Lygia Pape was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in (DATE), and is a key figure in the Neo-Concrete movement. With concretism being the belief that “the significance of art transcends the work itself” and the “rejection of natural forms, lyricism and sentiment in the creation of art”, Neo-Concretism is the response, the belief that “Art represents more than the materials used to create. Art not only occupies the mechanical space, but it transcends it into something new.” (1)
Lygia Pape’s work, particularly her “Ttéia 1C” installation in her exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, London, is fascinating, beautiful and sublime to me. In that she experiments with 3-D space, straight lines, optical illusions and ideas of infinity, she connects with my fascination with Escher and is a huge inspiration for my sculpture work.
Upon entering her exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, the first thing a viewer sees is a film piece where a man climbs out of a white box on a beach – this showcases Pape’s unusual approach to abstraction. Shown on a blank white wall of the gallery are some of her earlier works, which include drawings and woodcut prints. In keeping with her apparent fascination of repeating lines and geometry, these works are reminiscent of musical scores, and in fact seem to reflect music itself.
Ttéia 1C concludes the exhibition. Created entirely from thread, nails, and lighting, it is based on experiments with geometry that Pape began in the 1970s. In the darkened room, prisms made from several of these threads are suspended between the walls, and lit up strategically so the result is gold and silver pillars of light that float through a black void, and appear infinite. It is an exploration of 3-D space, it is an exploration of movement, it is an exploration of transparency and translucency, and it is an exploration of the relationship between art and its viewer. As the viewer moves relative to the light source, the installation changes. No two viewpoints have the same experience of it. This element is particularly fascinating to me; the notion that an artwork can morph and transform depending on how one looks at it is enchanting.