas. Recife: Fundação do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico de Pernambuco, 1988.

CLÁUDIO, José. Memória do Atelier Coletivo(5/fevereiro/52 a outubro/57). Recife: Artespaço, [198-?].

PERNAMBUCANOS em Brasília. Brasília: Galeria de Arte da Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos, 1986.

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Abelardo da Hora. Pesquisa Escolar On-Line, Pesquisa Escolar On-Line, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.