Art Basel in Miami Beach has long been an essential destination for collectors of Latin American art, and devotees of Brazil’s Neo-Concrete movement will want to make a beeline for White Cube’s stand this week to see four works by Lygia Pape (1927-2004), whose estate the London-headquartered gallery has just started representing.
The works on view span half a century, from woodcut prints Pape made in the 1950s when she was affiliated with the Rio de Janeiro-based Grupo Frente, to a gold-plated copper sculpture created the year before her death. Following this capsule presentation in Miami, the gallery will organise its first solo show of Pape’s work at its Seoul location in spring 2024.
“As one of the most significant artists to emerge from the post-war Brazilian avant-garde, Lygia Pape’s place in the canon of modernism is assured,” Susan May, White Cube’s global artistic director, said in a statement. “Her work was, in many ways, ahead of its time, from forging new forms of geometric abstraction in the 1950s through to her performances and films of the 1960s and 1970s addressing themes of feminism, ecology and activism.”
Pape’s work spanning geometric abstraction, video, performance, installation and sculpture, was the subject of a major retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017. A solo show earlier this year at the Art Institute of Chicago focused on her early and innovative woodblock print works of the 1950s and 60s. In 2011-12, a major travelling survey was presented at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Serpentine Gallery in London and the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo.
“As we approach the centennial celebration of Lygia Pape’s birth, it is exciting for us to embark on this new partnership with White Cube,” Paula Pape, the artist’s daughter and the founder and president of Projeto Lygia Pape, said in a statement. “We are certain that our collaboration with the gallery will provide an exceptional opportunity to bring the artist’s visionary works to new audiences.”
White Cube, like many other larger and mega-galleries, has recently added the estates of important artists to its roster. Last week, it announced the representation of the Lynne Drexler archive, following rising interest in the Abstract Expressionist’s oeuvre among both curators and collectors.