Mira Schendel

Swiss-Brazilian, 1919–1988

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Mira Schendel

Swiss-Brazilian, 1919–1988

812
Followers
Auction results
Filter auction results to compare past lots by medium, size, and more. Note that auction prices vary based on market specifics at the time of the auction and may not be indicative of the current gallery market. To get the best sense of value, pair the artist’s auction results with their career highlights like exhibition history, gallery representation, and presence in museum collections. For more information on how auction pricing differs from gallery pricing, check out this article.
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Phillips
Showing 173 results
Showing 173 results
Price not available
Untitled, 1919-1988
Sold on Nov 26, 2018
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
tempera and ink on paper
36 x 26cm
Realized Price
Price not available
Auction Sale
Nov 26, 2018
Christie's
Description
Mira Schendel (1919-1988) _Untitled_ signed 'Mira' (lower right) tempera and ink on paper 36 x 26cm. Executed in 1970
Untitled, 1919-1988
tempera and ink on paper
Nov 26, 2018
Christie's
Price not available
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
36 x 26cm
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Auction Sale
Nov 26, 2018
Christie's
Realized Price
Price not available
Description
Mira Schendel (1919-1988) _Untitled_ signed 'Mira' (lower right) tempera and ink on paper 36 x 26cm. Executed in 1970
No artwork image
Price not available
UNTITLED
Sold on Nov 15, 2018
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Artwork Info
Painting
mixed media on panel
50.2 by 40.3 cm
Realized Price
Price not available
Auction Sale
Nov 15, 2018
Sotheby's
Description
signed on the reverse mixed media on panel 19 3/4 by 15 7/8 in. 50.2 by 40.3 cm. Executed in 1960.
No artwork image
UNTITLED
mixed media on panel
Nov 15, 2018
Sotheby's
Price not available
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Artwork Info
Painting
50.2 by 40.3 cm
Estimate
Auction Sale
Nov 15, 2018
Sotheby's
Realized Price
Price not available
Description
signed on the reverse mixed media on panel 19 3/4 by 15 7/8 in. 50.2 by 40.3 cm. Executed in 1960.
No artwork image
Price not available
UNTITLED, FROM THE SERIES 'DATILOSCRITOS'
Sold on Nov 15, 2018
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
typewriting, transfer and ink on paper
36.3 by 50.8 cm
Realized Price
Price not available
Auction Sale
Nov 15, 2018
Sotheby's
Description
signed and dated 74, 3 ; also inscribed 1/a on the reverse typewriting, transfer and ink on paper 20 by 14 1/4 in. 36.3 by 50.8 cm. Executed in 1974.
No artwork image
UNTITLED, FROM THE SERIES 'DATILOSCRITOS'
typewriting, transfer and ink on paper
Nov 15, 2018
Sotheby's
Price not available
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
36.3 by 50.8 cm
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Auction Sale
Nov 15, 2018
Sotheby's
Realized Price
Price not available
Description
signed and dated 74, 3 ; also inscribed 1/a on the reverse typewriting, transfer and ink on paper 20 by 14 1/4 in. 36.3 by 50.8 cm. Executed in 1974.
Price not available
Untitled (from the series Toquinhos), 1919-1988
Sold on May 23, 2018
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Artwork Info
48.90 x 25 cm
Realized Price
Price not available
Auction Sale
May 23, 2018
Christie's
Description
Mira Schendel (1919-1988) Untitled (from the series Toquinhos) signed and dated 'Mira Schendel 72' (lower right) ecoline and letraset on paper 19 ¼ x 9 7/8 in. (48.90 x 25 cm.) Executed in 1972.
Untitled (from the series Toquinhos), 1919-1988
May 23, 2018
Christie's
Price not available
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Artwork Info
48.90 x 25 cm
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Auction Sale
May 23, 2018
Christie's
Realized Price
Price not available
Description
Mira Schendel (1919-1988) Untitled (from the series Toquinhos) signed and dated 'Mira Schendel 72' (lower right) ecoline and letraset on paper 19 ¼ x 9 7/8 in. (48.90 x 25 cm.) Executed in 1972.
