Lygia Clark Sundial 1960

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 413 The David Geffen Wing

Sundial is what Clark called a bicho, or critter—a type of sculpture whose hinged metal sheets can be folded into multiple configurations or flattened to a single plane. Though strictly geometric and carefully structured around several axes, the work becomes elusive and unpredictable once activated. Clark thought that to interact with Sundial was to engage in a process of mutual discovery and transformation through which identity—the participant’s and the work’s—can be radically redefined.

Gallery label from Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, October 21, 2019–March 14, 2020
Additional text

Sundial belongs to Clark's Animals series, begun in 1960—a group of metal sculptures whose forms can be endlessly modified. The works in this series are flat, curving structures that fold in different ways along a spine–like axis. Capable of many variations in form, they can also be reduced to a flat plane. Sundial was conceived to invite the spectator to modify its foldable geometric shapes.

Gallery label from 2006
Aluminum with gold patina
Dimensions variable, approximately 20 7/8 x 23 x 18 1/8" (52.8 x 58.4 x 45.8 cm)
Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honor of Rafael Romero
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

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The artist.
[Paulo Kuczynski, São Paulo]
? - 1996, Galeria César Aché, Río de Janeiro (archival code #581).
1996 - 2004, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York and Caracas, purchased through Galeria César Aché.
2004, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired as gift from Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

Exhibition history

MoMA Exh. #1931: "Painting and Sculpture: Inaugural Installation", 4th Floor, gallery 23, November 20, 2004 - December 11, 2006

As of August 23, 2005, 4th Floor, gallery 23 has been renumbered as 4th Floor, gallery 24.

MoMA Exh. #2022: "New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930-2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions", 3rd Floor, November 21, 2007 - February 25, 2008

Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, "La invención concreta. Collección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros", January 22 - September 16, 2013

MoMA Exh. #2286: “Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948-1988”, 6th Floor, The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Gallery, May 10 – August 24, 2014

Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, "MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art from The Museum of Modern Art, New York", June 9 - October 8, 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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