Elza Oliveira de Souza – 1928 – Recife, PE / 2007 – Rio de Janeiro, RJ.
She moved to Rio de Janeiro with her husband, the painter Gerson de Souza, in 1946. She worked as an embroiderer, but also studied theater, opera singing and aquatic ballet at the Copacabana Palace. Between 1962 and 1963, he began painting at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro with Ivan Serpa. He began to exhibit at a collective organized by the IBEU Gallery, in 1963, and at the “Salão Nacional de Arte Moderna”, where, in 1969, he won Jury Exemption. Individually, he exhibited at Galeria Atualidade, Rio de Janeiro (1964), and in São Paulo, at Clube Hebraica, São Paulo (1966), Galeria USIS (1970), Galeria Astreia, (1975) Galeria Jacques Ardies, (1985) and also in Rio de Janeiro at Galeria Jean-Jacques, (1987), and at MIAN, among others. He was part of the cast of important naive art collectives, including “Brazilian Lirismo”, which toured Portugal, Spain and France, and “Festa de Cores”, initially presented at the São Paulo Museum of Art. Art critic Walmir Ayala wrote; “This kind of talent is in the air that fascinates me in naifs, and that makes them reach the refinement of technique without being corrupted by images glued to reality. Elza OS is wise, for me the greatest living naive painter in Brazil. I said painter, intentionally, because I repudiate sexual distinction in a field where quality, invention, imagination, energy matter. Elza OS us gives a painting of pleasure, of lyrical resonance, of silent sharpness.”