Price not available
Untitled, 1919-1988
Sold on May 23, 2018
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
tempera and ink on paper
35.5 x 25.7 cm
Realized Price
Price not available
Auction Sale
May 23, 2018
Christie's
Description
Mira Schendel (1919-1988) Untitled signed 'Mira Schendel' (lower right) tempera and ink on paper 14 x 10 1/8 in. (35.5 x 25.7 cm.) Executed in 1970.
Untitled, 1919-1988
tempera and ink on paper
May 23, 2018
Christie's
Price not available
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
35.5 x 25.7 cm
Estimate
Auction Sale
May 23, 2018
Christie's
Realized Price
Price not available
Description
Mira Schendel (1919-1988) Untitled signed 'Mira Schendel' (lower right) tempera and ink on paper 14 x 10 1/8 in. (35.5 x 25.7 cm.) Executed in 1970.
BRL R$360,000
[Sem título] ,
Sold on May 30, 2017
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Artwork Info
Painting
tempera on burlap
16.0 x 24.0 cm
Realized Price
BRL R$360,000
Auction Sale
May 30, 2017
Bolsa de Arte
Description
[Sem título] ,
tempera on burlap
May 30, 2017
Bolsa de Arte
BRL R$360,000
Realized price
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Artwork Info
Painting
16.0 x 24.0 cm
Estimate
Auction Sale
May 30, 2017
Bolsa de Arte
Realized Price
BRL R$360,000
No artwork image
Price not available
Untitled
Sold on May 24, 2017
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
watercolor and ink on paper, in 3 parts
46 x 23.2 cm
Realized Price
Price not available
Auction Sale
May 24, 2017
Phillips
Description
No artwork image
Untitled
watercolor and ink on paper, in 3 parts
May 24, 2017
Phillips
Price not available
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
46 x 23.2 cm
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Auction Sale
May 24, 2017
Phillips
Realized Price
Price not available
No artwork image
Price not available
Untitled
Sold on May 24, 2017
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Artwork Info
acrylic, letraset and screws
22 x 22 x 8.3 cm
Realized Price
Price not available
Auction Sale
May 24, 2017
Phillips
Description
No artwork image
Untitled
acrylic, letraset and screws
May 24, 2017
Phillips
Price not available
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Artwork Info
22 x 22 x 8.3 cm
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Auction Sale
May 24, 2017
Phillips
Realized Price
Price not available
No artwork image
Price not available
Untitled
Sold on May 24, 2017
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
oil and Letraset on colored rice paper
47 x 22.9 cm
Realized Price
Price not available
Auction Sale
May 24, 2017
Phillips
Description
No artwork image
Untitled
oil and Letraset on colored rice paper
May 24, 2017
Phillips
Price not available
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
47 x 22.9 cm
Estimate
Auction Sale
May 24, 2017
Phillips
Realized Price
Price not available
$1,512,500
Sold on May 18, 2017
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Artwork Info
Work on Paper
rice paper
Realized Price
$1,512,500
Auction Sale
May 18, 2017
Sotheby's
Description
One of the most significant Latin American artists of the Twentieth Century, Mira Schendel is celebrated for her breathtakingly poetic expressions of material transience, which serve as a metaphor for the human condition. Exuding diaphanous fragility through an intricately entangled network of knotted Japanese rice paper, the present work is a preeminent example of Schendel’s most renowned body of work, known as the Droguinhas (Little Nothings). Named after the Brazilian slang expression for “nothing,” indicating something utterly worthless, the incredibly rare Droguinhas works were conceived as exercises in ephemerality and meaningless repetition. Extraordinarily rare, Schendel produced less than 10 examples of the Droguinhas during her lifetime, many of which are in the world's most renowned private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Of the series, the present work is distinguished as being among the largest and most complex configurations. Boasting an extraordinary provenance, the present work has remained for the past twenty years in the inimitable collection of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, whose taste and connoisseurship in the field of Latin American Art has consistently identified the most exceptional artists of our time. Further distinguished by its inclusion in a number of the seminal