Mira Schendel - Latin America New York Wednesday, November 18, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

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

  • Catalogue Essay

    “ If Mira Schendel’s art is the art of the void, as Haroldo de Campos (1966) once said, in some of her monotypes the void lies encrusted with signs and letters, as if silence and voice endured the damnation of being mirrors for one another, while waiting for the word. Mira Schendel’s monotypes can still be the outermost skin of the world’s substance, as Max Bense mentioned. The monotypes render a double service. On the one hand, they satisfy the material desire for an incision, without harming the delicate Japanese paper. On the other hand, they create a reality with the absorption of the ink by the paper, thus becoming an integral part of it, as a way of allowing the sign to materialize. This impregnation consolidates a rarefied existence, as if the sign had landed there softly or were a part of it from the beginning.”

    Mira Schendel: Monotypes, exh. cat., Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, 2009

  • 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.

    View More Works


Untitled (monotipias)

circa 1967 - 1968
oil and wax on paper
18 1/2 x 9 in. (47 x 22.9 cm)

$40,000 - 60,000 

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

Latin America

New York Auction 18 November 2015 6pm