View of “Mira Schendel,” 2013–14.

View of “Mira Schendel,” 2013–14.

Mira Schendel

Tate Modern

View of “Mira Schendel,” 2013–14.

Brazilian artist Mira Schendel visited the UK only once during her lifetime, on the occasion of an exhibition of her work in London in 1966. She found the city surprisingly receptive to her artistic practice, contrasting the buzzing opening reception to the silence that had greeted another of her shows in Rio earlier that year. But although Schendel felt her early work had a “more resounding effect in England than in Rio de Janeiro,” her work has been most extensively shown and discussed within Brazil. Curated by Tanya Barson and Taisa Palhares, this exhibition was the largest international retrospective of her work to date, beginning in London before traveling to Porto, Portugal, and São Paulo. In addition to her celebrated works of the mid- to late 1960s, the curators privileged her early paintings, which are not well known.

The exhibition began with the still lifes the Swiss-born

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