Brazilian painter, sculptor and performance artist. She first studied painting with Roberto Burle Marx in Rio de Janeiro and in 1950 moved to Paris, where she completed her studies with Fernand Léger and Arpad Szènes (b 1900). Under the influence of Soviet Constructivism, the Bauhaus and Neo-plasticism, she abandoned her early figurative style for geometric abstraction, joining the Frente group on her return to Rio de Janeiro in 1954. Between 1954 and 1958 she produced two series of radical experiments in Concrete art, Modulated Surfaces and Counter-reliefs. These were followed between 1959 and 1961 by Animals, metal sculptures which the spectator was free to rearrange. Her move to Europe in 1968, marked by a retrospective at the Venice Biennale, where she also showed her installation The House is the Body, confirmed her growing reputation in Europe. Before returning to Rio de Janeiro she taught a course at the Sorbonne, Paris, from 1970 to 1975, entitled Imagery of the Body. In her work she substituted flat surface with unrestricted space so as to invite the physical participation of the spectator, thereby encouraging the spontaneous rediscovery of the body and the transformation of behaviour in art.
From Grove Art Online
© 2009 Oxford University Press