As one of the protagonists of the concrete and neoconcrete movements in Brazil, Lygia Pape (1927–2004) has had an undeniable impact on the development of conceptual and non-figurative art. Ttéia 1,C is connected to Pape’s longstanding interest in liberating the artwork from a static form. Its title is a Portuguese pun on teia (web) and teteia (something or someone of grace).
Ttéia started as an experiment
In 1978 Lygia Pape started to experiment arranging strings together with her students. The investigations which took place in the Parque Lage Gardens in Rio de Janeiro were the beginning of the Ttéias, although the first installation, Ttéia 1,A was not to be realized until 1991.
The Ttéias are constructed by the geometric installation of silver or gold-coloured threads in a space, either from the floor to the ceiling or across the corner of a room. The groups of thread that course through space are also staggered, and some actually intersect others, literally weaving through the air. Other groups of threads simply appear to intersect.
The installations blend the real and the imaginary, letting the viewer discover the work through interaction and inspection. The word ‘ttéia’, which Pape created, is an elision of the Portuguese word for ‘web’ and ‘teteia’, a colloquial word for a graceful and delicate person or thing.
The Ttéias recalls Pape’s enduring spatial investigations, and the the references to weaving can also be seen in her woodcut series Tecelares (1951–1960), created at the verge of the Neo-Concrete movement.
Lygia Pape 1927–2004
Lygia Pape worked in several media, often simultaneously, including painting, woodcuts, sculpture, film and performance. She belonged to the Rio de Janeiro-based Grupo Frente, before signing the Neo-Concrete manifesto in 1959. Lygia Pape transcended boundaries with her occasionally provocative experiments, as in 1967, three years after the military coup, when she showed Caixa das baratas (Box of Cockroaches) in an exhibition organised by her friend Hélio Oiticica.
In 1980, Pape took a Master’s degree in philosophy at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and in 1983, she was appointed professor at the art department at the same university. From 1972 to 1985, Pape taught semiotics at the school of architecture at Universidade Santa Ursula in Rio.
Her works have been featured in numerous international exhibitions, including the seminal “Konkrete Kunst” in Zürich in 1960. One of her more recent solo exhibitions was “Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms” at the Met Breuer in New York in 2017. The installation Ttéia 1,C (2003/2012) was shown at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.
This spring, we will also show the exhibition Conctrete Matters.