surveys of Latin American art of the past decade, the present work is an exceptional embodiment of the celebrated Droguinhas, and a beautiful example of Schendel’s intricately lyrical creations. Having spent her early years in Europe, Schendel fled fascist Italy for Brazil in 1949, eventually settling in Sao Paulo. There, she surrounded herself with a circle of fellow emigrants who shared her passion for philosophy, aesthetics, and existential theory. Through the influence of friends, including the Czech-born philosopher Vilem Flusser, the physicist Mário Schenberg and the psychoanalyst Theon Spanudis, Schendel began to pursue the realm of phenomenology, a theme that became increasingly prominent in her artistic output of the fifties and sixties. Her practice was radically galvanized when, in the early 1960s, Schendel was given a large quantity of rice paper by Mário Schenberg—a gift that would determine her medium, designate the nature of her art, and indelibly change the trajectory of her career. Reflecting on this revelatory transformation, Schendel commented: “I’m just going to give an idea of how the objects I made came about—in a way, out of chance and curiosity. I was once given a large amount of delicate Japanese paper. I stored it, not knowing what to do with it. I had no plans. It was given to me. “Do you want it?” “Yes.” Sometime later, about a year later, I started to work with that paper.” (the artist cited in Exh. Cat., New York, Museum of Modern Art, León Ferrari and Mira Schendel: Tangled Alphabets, 2009, p. 62) It was through sheer contingency—arriving in the form of an arbitrarily bestowed surplus of paper—that Schendel discovered the most defining works of her career. Having initially used the rice paper to create a series of transparent monotype drawings, Schendel was keenly aware of the paper’s gossamer sensitivity. While the monotypes explicitly exposed the frailty of the paper, the ensuing Droguinhas sought to disguise and subvert the paper’s weakness by tying it into a seemingly infinite mass of knots. As Adele Nelson observed in the present work, “The artist converted a seemingly fragile, two dimensional material (thin rice paper) into a bulky form. Although Droguinhas appears to almost float in space, the object’s materiality remains enigmatic, since the viewer is haunted by the first impression of the work as a hefty mass pulled down by gravity.” (Adele Nelson, “Mira Schendel: Droguinha [Little Nothing], 1966, in Exh. Cat., Austin, Blanton Museum, The Geometry of Hope: Latin American Abstract Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, 2009, p. 230) Embodying a visual record of physical activity, the present work elevates the status of handiwork to a point where gesture is the sole subject matter.  Such insistence on the body’s visceral gesture provides an inextricable link to the work of Eva Hesse, as both artists simultaneously evoke and negate bodily language, ultimately underscoring the inherent concept of "nothingness" in their work. As demonstrated in Hesse's hanging rope pieces and Schendel's Droguinhas, there is a paradoxical emphasis on process: "laborious effort has gone into the making of a nothing: Schendel through her repeated gestures of twisting and knotting the rice paper, and Hesse in the dipping of her ropes in latex and their subsequent intertwining, knotting, and suspending" (Denise Birkhofer, “Eva Hesse and Mira Schendel: Voiding the Body—Embodying the Void,” Woman’s Art Journal, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2010, p. 10) The fascinating linkage between two of the most profound female artists of the modern age is aptly reflected in Birkhofer's conclusion that "it is this state of paradox that unites [their] work: they are simultaneously somethings and nothings, corporeal and evanescent, like the body and unlike the body." (Ibid, p. 10)  In addition to the notion of transience, Schendel’s Drouguinhas are often interpreted as analogies for language and writing. In 2009, the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition Tangled Alphabets (a dual show on the work of León Ferrari and Mira Schendel) especially stressed the linguistic underpinnings of the Drouguinhas, arguing for a new text-based understanding of these works. The exhibition introduced a new way of viewing the Drouguinhas, where “each knot and twist is like a word that, when connected to others, builds up to form a string of words or a