The Art Of Lygia Pape

Michael Dango at Artforum:

The Neo-Concrete movement was famously short-lived, essentially moribund within a couple of years of the manifesto’s publication. When a US-backed coup deposed Brazil’s leftist president in 1964 and installed a military dictatorship that lasted twenty-one years, Lygia Clark, Ferreira Gullar, and other artists central to the movement fled. Pape remained. Among her peers, Pape always stood out for being left behind. During the Neo-Concrete years, she devoted herself to a seemingly passé medium with which she’d been engaged since the early 1950s: the woodblock. Newspapers singled her out, often simply calling her the gravadora, or printmaker. Pape would later theorize these works as the basis for her whole oeuvre, which came to span film, installation, and participatory performance. As the art historian Adele Nelson explains in her book Forming Abstraction: Art and Institutions in Postwar Brazil (2022), Pape “conceived printmaking as a conceptual foundation for her artistic practice. . . . She refused to view her early prints as mere preludes to participatory works of art” and instead proposed that “prints—that is, stationary works of art—can activate an experiential, phenomenological experience for the viewer.”

more here.