"I have been feeling so miserable/anguished. I wake up very traumatized encroached by the unconsciousness."
Lygia Clark


Lygia Clark (Belo Horizonte, 1920 - Rio de Janeiro, 1988) began her art studies in 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, under the guidance of Roberto Burle Marx and Zélia Salgado. In 1950, Clark travels to Paris, where she studied with Arpad Szènes, Dobrinsky and Fernand Léger. During this period, the artist is devoted to studies , oils and drawings of stairs and her children as subjects. After her first solo exhibition at the Institut Endoplastique in Paris in 1952, the artist returns to Rio de Janeiro and exposes at the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Lygia Clark is one of the founders of the Grupo Frente, in 1954, dedicating herself to the study of space and the materiality of rhythm, she joins Decius Vieira, Rubem Ludolf, Palatnik, João José da Costa, among others, and presents her "Modulated Surfaces”, 1955-57 and "Planes on Modulated Surfaces”, 1956-58. These series commuted the painting away from the claustrophobic space of the frame. This is what Lygia wanted as line-light, as a module builder plan. Each geometric figure is projected beyond the limits of support, increasing the extent of their areas. Lygia is still active in 1954 with the series "Compositions", the Venice Biennale - which will be repeated in 1968 when she is invited to exhibit in a special room, all his artistic career to date.

In 1959, integrates I Neoconcrete Art Exhibition, signing the Neoconcrete Manifest alongside Amilcar de Castro, Gullar, Franz Weissmann, Lygia Pape, Reynaldo Jardim and Theon Spanudis. Clark proposes with her work that the painting no longer holds in its traditional form. Search new flights. In the "Units”, 1959, frame and "pictorial space" are confused, one invading the other, when Clark paints the frame of the screen color. This is what the artist calls "Organic Line" in 1954: the area also expands on the screen, separating one space, gathering and maintaining it as a whole.

The works wants to win the space. Working with the painting in the construction of new support for the object. These new propositions are born "Cocoons”, 1959. Made of metal, the material allows the plan to be doubled, assuming a three-dimensional search by the plan, leaving it closer to the space in the world. In 1960, Lygia created the series "Creatures" sculptures, made of aluminum, hinged, which promote interaction between the different parts that make up your "body". The viewer, now transformed into participant, is invited to discover the many ways that this open structure offers, manipulating their metal parts. With this series, Clark became a pioneer in participatory art in the world. In 1961, won the award for best sculpture at the Sixth National Biennial of Sao Paulo, with the "Creatures".

Lygia Clark leaves out the hard material (wood), through the flexible metal of Creatures, and reaches the rubber in “Soft Work”, 1964. The transfer of power from the artist to the proposer, has a new stage in "Walking”, 1964. Cut the ribbon meant, beyond the question of "poetics transfer” a disconnection from the tradition of concrete art as the "Tripartite Unity, 1948-49" by Max Bill, constructivist heritage icon in Brazil, was made symbolically a Moebius strip. This tape distorted in “ Soft Work" is now cut in "Walking". It was an extreme situation and early course of a new paradigm in the Brazilian Visual Arts. The object was no longer outside the body, but it was the very "body" that interested Lygia.

The trajectory of Lygia Clark makes it , a timeless artist and not a very well defined in the History of Art. Both she and her works are fleeing categories or situations that can't be easily packed, Lygia establishes a link with life, and we see this new state in her "Sensory Objects”, 1966-1968": a proposal to use objects of everyday life ( water, seashells, rubber and seeds), already points in the work of Lygia, for example, an intention of avoiding the place the viewer within the art institution, and bring it to a state where the world is shaped, becomes be changing.

In 1968 presents for the first time at MAM-RJ, "The House is the Body", an installation of eight meters, which allows the passage of persons on the inside, so they have a sense of penetration, ovulation, and germination and expulsion of the living. That same year, Lygia moved to Paris. The body desexualized is presented in the series "The I and the You: Cloth-Body-Cloth", 1967. A man and a woman wearing heavy plastic-coated uniforms and helmets that cover their eyes: the man wears the suit of the woman, and she, the man. By touching each other, are found cavities. Openings in the form of zippers, which allow tactile exploration, recognition of the body: "The closures are to me like scars of the body," say the artist in her diary.

In 1972 she was invited to teach a course on gestural communication at the Sorbonne. Her classes were real collective experiences anchored in the manipulation of the senses, transforming these young people into objects of their own sensations. It was from this time, the propositions "Biological Arquitetures”, 1969, "Elastic Net”, 1974, "Cannibalistic Slobber", 1973 and "Relaxation", 1974. They attempt to integrate art and life, incorporating the creativity of others and giving the proposer support for a voice. In 1976, Lygia Clark went back to Rio de Janeiro definitely. Then put aside, the experience with groups and enter a new era for therapeutic purposes, with an individual approach to each person, using the "Relational Objects": the duality of these objects (light / heavy, soft / hard, full / empty), Lygia deals with the "memory files" of their patients, their fears and weaknesses through the sensory. It is not limited to the aesthetic field, but especially to cross the territory of art. Lygia Clark moves out of the system which art is an integral part, because her attitude embodies, above all, an exercise for life. As Lygia states:

"If the person, after doing the series of things that I give, she can live in a more freely way , using the body in a more sensual and express themselves better, love better, eat better, that interests me at the bottom as a result much more than the thing itself that I propose to you“ (See The World of Lygia Clark, 1973, film directed by Eduardo Clark, PLUG Productions).

