Mira Schendel

Tate Modern
September 25, 2013–January 19, 2014

Curated by Tanya Barson and Taisa Palhares

Swiss- Brazilian artist Mira Schendel made art as she lived life, laying waste to oppositions. A practicing Catholic of Jewish heritage, she was displaced from Milan to Sarajevo before settling, via Rome, in Brazil in 1949. In São Paulo, her circle included philosophers, poets, physicists, and Dominican friars. Her spare, deeply sensuous work spans media and pictorial modes: Her monotypes and graphic objects propel representation and language to the point of abstraction; her rice-paper sculptures transform translucent voids into knotted, tactile webs and delicate, pliant folds; her paintings swivel from geometry to gesture, refusing contemporaneous designations of Concretism, Neo-concretism, and art informel alike. This exhibition—Schendel’s first full-scale international retrospective—includes more than three hundred works, which, together with the accompanying catalogue, promise to disrupt phenomenological expectations and art-historical narratives alike.

Travels to the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2014.