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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist
    Private collection, Rio de Janeiro
    Private Collection

  • Catalogue Essay

    Cildo Meireles is often described as a key figure of Conceptual Art whose 50-year trajectory transcends any stylistic or formal designation and instead is consistently described as conceptually challenging and aesthetically profound. His works often walk the delicate line separating poetry and politics with a keen focus on spatial relations, sensorial experience, and the critical investigation of economic circulation. Meireles’ oeuvre also covers a broad range of materials and scales—from small objects such as the cruzeiros to the immersive environments used in legendary installations such as Deviso para o vermelho. In this way he inherited much from the legacy of Neo- Concretism—a Brazilian movement founded in 1959, which included well-known artists such as Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica—rejecting strict geometric abstraction in favor of creating participatory works that engage the body and mind.

    The present lot, Canto de sala (Study for Corner), is an exemplary case of Meireles’ dedication to spatial relations. Conceived as part of a larger series of works produced between 1967 and 1971, the work redefines the language of abstraction by fusing spatial and conceptual thinking with a narrative approach that prioritizes the body in relation to the frame. It is composed of several panels, painted with the characteristically pink paint of the Corner Series and assembled to create a flat corner. Unlike other works from this series where the corners appear folded to create a dissonance between perception and reality, Canto de sala literally frames a wall corner and implicates the body of its viewer forcing the eye toward a focal point. When the eye engages, it does so with a point on the wall where two different kinds of “wood” meet, where the space behind the baseboard is revealed, and where—thanks to the addition of lines in the middle plane of the work—a sketch for a potential third wall appears to emerge. It is important to note that the corner as thematic motif holds an important place in Meireles’ practice. As he says of the Cantos in general, it reveals his “need to isolate and concentrate on questions of a formal nature without interference from emotional noises external to the work” (C. Meireles, “Corners And Crossroads,” in Frieze, September 2008.)

  • Artist Biography

    Cildo Meireles

    Brazilian • 1948

    At the core of Cildo Meireles' conceptual artistic practice is an interest in the functions of economic and political systems. Meireles forms part of the younger generation of Brazilian Neo-Concrete artists who were chiefly concerned with integrating spectator participation in the execution of their artworks, provoking the viewer's sensorial awareness.

    In his seminal series, Insertion In Ideological Circuits 2: Banknote Project (1970), Meireles printed politically subversive messages on American and Brazilian banknotes and sent them into circulation. This vandalism forced viewers to confront the reality of their political and economic systems and question their role and participation within said systems. This one series is emblematic of his larger body of work, which continues to intrigue and confound viewers today.

    View More Works


Canto de sala (Study for Corner)

gouache on paper with collage elements
27 11/16 x 19 3/4 in. (70.3 x 50.2 cm)
Signed "Cildo Meireles" on verso.

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $87,500

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York Auction 18 November 2015 6pm