Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms at The Met Breuer, March 21 – July 23, 2017

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

“This exhibition is the first U.S. retrospective of the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Pape (1927–2004). After World War II, Brazil underwent a period of rapid industrialization and development, epitomized by the inauguration in 1960 of a new modern capital, Brasília. Pape took part in the effervescent cultural milieu of the time, which enthusiastically embraced the legacies of European modernism. In particular, as a member of Grupo Frente (1954–57), a coalition of artists practicing a trend in abstraction based on geometric forms and pure colors, she engaged the vocabulary of the Concrete art movement. Departing from the rigors imposed by the group, in 1959 Pape, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, and others founded the Neoconcrete movement in Rio de Janeiro, which still focused on geometric abstraction but with an emphasis on experimentation, process, and viewer interaction.

Although Pape is best known for her role in this artistic breakthrough, throughout her long, prolific career she continued to pursue the avant-garde ideals of integrating art and life, specifically the formal language of abstraction and the everyday life of her adopted city of Rio. After Brazil’s 1964 coup, Pape remained committed to experimentation while living under the dictatorship that ruled her country until 1985. Her engagement with a wide range of media and forms of expression—from painting and prints to poetry, film, installation, photography, teaching, and performance—attests to Pape’s unclassifiable trajectory and vitality.” — Introductory Wall Text

Exhibition entrance

Installation view of Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms

Series of Relevo (Relief), 1954–1956

Top: Series of woodcuts on Japanese paper: Tecelar, 1957-1960

Installation view of Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms

Installation view of Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms

Top left: Desenho (Drawing), 1955. Top right: Tecelar, 1959

Installation view of Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms

Livro noite e dia (Night and Day Book) (detail), 1963–1976

Installation view of Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms

Livro dos caminhos (Posfácio #1, #3, #4, #5) (Book of Paths [Afterword #1, #3, #4, #5]), 1963–1976

Installation view of Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms

Roda dos prazeres (Wheel of Pleasures), 1967

Livro do tempo (Book of Time), 1961–1963

Left: Amazonino, 1991-1992. Center: Banquete tupinambá (Tupinambá Banquet), 2000. Right: Amazonino (Mangueira), 1992

Left: Amazonino, 1992. Right: Amazonino (Verde) (Amazonino [Green]), 1990

Ttéia 1, C, 1976-2004, reconstructed 2017

Ttéia 1, C, 1976-2004, reconstructed 2017

Ttéia 1, C (detail), 1976-2004, reconstructed 2017

Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms is organized by Iria Candela, Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Met. It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with Projeto Lygia Pape.