In 1981, Lygia gradually decreases the pace of her activities. In 1983 is published as a limited edition of 24 copies of the "Artwork Book”, a real open work that is accompanied by texts written by the artist and manipulable structures, the trajectory of Lygia's work since its first creations to the final neoconcrete phase. In 1986, takes place in the Imperial Palace of Rio de Janeiro, the IX Hall of Plastic Arts, with a special room dedicated to Helio Oiticica and Lygia Clark. The exhibition is the only major retrospective devoted to Lygia Clark still in artistic activity. In April 1988, Lygia Clark died.

Lygia Clark today

We live in a world media. We gradually loose first person contact with the object world. We changed the channel, we talk on a cell phone and withdraw money by powerful invisible forces.

The virtual world without limits, is taking the place of the physical world in our lives. We work, we live and play through screens, interfaces that tell us what to do and guide us where we want to reach.
Disturbed by the speed of this new world, we share our crazy through networks and social media, we seek to force the invisible power of the divine - religions, sects, rituals - and wake up every day due to information which is growing continuously.

The invisible forces of the online world can bring us great freedom (virtual), but can also oppress us: we live in fear of invisible enemies alike: Virus (computer or otherwise), bacteria, robbers, terrorists. We live in a safe locked, maintaining contact with the entire planet for windows machines.
Overwhelmed, afraid and confused, we need to express ourselves: we shouted war cries from hanks, we show in the webcams, we talk about ourselves for hours in chat rooms and transform the body into a billboard for our opinions.

Subtly crazy, look at instant relief in mystical drink as Daime, abused drugs, licit or not, and frenzied dance to the beat of drums (Samba, Candomble, Afroreggae, Stomp).

We paint our face (street demonstrations, sports arenas, carnival) Trying to simulate the life of the ancestors, who lived in a more simple, easy world to understand: enough food and protect the tribe.
That is, the primitive, today, gives us relief.

Lygia knew it. Her thoughts kept sealed this secret: the art had to be at the service of the liberation of the human being that now exists in cells, communities, profiles online.

Truly free, Lygia was ahead of its time, today is clear. Shared by transforming the body of another in the object of her art long before Web 2.0, where the agenda is to share.

The self imposed non-artist gave the art object in the hand of his interlocutor, as in "Walking," and stated that "art is his act." She founded the participatory art, interactive and shared since then.

Lygia unlocked the gates of the unconscious through her art and offered it as transcendental artistic expression. Sense objects and relational, among many other artifacts, opened a direct channel with the original interior (self, in the jargon of Lygia), creating a state of self-knowledge and revealing, so liberating.
The World of Lygia Clark today is the antidote to the poison of modernity. Makes the actual physical contact the revelation of self and other. It's cathartic and legitimate than a thousand words spoken in the classical psychoanalytic therapy. It's human contact that we seek shelter in the virtual world and, in fact, there we dont have.

Reset Lygia Clark is the restart world. Reset the world is restart Lygia Clark.


Born in Belo Horizonte on 23 October.

Rio de Janeiro. Takes part in Group Front, led by Ivan Serpa and formed by Helio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Aluísio Coal, Álvaro Siza Vieira, Franz Weissmann, Palatnik, among others.

Rio de Janeiro. Performs the series "Modulated Surfaces" and "Counter-Reliefs".

New York. Receives the Guggenheim International Award.

Rio de Janeiro. She is one of the founders of the Neoconcrete Group.

Rio de Janeiro. Teaches fine arts at the National Institute of Education of the Deaf.

Rio de Janeiro. Created the series "Creatures", geometric metal constructions that are articulated by hinges and require the participation of the spectator.

Rio de Janeiro. Creates the proposition "Walking", cut in a Moebius strip practiced by the participant.

Devoted herself to the sensory exploration in works like "The House is the Body"

Los Angeles. Participates in Symposium on Sensory Art.

Paris. She teaches at the Faculté d'Arts Plastiques St. Charles, at the Sorbonne, and her work converges to creative experiences with emphasis on the sense group.

Rio de Janeiro. Passing to devote herself to study the therapeutic possibilities of sensory art, working with relational objects.

São Paulo. Gives a lecture on "Lygia Clark's therapeutic method", with Luiz Carlos Vanderlei Soares, in Tuca.

Rio de Janeiro. Publishes "Artwork Book" and "My Sweet River".

Rio de Janeiro. The film "Memory of the Body", directed by Mario Carneiro, was exhibited for the first time.

Dies in Rio de Janeiro.