Lygia Pape

  • Born 1927 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Died 2004 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Lygia Pape relentlessly experimented with form, sculpture, printmaking, installation, and film. By age twenty, she was a member of the Rio de Janeiro–based Grupo Frente wing of Concrete art, a movement of self-reflexive geometric abstraction. In 1959, she signed the Neoconcrete manifesto with Lygia Clark (1920–1988) and Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980). The neoconcretists broke with the prevailing concrete ethos, believing that art should require active participation from its viewers. Her early work alluded to handicraft, such as the “Tecelares” (Weaving) series of geometric woodcut prints shown in the third Bienal de São Paulo (1955). Her Livro da Criacao (Book of Creation), 1959, asked the viewer to assemble a book. In the 1960s, she became involved with the cinema marginal and cinema novo movements, combining documentary and satire. Pape co-organized New Brazilian Objectivity, a groundbreaking exhibition at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro), in 1967. That same year she created Roda Dos Prazeres (Wheel of Delights), in which viewers taste colored waters with flavors that don’t necessarily align with their hues. Pape taught semiotics at the Universidade Santa Úrsula (Saint Ursula University) from 1972 to 1985, and became a professor of fine art at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) in 1983.

Artworks by Lygia Pape in the exhibition