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In the retrospective exhibition on view throughout the summer in the Museum of Modern Art 53rd Street location, Lygia Clark’s oeuvre unfolds like a sinuous path of aesthetic and poetic decisions tending towards an exercise of political and social responsibility. Like in her seminal work “Caminhando”, from 1963, where the artist sat down with a pair of scissors and a Moebius strip that she kept slicing until the strips were too thin to be cut again, the visitor has to decide what is the path she is going to follow.

Organized around three chronological moments or “axes”, term chosen by the curators Cornelia Butler and Luis Pérez-Oramas and that refers to the importance of spatiality in the transformation of Clark’s work, the exhibition transits through more than 300 works. From her formative paintings in the concrete school of severe geometric abstraction, following the legacy of European avant-garde figures like Max Bill and Piet Mondrian, the visitor ––or “participant”, as Clark would have had it––can already sense the organicist concerns that led her to destabilize the traditional oppositions between naturalist representation and constructivist geometric composition.

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Lygia Clark exhibition view: multiple sculptures in a room

Courtesy: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Associação Cultural “O Mundo de Lygia Clark,” Rio de Janeiro.

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