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Luhring Augustine and Alison Jacques Gallery announce co-representation of Lygia Clark
Lygia Clark, Superficie Modulada, 1955-1957, Industrial paint on Eucatex, 24 5/16 x 36 1/16 inches (61.9 x 91.6 cm). Courtesy of Alison Jacques Gallery, London and Luhring Augustine, New York. © O Mundo de Lygia Clark-Associação Cultural, Rio de Janeiro.

LONDON.- Luhring Augustine, New York and Alison Jacques Gallery, London announced their co-representation of Lygia Clark. Lygia Clark (Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 1920 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1988) is one of the preeminent artists of the twentieth century, whose pioneering body of work reimagined the relationship between audience and the art object. Alison Jacques Gallery has exclusively represented Lygia Clark since 2010. Luhring Augustine in collaboration with Alison Jacques Gallery will present its first solo exhibition of the artist’s work in April of this year.

A founding member of the 1950s Brazilian Neo-Concrete movement, Clark proposed a radical approach to thinking about painting by treating its pictorial surface as if it were a three-dimensional architectural space. Her studies under the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx and the French modernist painter Fernand Léger were deeply influential in this regard. Throughout her lifetime, Clark would remain a seminal figure of the international avant-garde, impacting future generations of artists with her transformative ideas surrounding the body, its presence, and agency within a given environment.

Behind the cornerstone of her painterly and sculptural practice was her quest to discover what she described as the ‘organic line.’ For Clark, this line demarcated spatial and existential fields, and epitomized the separation between herself, art object, and audience. She placed great importance in dissolving these divisions in order to create situations of continuity and coalescence through her art. Experimenting with modulations of form, color, and plane, her early abstract works harbored compositions that challenged the canvas’s edge and extended the visual field of painting into the physical realm of the viewer.

Lines delineating the two-dimensional surface of Clark’s paintings would later find affinities with the creases and folds of her iconic Bichos, or critters. Constructed out of hinged metal planes, these versatile objects allowed for the audience to exercise authorship through participation. Clark’s reliance on the viewer to steer her sculptures through many possible configurations not only jeopardized the autonomy of the art object itself, but also reconfigured her art as a performative, time-based event. With each enactment, the viewer functioned as a surrogate for the artist, thereby merging their existence with the object’s reality in a network of interdependence.

The body’s fluidity within a spatial framework continued to be a source of exploration for Clark’s sensorial objects and therapy-based work. Shifting her focus towards phenomenology and what would later be termed social practice, she invited her audience to engage with objects that triggered sensations and personal memories, and heightened the viewer’s awareness of self. The universality in which these devices could be applied to a collective audience, yet elicit individual responses, appealed to Clark tremendously. Her search for the ‘organic line’ would culminate in her search for the organic body, leading her back to questions of continuity and relationality that preoccupied her early in her career.

Retrospective exhibitions dedicated to Lygia Clark’s work include the critically acclaimed exhibition Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art 1948-1988, curated by Connie Butler and Luis Pérez-Oramas, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2014; Lygia Clark: A Retrospective, curated by Felipe Scovino and Paulo Sergio Duarte, at the Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil in 2012; and Lygia Clark, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona in 1997, which travelled to the Musée d'Art Contemporain, Marseille, France; Serralves Foundation, Porto, Portugal; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium; and the Imperial Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Important solo and group exhibitions during Clark’s lifetime include the early São Paulo Biennials (1953-1967); the Second Pilot Show of Kinetic Work, curated by Guy Brett at Signals Gallery, London in 1962; and a presentation, alongside Mira Schendel, at the XXXIV Bienale di Venezia in 1968. Recent exhibitions include Making and Unmaking, curated by Duro Olowu at the Camden Arts Centre, London in 2016; Life Itself, curated by Daniel Birnbaum at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm in 2016; Lygia Clark: Work from the 1950s at Alison Jacques Gallery, London in 2016; Adventures of the Black Square, Abstract Art and Society 1915-2015, curated by Iwona Blazwick and Magnus Petersens at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London in 2015; and Lygia Clark: Estudos e Maquete, Alison Jacques Gallery, London in 2010. A major presentation of Clark’s work as part of The Shadow of Color, curated by Rita Kersting, is currently on view at The Israel Museum in Jerusalem through April 2017. Clark’s work will be featured in the upcoming exhibitions Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Collección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960 – 1985 at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles as part of the greater initiative Pacific Standard Time. Clark’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid; the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Modern Art Rio de Janeiro, among others.

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