Brazilian (1930-1999)


watercolor on paper, 19 3⁄4 x 19 3⁄4 inches,

signed "mauricio n. lima" and dated "59"

lower right.


Mauricio Nogueira Lima is a famous member of the latin-american Concrete art movement. lima

was among the first trained visual designers in his native Brazil and he became one of the country’s

best-known designers working as a painter, architect, graphic artist and teacher.

at the age of two, lima moved to Sao paulo with his family. from 1947-1950, he studied at the

institute of fine arts (ufrgS) in porto alegre. When he returned to Sao paulo in 1951, he took

courses in visual communication, industrial design and advertising at the institute of Contemporary


from 1953-1957, lima studied architecture at the mackenzie presbyterian university in Sao paulo.

in 1958, one of his first major corporate commissions came from programming committee of the

first international Textile fair.

in 1974, lima started teaching at various universities in Sao paulo. He earned a master’s and

doctoral degree in urban environmental structures at the university of Sao paolo. During the 1980s

and 1990s, he completed urban architectural commissions in public spaces such as roosevelt

Square, Sao Bento square and various subway stations in Sao paulo.

at the iCa, he met other notable artists including alexandre Wollner, antonio maluf and

Waldemar Cordeiro. Cordeiro, the leader of Concretism in Brazil, urged lima to join grupo

raptura in 1953, further associating lima with the Concrete art movement. grupo raptura was

one of two concrete art groups that formed in Brazil in the early 1950s. The Concrete artists

formed in response to modernism, a rejection of figurative painting and, for raptura, an embrace of

constructivist rationalism.

lima and his fellow Concrete artists, wanted to develop a type of art that was universal and

objective, thus, putting Brazilian art in an international context. They distilled paintings to planes, lines

and color. although the movement had a tremendous impact on the art that would follow, it was

ultimately short-lived. The ideals of the group were strong and polarizing, leading to the emergence

of neo-Concrete artists.

in the present untitled work, lima’s aptitude for strong graphic design is evident, as is the

connection to Op-art and other popular art historical movements in the 1950s and 60s. There is

nothing uniquely Brazilian about this work, instead it is appealing for its objective understanding of

the international modernism of its time.

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