Lygia Pape: The Skin of All (Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen)
Susanne Gaensheimer, Isabelle Malz (Ed)
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen & Hatje Cantz, 2022
As one of the key figures of Brazil’s Neo-Concrete movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Lygia Pape developed a specific understanding of geometric abstraction that resulted in a radical new conception of concrete-constructivist art, challenging an overly rigid rationalism by moving toward more subjective, multi-sensorial modes of expression. Marking Pape’s first solo exhibition in Germany, this richly illustrated book presents the artist’s unusual creative power in all its breadth, drawing on a body of documents from the artist’s archive that is published here for the first time.
Against the backdrop of the tension between Brazil’s vibrant avant-garde and the growing political repression under the military dictatorship (1964–1985), Pape’s work reflects ethical and socio-political issues and harnesses experimental explorations not just of metaphorical geometric, but social space to create poetic manifestations of subtle resistance. Emphasizing the primacy of the viewers’ sensorial experiences, Pape went as far as to declare them to be the actual creators of her works.
LYGIA PAPE (1927–2004) played a central part in shaping modern art in Brazil. A member of the Rio de Janeiro-based Grupo Frente, dedicated to concrete art and geometric abstraction, she signed the Manifesto Neoconcreto in 1959. Her work traverses abstract-geometric paintings, drawings, woodcuts, ballet compositions, sculptures and poems, as well as experimental films, immersive spatial installations as well as explorations of public space and collective performances.