Maria Helena Vieira da Silva
- Maria Helena Vieira Da Silva
- Composition Bleue
- signed and dated 56
- gouache on paper
Galeria 111, Lisbon
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Reflecting on Vieira da Silva’s art from the 1950s onwards, Gisela Rosenthal describes “an upward spiral. She returned at intervals to the themes and formal approaches she had adopted in earlier works, updating them in new versions. Her entire oeuvre developed as a sort of work in progress, in which all the paintings were mutually dependent and connected to each other. For this reason, the particular point in time at which specific paintings were done became less important” (Ibid., p. 53). The present works are marked by her desire to multiply spatial perspectives, creating an impressive display of three-dimensional designs, whilst still retaining a basis in reality. She stated herself that “I do not know what non-figurative painting is supposed to be. The starting point for my paintings is always reality” (Maria Helena Vieira Da Silva cited in: ibid., p. 71). As a result, the viewer is exposed to her abstract yet concrete perception of a world that she transformed in every painting.
The attention to detail in these abstract compositions exposes the artist’s recurring search for defining space on varying scales. Through her non-figurative designs, she invites the viewer to participate and delve into the painting, to wander and explore her representation of reality. In doing so, the artist forces the viewer to consider his own direction in life, imposing an existential element to her personal definition of space. Allowing for an element of measured chance, Vieira da Silva’s paintings are the result of a conscious combination of laborious daily tasks and controlled impulses. Like the Abstract Expressionists of her era, Vieira da Silva focused on the portrayal of contemplation, expression and freedom; a synchronicity that is masterfully exemplified in these works.