Mira Schendel - Latin America New York Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, São Paulo
    Galeria Frente, São Paulo
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    São Paulo, Galeria Frente, O Espaço infindável de Mira Schendel, August 26-October 31, 2015

  • Literature

    O Espaço infindável de Mira Schendel, cat. exh., Galeria Frente, 2015, p. 154 (illustrated)

    We are grateful to Ada Schendel for her kind assistance in cataloguing this work.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Born in Zurich and later studying in Milan, Mira Schendel immigrated to São Paulo in 1949, where she began her artistic career in earnest. She found Brazil ripe for artistic innovation, both thanks to the community of European émigrés living there during this time, as well as the exploration of abstraction being led by Brazilian artists like Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica.

    Schendel received international recognition after exhibiting her Objetos Graficos in the 1969 Venice Biennale. These iconic objects—both graphic and ethereal—represent an art of minimalist and semiotic significance, heavily influenced by the language barriers she faced after persecution in Europe. The present work is a variation on this series that is unique in its boldly hued coloration, contrasting the delicate medium of rice paper. Schendel has been widely recognized both in Brazil and internationally, as evidenced by her retrospective at the Tate Modern in London in 2013.

  • Artist Biography

    Mira Schendel

    Brazilian • 1919 - 1988

    Born in Zurich and of Jewish heritage, Mira Schendel escaped Switzerland during World War II to settle in Sarajevo and Rome, finally immigrating to Brazil in 1953. In the 1960s, she began to produce her iconic monotipas, delicate drawings on luminescent rice paper. She rejected the notion of painting as a primary medium, abandoning the genre in the 1970s for almost a decade. Schendel worked mostly with paper and objects made of unusual materials such as Plexiglas, fabrics and aqueous inks.

    Recurring themes in her work include letters, geometric figures and phrases reflecting a radical lexicon, often juxtaposing elements from two languages (visual and numerical). Many of her works hover in the space between drawing and writing, creating a certain visual poetry that is completely her own. Schendel's works go beyond the materiality of making art and allow viewers to understand the relationship between language, time and human thought processes.

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oil and Letraset on colored rice paper
18 1/2 x 9 in. (47 x 22.9 cm)
Executed circa 1970.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Sale, Latin American Art
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York Auction 24 May 2017