Lygia Clark (1920-1988) 100 years

The historic exhibition, made up almost entirely of never-before-exhibited works, invites the public to delve into the evolution of Lygia Clark’s thinking, considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century, whose work has been exhibited in museums as prestigious as New York City’s MoMA and the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain, among several other institutions.


Pinakotheke Cultural, Sao Paulo

November 15th 2021 to January 15th 2022

Curated by: Max Perlingeiro

Organized by: Pinakotheke Cultural in collaboration

with Associação Cultural Lygia Clark,

Free entrance

[Anti-Covid protocols apply]

Sem título, 1952 óleo sobre tela, 81,5 x 105,5 cm assinado e datado “CLARK 52” no canto inferior direito Nº 000954_Crédito obrigatório Jaime Acioli
Sem título, 1952 óleo sobre tela, 81,5 x 105,5 cm assinado e datado “CLARK 52” no canto inferior direito Nº 000954_Crédito obrigatório Jaime Acioli

Pinakotheke Cultural is to hold, in its Sao Paulo facilities, in collaboration with Associação Cultural Lygia Clark, the exhibition “Lygia Clark (1920-1988) 100 years”, from November 15th 2021 to January 15th 2022, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth.

Considered for her original and pioneering creations one of the most important artists of the 20th century by art critics both at home and abroad, Lygia Clark was born in Belo Horizonte on the 23rd of October 1920 and passed away on April 25th 1988, in Rio de Janeiro.

Curated by Max Perlingeiro, the exhibition brings together approximately 100 pieces by the artist, among them paintings, drawings, engravings, Bichos, crawlers, soft works, cocoons, relational objects, photographs and documents, in the most part not previously exhibited to the Brazilian public. An example of that is the collection of “Bichos” owned by British art critic Guy Brett (1942-2021), a great friend of Lygia Clark’s from the time of her first solo show at London’s Signals Gallery, in 1965. Her formal works from 1943 to 1952 are equally unreleased, as the series “Escadas” (1947), about which Lygia Clark stated, in a 1986 interview to artist Luciano Figueiredo alongside journalist Matinas Suzuki Jr.: “When I was figurative, the only thing I liked to work on were the stairs. And Léger said, laughing a lot, when he saw my things, that everything I did, ultimately, were stairs. See how curious, inside the stairs you could already see the defoliation of a Bicho. The Bicho is already inside the stairs, right?”. The “Objetos Relacionais” (1968-1973) brought together in the exhibition, likewise not previously exhibited, are considered by many her most radical experiment. Also unknown to the public, many works from the series “Superficie Modulada” and “Espaço Modulado”, by the artist.



The show will follow a chronology, split into 17 conceptual sequences that make up the artist’s trajectory: “Escadas” (1947), “Kleemania” (1952), “Quebra da Moldura” (1954), “Linha Organica” (1954), “Arte/Arquitetura” (1955), “Superfície modulada” (1955-1956), “Planos em superfície modulada Series A” (1957), “Planos em superfície modulada Series B” (1958), “Espaço modulado” (1958), “Unidade” (1958), “Ovo linear” (1958), “Contra relevo” (1959), “Casulo” (1959), “Bicho” (1960-1964), “Obra mole” (1964), “Trepante” (1965) and “Objetos relacionais” (1968-1973).

For each one of these segments, the public can follow the wall texts written by art critic Paulo Herkenhoff, which help in the understanding of the evolution of the artist’s thinking and her creations.

Estruturação do Self com os Objetos Relacionais, Lygia Clark, 1976_Crédito obrigatório Associação Cultural Lygia Clark_20517_tratada

The exhibition also brings other gems, such as the recreation, from a photograph, of Lygia Clark’s montage “7 Unidades”, presented in the “Mostra Neoconcreta” (1958), at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, where the artist is sitting on a chair designed by Abraham Palatnik (1950s, for furniture manufacturers Arte Viva). The pieces and the chair lie in the same position as in the photograph, that can be seen in the exhibition and its accompanying book.


The exhibition features an animation of the photo shoot created by Alecio de Andrade (1938-2003) from the performance “Arquiteturas biológicas II”, created by Lygia Clark in 1969 at the Hôtel d’Aumont, in Paris. The animation was created by Fabricio Marques, and the barrel organ by Gabriel Pinheiro.

Superfície modulada Nº 11, 1956 tinta automotiva sobre aglomerado, 40,1 x 121,2 cm Nº 000914_ Crédito obrigatório Jaime Acioli

On alternating days, the exhibition will present to the public the films “Memoria do corpo” (1984), by Mario Carneiro, 30’, produced by Solange Padilha and videography by Waltercio Caldas, who recorded the last proposition designed by the artist, the “Structuring of the Self”; and “O mundo de Lygia Clark” (1973), by Eduardo Clark alongside directors of photography David Drew Zingg and Antonio Guerreiro, with music by Nana Vasconcelos.

A special room will be set up to show the video installation  “DSI – embodiment” (2021), 8’, three cameras with three different monitors, with a recording of the performance by Carolyna Aguiar, directed by Leticia Monte and Ana Vitoria. In the video installation, the viewer is invited to “experience inaugural states of the fragmented body in its pulsating perspective of life and death”, explain Ana Vitoria and Leticia Monte. “Here, the body struggles to become what it is, continually unraveling and retreating in an incessant immemorial struggle-dance, a place of voids, which Lygia Clark insists that we revisit”.

Quebra da moldura, 1954 óleo sobre madeira e tela, 83 X 75 cm Nº 000697_ Crédito obrigatório Jaime Acioli


The exhibition is accompanied by the bilingual book (Port/Engl) of the same name, “Lygia Clark (1920-1988) 100 years”, 316 pages, 27,5 cm x 22cm,  with original critical texts, images and information about the works, a selection of personal correspondence between Lygia and artist and intellectual friends, as well as a summarized and up-to-date chronology.

The book opens with the text Some Latin Americans in Paris, written by art theorist and historian Yve-Alain Bois (Constantine, Algiers, 1952), who met Lygia Clark in Paris back in the 1960s, becoming a close friend. Following a 15-year tenure in Harvard University’s art history and architecture department, Yve-Alain Bois now works at the School of Historical Studies of the Institute for Advanced Studies, in Princeton, known simply as “the Institute”, a legendary institution that promotes and sponsors research, which in the past hosted scientists such as Albert Einstein and art historians such as Erwin Panofsky.

“Through the broad windows of MAM” and “A patient’s report” are texts written by Lula Wanderley in 2021 especially for the exhibition.

The publication also brings the full unpublished interview granted by Lygia Clark to Matinas Suzuki Jr. and Luciano Figueiredo in 1986, of which only an excerpt had come out in the “Folha de S. Paulo” supplement “Folhetim” on March 2nd that same year. From the original conference Catharsis and Lygia Clark: the healing power of art”, held in 1998, Marcio Doctors edited and updated his text for the book.

The exhibition “Lygia Clark (1920-1988) 100 years” has been held at Pinakotheke Cultural in Rio de Janeiro between August 23rd and October 30th 2021, having surpassed the mark of 10 thousand visitors during the period.