Portfolio of 5 Concrete Compositions, 1953
gouache and collage on paper
9 ½ x 6 ¾ in. (24 x 17 cm.) each
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Private Collection, Germany.
Ivan Serpa: Pioneering Abstraction in Brazil, exh. cat., Dickinson Roundell, New York, NY, 2012 (illus. pp. 36-37, pl. 15).
New York, NY, Dickinson Roundell, Ivan Serpa: Pioneering Abstraction in Brazil, 1 Nov. – 1 Dec. 2012.
Ivan Serpa was a key figure within the Brazilian Post-War Constructivist avant-garde. Serpa’s geometric work first attracted attention during the inaugural São Paulo Bienal in 1951, at which he was awarded the young painter prize for his large abstract composition, Formas. His Bienal success led to his appointment to head the newly founded art school at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, which became the progressive alternative to other more conservative institutions. Serpa’s open classes attracted numbers of his contemporaries as well as younger talents, and the resulting hotbed of interaction was pivotal to the formation of the Grupo Frente. This formal collective of Rio artists, dedicated to Concrete art, was founded and led by Serpa, and went on to exhibit together in the 1950s. Working in parallel with the Grupo Ruptura in São Paulo, Serpa’s Frente artists, including Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, and Hélio Oiticica, originated the Neo-Concrete movement.