Mary Vieira (1927–2001) was a Brazilian sculptor. She was the first Brazilian artist to win the São Paulo Art Biennial (during the second edition). She was born in and brought up in Minas Gerais. She studied with Alberto da Veiga Guignard in Belo Horizonte. In 1947, she exhibited in Belo Horizonte Municipality’s Hall of Brazilian Young Artists, and in the following year she made the first maquettes of a dynamic oeuvre where the aesthetic experience is solidly integrated to a direct and co-creative participation of the usufructuary.
Mary Vieira in Europe
In 1951, Mary Vieira settled in Europe where she met Italian poet and critic Carlo Belloli. In 1953, the artist is given the Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Modern Art “Brazilian Sculpture” Award in São Paulo’s 2nd Biennial. Invited by Max Bill, she participates in Swiss Group Allianz’s last exhibition. In 1957, Mary Vieira married Carlo Belloli, intensifying a key intellectual dialog for her aesthetic journey. The couple lived and worked between Switzerland, Italy, and Brazil. In Europe, she delved into her proposals of dynamic shaped sculptures that are successively classified as: monovolumes, multivolumes, polyvolumes, and intervolumes. The artist is recognized by international critics as one of kinetic art’s major representatives. In 1966, she was given the “International Marinetti Award for Plastic Research on Kinevisual Expression” on the occasion of the 20th foundation anniversary of the “Salons des Réalités Nouvelles” in Paris’s Municipal Museum of Modern Art.
Mary Vieira around the world
Many of her art pieces are installed in public places in Brazil, such as Belo Horizonte’s Rio Branco Square; São Paulo’s Ibirapuera Park; and Brasília’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and abroad, such as the Basel University Library; Italy’s Monte Castello; and in Zurich’s Lake Seefeldquai Park. Further to her sculptures, she developed a number of projects as urbanist, graphic designer, and teacher. She took part in individual as well as collective exhibitions in Europe, Brazil and United States, being awarded a number of important prizes for her work. Mary Vieira died in Basel in 2001.
Mary Vieira and her work
"Mary Vieira used to call herself a plastic ideaer. She anticipated divisions between the categories of drawing, painting, sculpture and architecture would be extinguished, and considered interdisciplinarity to be key for the evolution of art. The main concepts in her work are absolutely contemporary. Taking along some models she had idealized before in Brazil, she moved to Switzerland in 1951. In 1952, she was invited to publish the Zeiten einer Zeichnung series for Spirale, major concretist publishers of the time. And there lies the whole essence of her oeuvre, which unfolds from concretism to kinetic art, or, more precisely, to cinevisualism. As Italian critic and poet Carlo Belloli pointed out, Mary Vieira’s oeuvre summons the spectator to art. The coherence, the precision, and the comprehensiveness of the artist’s aesthetic view have never been totally displayed in her home country. Mary Vieira – O Tempo do Movimento is the opportunity to revive this international artist who, according to Markus Kütter, has always carried her Brazilian origin as a veil about her." Denise Mattar, Curator
Mary Vieira and her archive
The Mary Viera Archive is managed by Isisuf - Istituto Internazionale di Studi sul Futurismo, Milano, Italy
- Brazilian sculpture from 1920 to 1990 : a profile. Washington, D.C.: Cultural Center, Inter-American Development Bank. 1997.
- Mattar, Denise (2005). Mary Vieira : o tempo do movimento : Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo, 29 de janeiro a 27 de março de 2005. São Paulo: Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. ISBN 8598251054.
- Mary Vieira, Burle Marx : MCMLXX Bienal de Veneza XXXV, Brasil=MCMLXX Biennale di Venezia XXXV, Brasile. Milan, Italy: Alfieri + Lacroix. 1970.