Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2010.447
People
Mira Schendel, Brazilian (Zurich, Switzerland 1919 - 1988 Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Title
Untitled
Classification
Drawings
Work Type
drawing
Date
1960-1970
Culture
Brazilian
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/336314
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Watercolor, metallic paint, fiber-tip pen on Asian paper
Technique
Painted
Dimensions
35.5 x 22 cm (14 x 8 11/16 in.)
Provenance
Mira Schendel created 1960s/70s, through inheritence; to artist's daughter, Ada Schendel, until 2010, sold; [through Galeria Millan, Sao Paulo, Brazil]; to Harvard Art Museum, May 2010.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund
Copyright
© Estate of Mira Schendel
Accession Year
2010
Object Number
2010.447
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
In this work colored pigment is laid down on the paper, wiped off, laid down again, and frequently (according to her daughter) the paper was ironed by Schendel in between paint applications. The result is a level of watery saturation in which it feels as if the fibers of the paper are practically drowning and swollen with pigment. The geometric design mimics mosaic work or tesserae, and this decorative rather than representational approach to the picture plane is redolent of a kind of Kabala-like decorative strategies. This drawing is notable for its verdant palette, which in its sprightliness summons all of the energies of spring. The silver disks that hover in the image, however, bring a mineral, earthly, and even "timeless" quality to the otherwise fleeting sensibility of the spring-like green. The drawing teeters and totters between these naturalistic references and sensibilities and a clear and strong interest in geometrical forms and the kind of all-over composition pioneered by an artist like Mondrian. The tension between the organic and the inorganic is a hallmark of Schendel's oeuvre, and this drawing is a wonderful example of her pursuit of the resolution of that which is putatively diametrically opposed.
Exhibition History

32Q: 1100 60’s Experiment, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 04/23/2015

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