Revisiting foundational work by any great artist is always instructive. That of Lygia Clark’s first decade, from roughly 1948 to 1958, presages her radical sculptural and therapeutic experiments—the latter of which didn’t materialize until 1963, with Caminhando, a performance that invited viewers to cut Möbius strips from paper—and includes her breathtaking early paintings. Those years are the focus of an exhibition at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, which will be the artist’s first in Spain since the 1997 retrospective at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona. Through paintings and rarely seen figurative drawings, the curators will trace the artist’s development, from her training with Brazilian modernist architect Roberto Burle Marx to her brief but key period of study in Paris with Fernand Léger and her critical contributions to Concretism and Grupo Frente in Rio de Janeiro. Clark produced much of her groundbreaking art during the most repressive dictatorship in Brazil, making it all the more notable that she conceived of the world in spatial, participatory, and bodily terms from the very beginning.
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