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Wanda Pimentel, Untitled—Série Envolvimento, 1967.
Wanda Pimentel, Untitled—Série Envolvimento, 1967.

Wanda Pimentel (1943–2019)

The Brazilian artist Wanda Pimentel, whose hard-edge, Constructivist-inflected paintings depict perfectly calibrated geometric interiors tinged with a feminine presence, died on December 23 at the age of seventy-six. Pimentel’s art testifies to the global breadth of Pop, which quickly flourished beyond its American and British centers to influence such artists as Konrag Lueg and Manfred Kuttner in Germany, Marta Minujín in Argentina, and Ushio Shinohara in Japan.

Born and based in Rio de Janeiro, Pimentel studied at the city’s Museum of Modern Art with the pioneering Brazilian Constructivist Ivan Serpa, cofounder of the historic artist collective Grupo Frente (1954–56). Her early work reflects her involvement in the country’s New Figuration movement, as in the graphically flattened domestic interiors of her “Envolvimento” (Involvement) series, 1968–84, which features the bare feminine legs of an anonymous protagonist among tangles of telephone wires, bedsheets, and belts.

“My studio is in my bedroom,” Pimentel said in an interview. “Everything has to be very neat . . . I work alone. I think my issues are the issues of our time: the lack of perspective for people, their alienation. The saddest thing is for people to be dominated by things.”

Pimentel held her first solo exhibition in 1969 at Rio’s Galeria Relêvo and went on to participate in the Seventh Paris Biennale and the Eleventh Bienal de São Paulo (both 1971) and “International Pop” at the Walker Art Center (2015). Her work is in the collections of the Modern Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro; the Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro; and the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires. Her work was included in the Brooklyn Museum’s 2018 exhibition “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985.”

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