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Fondazione Carriero opens the first solo exhibition ever held in an Italian institution of the work of Lygia Pape
Lygia Pape, 2019, installation view at Fondazione Carriero, Milan. Photo: Christian Kain. Courtesy Fondazione Carriero, Milan.

MILAN.- From 28 March to 21 July 2019, Fondazione Carriero presents Lygia Pape, curated by Francesco Stocchi, the first solo exhibition ever held in an Italian institution on one of the leading figures of Neoconcretism in Brazil, organized in close collaboration with Projeto Lygia Pape.

Fifteen years after the death of Lygia Pape (Rio de Janeiro, 1927-2004), Fondazione Carriero sets out to narrate and explore the career of the Brazilian artist, emphasizing her eclectic, versatile approach. Across a career span of 45 years, Pape came to grips with multiple languages—from drawing to sculpture, video to dance, ranging into installation and photography— absorbing the lessons of European modernism and blending them with the cultural tenets of her country, generating a very personal synthesis of artistic practices. Inserted in the architecture of the Foundation, the exhibition represents a true voyage in the artist’s world, organized in different spaces, each of which delves into one specific aspect of her work, through the presentation of nuclei of pieces from 1952 to 2000. The exhibition provides an opportunity for knowledge, analysis and investigation of an artist whose practice embodies some of the key areas of research of Post-War.

Lygia Pape’s oeuvre conveys a particular interpretation of Modernism, where the human figure plays a central role and the language opens to sensuality, in a sort of artistic syncretism that is able to attract and reconcile diametrically opposed worlds. The relationship with her native land Brazil, is fused with the study of the developments of Russian Constructivism, absorbed and reformulated in a multiform, personal language. While European Modernism proposed getting beyond the past by means of an organized system of theory and method, rigor and rationality, the modernist perspective of Lygia Pape feeds on her culture of origin and is thus able to move and transform more freely, drawing inspiration from nature and humankind. The result of this process is a body of works that alchemically mixes different expressive media, stimulating all the channels of perception to the point of reinventing the relationship between work and viewer in a forcefully contemporary way, where the path towards the future is shaped by instinct and the absence of any preordained process.

The exhibition Lygia Pape offers visitors a chance to approach the artist’s output and to observe it from multiple vantage points, starting from analysis of her research, a synthesis of invention and contamination from which color, joy and sensuality emerge. Full and empty, presence and absence coexist, conveying Pape’s figure and continuous experimentation, sustained by an ability to combine materials and techniques through the use of unconventional modes and languages of expression. Seen as a whole, her research reveals the way each new project develops as a natural evolution of those that preceded it. These connections are highlighted in the display of the works, spreading through the three floors of the Foundation and linked together by a common root, a leitmotif that originates in observation of nature and its translation into signs.

The works on view include Livro Noite e Dia and Livro da Criação, among her most important pieces, books seen as objects with which to establish a relationship, condensations of mental and sensory experiences. The Tecelares, a series of engravings on wood, combine the Brazilian folk tradition with the Constructivist research of European origin. The exhibition also features Tteia1, the distinguished installation that embodies Lygia Pape’s investigation of materials, the third dimension and the constant drive towards reinvention and reinterpretation of her language.

Today her work still offers interesting tools for the interpretation of the issues of our present, in an approach based less on rules and more on spontaneity, applied by the artist has a key of interpretation to represent the world around us.

Lygia Pape fits coherently into the itinerary launched by Fondazione Carriero with imaginarii (September 2015), FONTANA • LEONCILLO Forma della materia (April 2016), FASI LUNARI (October 2016), PASCALI SCIAMANO (March 2017), Sol Lewitt. Between the Lines (November 2017 – June 2018, co-curated with Rem Koolhaas), and Giulio Paolini. del Bello ideale, exhibitions curated by Francesco Stocchi, all sharing the key factor of a dialogic approach and a constant focus on research and experimentation.

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