Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988

Lygia Clark, Unities (as a group)

Lygia Clark, Unities (as a group)

Lygia Clark. Unidade no. 4 (Unit no. 4). 1958
Industrial paint on wood
Collection Fernanda Feitosa and Heitor Martins

Glenn Lowry: Luis Perez-Oramas:

Luis Perez-Oramas: Around 1958, 1959, Lygia Clark produced a series of monochromatic black and red small, square paintings that she titled Unities. The fact that she titled them Unities, it's important, as she stresses the wholeness of these paintings. It's consistent with the fact that in them, the line is mostly a surrounding white line. In a way, the Unities look like paintings that want to be together with the whiteness of the wall, or paintings where the whiteness of the wall goes into the body of the painting.

The Unities are opening the body of painting towards the space of the spectator, towards the space where the painting is activated by its perception, towards the space where our body is confronted with the body of these paintings.

Glenn Lowry: In 1960, Clark wrote:

Lygia Clark (read by voice actor): Forms, like all things, express more than their mere physical presence...It is as if each thing radiated an energy connected to the energy of the living and real space.

Glenn Lowry: This installation replicates her grouping of these paintings in the first exhibition of the Brazilian Neo-Concretists, an art movement with which she was associated.

Luis Perez-Oramas: And they were notably interested by the fact that a work of art can only be conceived in present time. So, a work of art is not a dead body. A work of art is an active object.

26 / 38