Tuesday, April 26, 2016

You say rod with a circle on the end of it and I say rod with a circle on the end of it

In the land of lookalikes, how astonishing is this? In 1956 Brazilian artist Ivan Serpa was experimenting with the idea of a series of rods ending in circles. According to the Auckland Art Gallery this was the same year that Gordon Walters made his first koru studies in New Zealand. Serpa and Walters both used gouache and cut-out paper collaging and they were both intensely interested in the earlier Swiss artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943). Other examples of Serpa’s work indicate that he came to the rounded end via a more abstract path than Walters’ reimaging of the koru form. With Auckland's exhibition of recent art from South America opening soon, perhaps there will be other examples of artists living in distant and very different countries coming up with similar solutions to formal challenges.

Images: top to bottom, Ivan Serpa  Gouache1956, Ivan Serpa Formas 1951 and Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Composition 1931