coherent phrase.” (Ibid, p. 8) In the Drouguinhas, however, such coherency is negated by the work’s indecipherable and convoluted form—thus, the language is rendered mute. Indeed, the holes and empty spaces in present work are hauntingly enchanting emblems of negation and absence. Suspended in the air, the “Little Nothing” bespeaks silence through its simple and overt redundancy: a colorless, formless body of matter frozen in its progression toward entropy. Indeed, this theme of gradual entropy is integral to Schendel's conception of the work, as dictated by their candid title. Reiterating her fundamental concern for ephemerality, she commented: “This was a transitory object; it could be made by anyone, twisting the paper into knots like that...Droguinha...an ephemeral object, something exposed to the world, to the elements, to dust, like our own lives.” (The artist in Exh. Cat., New York, Museum of Modern Art, León Ferrari and Mira Schendel: Tangled Alphabets, 2009, p. 62) The work’s guiding spirit, then, is its nuanced yet negated complexity preserved through an infinitesimal labyrinth of knots. An exquisite reflection of the phenomenological force behind Schendel’s work, the present work juxtaposes ideas of fragility and strength through various incarnations of line and shape, ultimately functioning as a poetic reminder of the forms of our own internal complexity and the forms of entanglement in which we live.
rice paper
May 18, 2017
Sotheby's
$1,512,500
Realized price
Reveal more
Artwork Info
Work on Paper
Estimate
Auction Sale
May 18, 2017
Sotheby's
Realized Price
$1,512,500
Description
One of the most significant Latin American artists of the Twentieth Century, Mira Schendel is celebrated for her breathtakingly poetic expressions of material transience, which serve as a metaphor for the human condition. Exuding diaphanous fragility through an intricately entangled network of knotted Japanese rice paper, the present work is a preeminent example of Schendel’s most renowned body of work, known as the Droguinhas (Little Nothings). Named after the Brazilian slang expression for “nothing,” indicating something utterly worthless, the incredibly rare Droguinhas works were conceived as exercises in ephemerality and meaningless repetition. Extraordinarily rare, Schendel produced less than 10 examples of the Droguinhas during her lifetime, many of which are in the world's most renowned private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Of the series, the present work is distinguished as being among the largest and most complex configurations. Boasting an extraordinary provenance, the present work has remained for the past twenty years in the inimitable collection of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, whose taste and connoisseurship in the field of Latin American Art has consistently identified the most exceptional artists of our time. Further distinguished by its inclusion in a number of the seminal surveys of Latin American art of the past decade, the present work is an exceptional embodiment of the celebrated Droguinhas, and a beautiful example of Schendel’s intricately lyrical creations. Having spent her early years in Europe, Schendel fled fascist Italy for Brazil in 1949, eventually settling in Sao Paulo. There, she surrounded herself with a circle of fellow emigrants who shared her passion for philosophy, aesthetics, and existential theory. Through the influence of friends, including the Czech-born philosopher Vilem Flusser, the physicist Mário Schenberg and the psychoanalyst Theon Spanudis, Schendel began to pursue the realm of phenomenology, a theme that became increasingly prominent in her artistic output of the fifties and sixties. Her practice was radically galvanized when, in the early 1960s, Schendel was given a large quantity of rice paper by Mário Schenberg—a gift that would determine her medium, designate the nature of her art, and indelibly change the trajectory of her career. Reflecting on this revelatory transformation, Schendel commented: “I’m just going to give an idea of how the objects I made came about—in a way, out of chance and curiosity. I was once given a large amount of delicate Japanese paper. I stored it, not knowing what to do with it. I had no plans. It was given to me. “Do you want it?” “Yes.” Sometime later, about a year later, I started to work with that paper.” (the artist cited in Exh. Cat., New York, Museum of Modern Art, León