A founding member of Brazil’s Neo-Concrete movement, Lygia Pape (1927 – 2004) valued art that favoured the primacy of the viewer and his or her sensorial experience. Pape’s geometric abstractions explored rich territory via the media of sculpture, drawing, engraving, filmmaking and installation.
This publication, which accompanied an exhibition held at Hauser & Wirth London from September to November 2016, brings together a group of works spanning from 1955 to 2001. The precise, incised lines of Pape’s ‘Tecelares’ woodcut prints and drawings of the 1950s and 1960s marry pure geometry with organic patterns. Her subsequent ‘Ttéiav installations (begun in the late 1970s and continued throughout her career) present captivating explorations of geometry, space and materiality. Particularly notable among the installations is ‘Ttéia no. 7’ (1991). Consisting of two small blue pyramids illuminated by a blue light from above, the work explores the boundaries between color, light and material, as well as the nuanced experience of looking. The book’s deep blue cover, as well as the translucent blue pages bound-in throughout, pays homage to this work.
Immersive installation views and focused detail shots complement the perceptive and thoughtful texts by Briony Fer and Daniel Birnbaum, two ardent followers of Pape’s work. Birnbaum, who featured Pape’s ‘Ttéia 1, C’ (2001/2016) as the opening piece in the 53rd Venice Biennale, speaks to the artwork’s heritage and legacy. Fer unpacks Pape’s vision of abstraction, mining her profound sensitivity to the full physical and material experience of printmaking, ultimately elucidating Pape’s deeply human understanding and unique reframing of geometry and abstraction.