Anita Catarina Malfatti (São Paulo, 1889 – idem, 1964). Painter, draughtswoman, engraver. Began her artistic apprenticeship with her mother, Bety Malfatti (1866 – 1952). Due to a congenital atrophy in her arm and right hand, she used her left to paint. In 1909, she painted a number of works including the so-called Primeira Tela de Anita Malfatti [First Canvas by Anita Malfatti]. She lived in Germany between 1910 and 1914, where she came into contact with museum art, attending the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, subsequently studying with Fritz Burger-Mühlfeld (1867 – 1927), Lovis Corinth (1858 – 1925) and Ernst Bischoff-Culm. During this period, she also devoted herself to the study of engraving. From 1915-16, she lived in New York, taking lessons from George Brant Bridgman (1864 – 1943), Dimitri Romanoffsky (n.d. – 1971) and Dodge, at the Arts Students League of New York, and with Homer Boss (1882 – 1956), at the Independent School of Art. Her first individual exhibition was held in São Paulo, in 1914, at Mappin Stores, but it was from 1917 onwards that she became well-known, when at an exhibition that she led, and which also included the work of American artists, she was criticised by Monteiro Lobato (1882 – 1948) in the article A Propósito da Exposição Malfatti [Regarding the Malfatti Exhibition], that was subsequently published in a book entitled Paranóia ou Mistificação? [Paranoia or Mystification?]. Oswald de Andrade published an article in her defence in 1918, in the Jornal do Comércio. She studied painting with Pedro Alexandrino (1856 – 1942) and live model classes with Georg Elpons (1865 – 1939). In 1922, she took part in Semana de Arte Moderna [Modern Art Week], exhibiting 20 works, including O Homem Amarelo [The Yellow Man] (1915/1916), becoming a member of the Grupo dos Cinco [Group of the Five], together with Tarsila do Amaral (1886 – 1973), Mário de Andrade (1893 – 1945), Oswald de Andrade (1890 – 1954) and Menotti del Picchia (1892 – 1988). In the following year, she received a travel grant from the Pensionato Artístico do Estado de São Paulo [São Paulo State Artists' Fund], leaving for Paris, where she was a pupil of Maurice Denis (1870 – 1943), attending free art courses and maintaining contacts with Fernand Léger (1881 – 1955), Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954) and Tsugouharu Foujita (1886-1968). She returned to Brazil in 1928, lecturing in drawing and painting at Mackenzie College, the Escola Normal Americana, the Associação Cívica Feminina [Women's Civic Association] and in her studio. During the 1930s, she was a member of the Sociedade Pró-Arte Moderna – SPAM [Pro-Modern Art Society (SPAM)] the Família Artística Paulista – FAP [São Paulo Artistic Family] and took part in the Salão Revolucionário [Revolutionary Salon]. Her first retrospective was held in 1949 at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand – Masp [Assis Chateaubriand Museum of Art of São Paulo]. In 1951, she took part in the 1º Salão Paulista de Arte Moderna [1st São Paulo Salon of Modern Art] and the 1st Bienal Internacional de São Paulo [São Paulo International Bienal].
Source Itaú Cultural