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Lygia Clark

Lygia Clark was a Brazilian artist best known for her painting and installation work. She was often associated with the Brazilian Constructivist movements of the mid-20th century and the Tropicalia movement. Even with the changes in how she approached her artwork, she did not stray far from her Constructivist roots. Along with Brazilian artists Amilcar de Castro, Franz Weissmann, Lygia Pape and poet Ferreira Gullar, Clark co-founded the Neo-Concretist art movement. The Neo-Concretists believed that art ought to be subjective and organic. Throughout her career trajectory, Clark discovered ways for museum goers (who would later be referred to as “participants”) to interact with her art works. She sought to redefine the relationship between art and society. Clark’s works dealt with inner life and feelings.

In 1920, Lygia Clark was born in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais Brazil. Clark became an artist in 1947. In this year, she moved to Rio de Janeiro to study with Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Between 1950 and 1952, she studied with Isaac Dobrinsky, Fernand Léger and Arpad Szenes in Paris. In 1953, she became one of the founding members of Rio’s Frente group of artists. In 1957, Clark participated in Rio de Janeiro’s first National Concrete Art Exhibition.

In the first decade of her career, Clark devoted her time to painting and sculpture. In the early 1970s, she taught art at the Sorbonne. During this time, Clark also explored the idea of sensory perception through her art. Her art became a multi-sensory experience in which the spectator became an active participant. Between 1979 and 1988, Clark moved more toward art therapy than actually creating new works. She used her art therapy to treat psychotic and mildly disturbed patients. Clark returned to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1977. In 1988, she died of a heart attack in her home.

Some critics say her artwork presaged the modern digital information era. Her later works were more abstract and holistic with a focus on psychotherapy and healing.

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