Lygia Clark Cocoon no. 2 1959

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 512 The David Geffen Wing

In 1959, fifteen years after Piet Mondrian’s death, Clark wrote in a letter to him, “If I work, Mondrian, my reason is more than anything to achieve myself in the highest ethical-religious sense. It’s not just to make one surface or another.” That same year, Clark produced Cocoon no. 2, a structure that reflects her intentions to literally and figuratively go beyond the “surface” of geometric abstraction as represented by the paintings of Mondrian. The black trapezoidal plane protrudes from the white diamond-shape backing, thereby entering the viewer’s space. The work is a transitional move toward Clark’s experiments with viewer participation.

Gallery label from 2020
Medium
Cellulose nitrate on sheetmetal
Dimensions
11 13/16 × 11 13/16 × 4 5/16" (30 × 30 × 11 cm)
Credit
Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Kathy Halbreich
Object number
799.2016
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Provenance

The artist.
? - 1999, Galeria César Aché, Rio de Janeiro.
1999 - 2016, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York, and Caracas, purchased through Galeria César Aché.
2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired as promised gift from Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

Exhibition history

São Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, "Paralelos: Arte brasileira da segunda metade do século XX em contexto. Colección Cisneros ", March 21 - June 16, 2002 and tour:
Rio de Janeiro, Museu de Arte Moderna de Rio de Janeiro, July 11 - September 22, 2002

Buenos Aires, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, "Geo-metrías. Abstracción geométrica latinoamericana en la Colección Cisneros", March 14 - May 19, 2003 and tour:
Montevideo, Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales de Montervideo, July 3 - October 25, 2003

Lima, Museo de Arte de Lima, "Diálogos. Arte Latinoamericano desde la Colección Cisneros", July 22 - September 26, 2004 and tour:
Santiago de Chile, Museo de Bellas Artes de Santiago de Chile, November 25, 2004 - February 28, 2005

Mexico City, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, "Cruce de Miradas. Visiones de América Latina en la Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros", August 2 - October 21, 2006

Austin, Blanton Museum of Art, "The Geometry of Hope. Latin american abstract art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros", February 20 - April 22, 2007 and tour:
New York, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, September 12 - December 8, 2007

Los Angeles, Getty Center, "Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros", September 16, 2017 - February 11, 2018

Stockholm, Moderna Museet, "Concrete Matters", February 24 - May 13, 2018

MoMA Exh. #2424: "Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift", 3rd Floor, 3 East, October 21, 2019 - September 12, 2020

MoMA Exh. #2462: “Collection: 1880s-1940s”, 5th Floor, gallery 512, “Circle and Square, Joaquin Torres-Garcia and Piet Mondrian”, November 14, 2020 -

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