Ferrari and Mira Schendel: Tangled Alphabets, 2009, p. 62) It was through sheer contingency—arriving in the form of an arbitrarily bestowed surplus of paper—that Schendel discovered the most defining works of her career. Having initially used the rice paper to create a series of transparent monotype drawings, Schendel was keenly aware of the paper’s gossamer sensitivity. While the monotypes explicitly exposed the frailty of the paper, the ensuing Droguinhas sought to disguise and subvert the paper’s weakness by tying it into a seemingly infinite mass of knots. As Adele Nelson observed in the present work, “The artist converted a seemingly fragile, two dimensional material (thin rice paper) into a bulky form. Although Droguinhas appears to almost float in space, the object’s materiality remains enigmatic, since the viewer is haunted by the first impression of the work as a hefty mass pulled down by gravity.” (Adele Nelson, “Mira Schendel: Droguinha [Little Nothing], 1966, in Exh. Cat., Austin, Blanton Museum, The Geometry of Hope: Latin American Abstract Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, 2009, p. 230) Embodying a visual record of physical activity, the present work elevates the status of handiwork to a point where gesture is the sole subject matter.  Such insistence on the body’s visceral gesture provides an inextricable link to the work of Eva Hesse, as both artists simultaneously evoke and negate bodily language, ultimately underscoring the inherent concept of "nothingness" in their work. As demonstrated in Hesse's hanging rope pieces and Schendel's Droguinhas, there is a paradoxical emphasis on process: "laborious effort has gone into the making of a nothing: Schendel through her repeated gestures of twisting and knotting the rice paper, and Hesse in the dipping of her ropes in latex and their subsequent intertwining, knotting, and suspending" (Denise Birkhofer, “Eva Hesse and Mira Schendel: Voiding the Body—Embodying the Void,” Woman’s Art Journal, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2010, p. 10) The fascinating linkage between two of the most profound female artists of the modern age is aptly reflected in Birkhofer's conclusion that "it is this state of paradox that unites [their] work: they are simultaneously somethings and nothings, corporeal and evanescent, like the body and unlike the body." (Ibid, p. 10)  In addition to the notion of transience, Schendel’s Drouguinhas are often interpreted as analogies for language and writing. In 2009, the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition Tangled Alphabets (a dual show on the work of León Ferrari and Mira Schendel) especially stressed the linguistic underpinnings of the Drouguinhas, arguing for a new text-based understanding of these works. The exhibition introduced a new way of viewing the Drouguinhas, where “each knot and twist is like a word that, when connected to others, builds up to form a string of words or a coherent phrase.” (Ibid, p. 8) In the Drouguinhas, however, such coherency is negated by the work’s indecipherable and convoluted form—thus, the language is rendered mute. Indeed, the holes and empty spaces in present work are hauntingly enchanting emblems of negation and absence. Suspended in the air, the “Little Nothing” bespeaks silence through its simple and overt redundancy: a colorless, formless body of matter frozen in its progression toward entropy. Indeed, this theme of gradual entropy is integral to Schendel's conception of the work, as dictated by their candid title. Reiterating her fundamental concern for ephemerality, she commented: “This was a transitory object; it could be made by anyone, twisting the paper into knots like that...Droguinha...an ephemeral object, something exposed to the world, to the elements, to dust, like our own lives.” (The artist in Exh. Cat., New York, Museum of Modern Art, León Ferrari and Mira Schendel: Tangled Alphabets, 2009, p. 62) The work’s guiding spirit, then, is its nuanced yet negated complexity preserved through an infinitesimal labyrinth of knots. An exquisite reflection of the phenomenological force behind Schendel’s work, the present work juxtaposes ideas of fragility and strength through various incarnations of line and shape, ultimately functioning as a poetic reminder of the forms of our own internal complexity and the forms of entanglement in which we live.
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