The legacy of concretism looms large in the history of postwar Brazilian art, and yet scholars still frame it as incomplete and failed, perhaps because periods of authoritarianism bracketed its comparatively brief moment of optimism and faith in economic development. This is volume editor Antonio Sergio Bessa’s argument. According to neoconcrete poet Ferreira Gullar, “the new,” which included concretism, brought to Brazil both freedom, in the form of necessary technological progress, and submission, in the form of subjugation to the cultural and political influence of the United States. Bessa characterizes this situation in Brazilian culture as “a cultural, political, and social minefield” (3), one that Form and Feeling attempts to negotiate.

The book’s fourteen chapters go beyond the infamous rivalry between concrete and neoconcrete artists and poets that began in the 1950s, offering new research on topics that include moments of cultural détente between the two movements, the legacy of...

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