Sem título, da série Monotipias [Untitled, from the series Monotypes]
47.4 cm x 22.9 cm (18 11/16 in. x 9 in.)
(Zurich, Switzerland, 1919 - 1988, São Paulo, Brazil)
Latin America, Brazilian
Medium and Support:
Oil on rice paper
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Thomas Cranfill, 1980
As a European immigrant to Brazil, a student of philosophy, and a bibliophile, Mira Schendel had more of an affinity to poets, theologians, and scientists than to her fellow Brazilian artists in the 1950s, when Concrete Art dominated her local art scene. A gift of Japanese rice paper in the mid-1960s began an important series of investigations for the artist, and for several years she abandoned painting and began making monotypes like this work. Marks that appear to be sentences, equations, numbers, letters, and punctuation become completely abstract and unable to convey meaning as conventional language, thus signaling the difficulty of communication and translation.