Bicho Linear, 1960
Private Collection, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, acquired from the Artist.
Private Collection, Belo Horizonte, acquired from the above in 1999.
Private Collection, Belo Horizonte, acquired from the above in 2003.
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Associação Cultural O Mundo de Lygia Clark.
Famous for having claimed to ‘abandon art’ before becoming a founding member of Brazil’s Grupo Frente, Lygia Clark moved to Paris in 1950 where she studied under Isaac Dobrinsky, Fernand Léger and Arpad Szenes for the next two years, before returning to her home in Rio de Janeiro. There, she transitioned swiftly from conventional painting to gestural abstraction, moving towards more organic and unrestricted shapes and planes. Clark’s efforts helped to usher in the Neo-Concrete movement, a splinter group of Brazilian Concrete Art, which brought more sensuous colour and greater poetry. Throughout her career Clark sought to further the psychological interaction between her art and her viewers, focusing on her own feelings and experiences.
From 1959 into the 1960s Clark made a series of geometric, hinged aluminium sculptures she titled Bichos – Portuguese for ‘creatures’ – such as this example. In 1960 the artist explained: ‘I gave the name Bichos to my works of this period, because their characteristics are fundamentally organic. Furthermore the hinge between the planes reminds me of a backbone’ (quoted in C. Butler & L. Pérez Oramas, Lygia Clark: The abandonment of art, 1948 – 1988, New York, NY, 2014, p. 160). Clark’s fascination with hinges stemmed from her interest in the joints between doors and windows, and in the intersecting bones of a body. The Bichos were designed to be manipulated by hand, which allows them to take many forms determined through the active participation of the viewer. Clark observed: ‘The Bicho has its own circuit of movements that reacts to the beholder’s stimuli. It is not composed of still, independent forms that can be indefinitely handled at will, as in a game. On the contrary, its parts are functionally related to each other, as in a real organism. Their movement is independent’ (quoted in op. cit., p. 160)