Exposition Art Blog: Lygia Pape - Neo-Concrete Movement

Lygia Pape - Neo-Concrete Movement

Lygia Pape (7 April 1927 – 3 May 2004) was a prominent Brazilian visual artist, sculptor, engraver, and filmmaker, who was a key figure in the Concrete movement and a later co-founder of the Neo-Concrete Movement in Brazil during the 1950s and 1960s.Along with Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark, she was a formative artist in the expansion of contemporary art in Brazil and pushed geometric art to include aspects of interaction and to engage with ethical and political themes.
By the age of 20, Lygia Pape had joined the concrete art movement. The term "concrete art" was coined by the Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg in 1930.Concrete art intended to defend the objectivity of art though paintings that "have no other significance than [themselves]." It forbade the use of natural forms, lyricism, and sentiment.
After her involvement with the Grupo Frente Concrete artists, Lygia Pape transitioned into the short wave of Neo-Concrete art. In 1959 Pape was a signatory of the Neo-Concrete Manifesto, along with Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica.The Neo-Concretists believed that art represented more than the materials used to create, but that it also transcended these "mechanical relationships".The manifesto claimed that art does not just occupy mechanical space, but it "transcends it to become something new."Neo-Concrete artists aimed to create a new expressive space in which an artwork is a living being to have a relationship with and to experience through the senses. Thus, Neo-Concrete artworks usually required the viewer's active participation. It is through the presence and participation of the viewer that the artwork becomes complete.The Neo-concrete artists did not totally reject Concrete art. Concrete art remained the basis of Neo-concrete art, but it was reformulated. Neo-Concrete artists adapted concrete art's geometric shapes and transformed them into organic three-dimensional objects to be manipulated by participants and to be experienced sensorially. The works intended to counteract the urban alienation created by a modern society and integrate both the intellect and the physical body for meditative experiences.
In explaining her approach, Lygia Pape said:
 "My concern is always invention. I always want to invent a new language that's different for me and for others, too... I want to discover new things. Because, to me, art is a way of knowing the world... to see how the world is... of getting to know the world."
Pape specifically during her Neo-Concrete period was interested in the “proposal to ‘live the body.’”This phrase indicates Pape’s interest in how the physical body acts as our mediator for all sensual experiences. Pape sought to explore this idea of the body’s relation in space by creating multi-sensorial experiences in her artwork.Wikipedia

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