Our studio Sunday feature this week is Brazilian artist Lygia Clark. This artist was known for paintings and installation art. She also helped pioneer the contemporary notion of interactive art, creating works that viewers were invited to play with and manipulate within a gallery space.
Clark’s Rio de Janeiro studio looks super lush in the above photo. I love the fur rug that she’s sitting on – it lends the studio space an unusually opulent, cozy tone, far removed from the usual fluorescent lights and white concrete and plaster aesthetic that we see in studios today. The artist is surrounded by a series of geometric abstract paintings, and looks quite enthralled, holding up one of her canvases and observing it.
It’s cool to see an artist getting so hands-on with viewing her own work, even if she’s not working on it at the present moment. To Clark’s side is a table that’s holding some paint brushes and other supplies, and what looks like a book shelf above that. This photo dates back to sometime in the 1950’s, the decade in which Clark began her formal art practice. At the time, she was mainly concerned with painting and sculpture.
This whole studio space has a very homey, almost basement-studio feel to it. It reminds me of the modern studio of David Shrigley, where the space is clearly just a room in the artist’s home. Later in her career, Clark began to focus more on the sensory aspects of art viewing and experience, at one point moving entirely away from creating self-contained objects, into simply exploring viewer’s senses and feelings.
The concepts that Clark explored helped to pave the way for therapeutic art practices. The artist passed away in Brazil in 1988.