Mira Schendel Untitled 1964

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 413 The David Geffen Wing

For Schendel, 1964 was a year of daring artistic experimentation. She oscillated between representation and abstraction and explored new materials, such as rice paper and the red earth of São Paulo, which she mixed with her oil paints. Here, Schendel strips painting of its canvas to expose its coarse wooden stretcher hammered with nails. Crude yet vulnerable, this grid presents itself not as an optical schema but rather as a constructed object with a tactile dimension. The artist noted, “I give the utmost importance to [art] being manual like this, that it be handmade, that it be experienced.”

Gallery label from Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, October 21, 2019–March 14, 2020
Oil and tempera on board and wood
57 7/8 × 44 7/8 × 13/16" (147 × 114 × 2 cm)
Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Andrea and José Olympio Pereira
Object number
© 2024 Estate of Mira Schendel
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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The artist.
[Mario Schenberg, São Paulo]
2005 - 2016, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York, and Caracas, purchased through Christie's, New York, Latin American Paintings, lot 55, November 15 - 16, 2005.
2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired as promised gift from Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

Exhibition history

São Paulo, Fundación Casas das Rosas, "O Mundo de Mario Schemberg", 1996

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, September 12 - December 8, 2007

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. #2451: “Collection: 1940s-1970s”, 4th Floor, gallery 413, “Touching the Void”, November 14, 2020 -


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