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Maria Helena Vieira da SIlva ( 1908-1992 )

Vieira da Silva

Becoming increasingly more important each year. With a number of worldwide exhibitions also growing by the year, makes this a female artist who is becoming by the top 10 of female artists who created the most important post war contemporary art.

So she is a key postwar artist, Vieira da Silva’s early career in Paris among the avant-garde of postwar abstractionist lead to a storied contribution to modern painting. In the late 1920s, Lisbon-born Vieira da Silva came to the city to pursue formal arts training where she became established within the European abstract expressionist movement, Art Informel – a period which rejected American Ab-Ex exceptionalism and took to Eastern philosophy to reconsider standards of perception in modern painting. In Paris, she worked and lived among Cubist painters such as Joaquín Torres-García and Italian Futurists, whose styles became influential to her later signature style of maze-like tiling and depth-field play. During the 1940s following the start of the war, the artist moved from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, until 1947 before her eventual return to Paris.

Also influenced by contemporaries such as Fernand Leger, with whom she studied in her adolescence, Vieira da Silva cultivated a unique style of abstraction that broke rules of formalist tradition. Her representations responded to the impact of WWII atrocity on surrounding locales. Surveying street views and urban labyrinth – her paintings envisioned disorientation in the metropolitan modern perspective – they came to display a more globally-oriented and fragmented vision— reacting to the war’s onset of transnational displacement. has some Vieira da Silva publications available.

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