Lot 39
  • 39

Mira Schendel (1919-1988)

180,000 - 220,000 USD
225,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Mira Schendel
  • Untitled
  • signed and dated 1963 on the reverse
  • mixed media on masonite


Galeria de Arte Paula Vasconcellos, São Paulo
Acquired from the above, 1988
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Latin American Art, May 28, 2013, lot 37, illustrated in color
Private Collection, New York

Catalogue Note

Beginning in 1962, Mira Schendel turned her attention to painting. Executed in oil and tempera mixed with sand, polymer, and plaster, this shortly lived and yet highly accomplished series presents a compelling group of monochromatic works. Given their intensely textural and saturated surfaces painted in earthy tones, these subdued compositions seem to materialize Schendel's intellectual quest for abstraction. Untitled (1963) is an exemplary work from this series wherein organic shapes reminiscent of the "void" transcend into primal forms of expression. 

Writing about this body of work first exhibited at Galeria de Arte São Luiz in São Paulo in 1963, Mario Pedrosa noted: "Formerly, the line which divided the rectangle into multiple or successive, repetitive, regular shapes also divided it into figure and background. Its rectangular shapes stood out, here and there, so that the rest of the picture served as a backdrop. Form left off being form, living form, plastic form, in order to be composite form. As for color, it is no longer circumscribed and one does not distinguish it; it is even less than a nuance, it is material. This goes on to act as presence, not only because of its more evident and quantifiable property, that of extension, but because of the especially sensitive quality of intensity. The concretism thickens, and gains another dimension, that of a subjective expressiveness, with real emotional impact." (1)

(1) No vazio do mundo, Mira Schendel, Galeria de Arte do SESI, São Paulo, 1996, p. 87