20.09.2019 — 16.11.2019

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

En collaboration avec Waddington Custot Londres & Di Donna New York

Marais Space

I look at the street and at people walking on foot with different appearances advancing at different speeds. I think of the invisible threads which manipulate them… I try and see the machinery which organises them. I think this is in a way what I attempt to paint.

Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris, Waddington Custot, London, and Di Donna Galleries in New York are pleased to present a landmark travelling exhibition between France, Great Britain and the United States. In a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the three international galleries, the exhibition will present important works by the Portuguese-born painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, who was naturalized French in 1956.

Bringing together key paintings and works on paper from throughout the artist’s career, the exhibition will explore Vieira da Silva’s unique approach to depicting space through poetic, semi-abstract compositions. There is a labyrinthine quality to her paintings’ structures, which play with space and perspective and invite the viewer to roam within the multidirectional spaces, to penetrate a system that reveals the complexity of the world by exploring every viewpoint of it, including the most intimate. Vieira da Silva herself said, “Perspective is a way of playing with space. I very much enjoy looking at space and rhythms. There’s a connection between a city’s architecture and music. Both have long times and short times. Little windows and big windows.” Vieira da Silva’s works reflect the Play of the World, whose cards are ceaselessly reshuffled, like accumulations of knowledge and memories, shaping thoughts and dreams, sciences and games, laws and treaties… of theologies and astronomies.

Vieira da Silva became an integral member of the expressive abstract movement in Paris following the Second World War. Studying and assimilating the early Modern styles of Cubism, Geometric Abstraction and Futurism, she embraced ambiguity between lyrical and geometric form in amalgamations of illusionistic space and defined her own personalvisual vocabulary, unique in the world of painting.

As one of many émigré artists living in Paris in the post-war period,the infinite perspective of her compositions could be understood asrevealing Vieira da Silva’s fundamental exploration of space’s recesses and connections, be they intimate or distant. Setting down a loose convergence of lines, without any preconceived subject in mind, Vieira da Silva coaxes the eye to identify emergent images, based on her memories and an intuitive sense of rhythm and pattern. This fractured representation of reality creates a psychological space that captures how the mind recalls and restructures memory, referring to not only her life in Paris, but to the sensory experiences of her youth in Lisbon, famous for its streets of captivating tiles, and her keen eye for everything around her.

While there is an underlying structure and order beneath her works’ compositions, which maintain a sense of deep space and perspective, Vieira da Silva blurs the lines between representation and abstraction so that spaces reminiscent of familiar rooms or aerial city views never fully describe a single location or view, but a convolution of visited places. In today’s world, defined by ever-accelerating speed and uctuation, Vieira da Silva’s works remain relevant and contemporary for their evocation of a constantly renewed and mesmerising reality. We embark on a tour of parallel spaces that stand alongside one another, providing for each other in a never-ending musical ballet.

Vieira da Silva certainly paints her astonishment at being alive, moving, persevering, at opening up to light and exchanging with everything around her. In her paintings’ growing organic tissues, where lines cross over and over again, Vieira da Silva always finds new sources of light, the empty/full, the destination of unknown presence she has explored since the beginning of her work. In her works from the 70’s to the 90’s especially, an ascending trajectory becomes more evident, as if our lives were similar to the road less travelled.

Just a few years after Vieira da Silva’s arrival in Paris in 1928 she became acquainted with Jeanne Bucher, who was the first gallerist to show her work and to whom Vieira da Silva remained faithful through the generations, until her death in 1992. The gallery has been defending her work ever since. Through this important exhibition, and to underline the rare pictorial universe of a woman painter in an international context, the Paris gallery Jeanne Bucher Jaeger joins in collaboration with Waddington Custot and Di Donna Galleries. This unique exhibition toursthe three spaces, thus reshuf ing each time the cards of works that aredeeply contemporary for their global vision of a space made of countless interwoven connections.

Radio show dedicated to Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

practical informations

Marais Space

5 rue de Saintonge
75 003 Paris – France
T +33 1 42 72 60 42
F +33 1 42 72 60 49
info@jeannebucherjaeger.com

opening hours

Tuesday to Saturday
from 10 am to 7 pm

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Le jeu de cartes, 1937
Private collection

Oil on canvas with graphite
28,7 × 36,2 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Le feu d'artifice, 1939
Gouache on cardboard
29,7 × 29,1 in
Photograph by Jean-Louis Losi
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Lisbonne, 1940
Gouache on cardboard
16,5 × 19,3 in
Photograph by Jean-Louis Losi
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Figure de Ballet, 1948
Oil and pencil-draw
10,6 × 18,1 in
Photograph by Jean-Louis Losi
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Les figurants, 1948
Oil on canvas
7,5 × 10,7 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Le Palais des Glaces, c. 1948
Oil on canvas
15 × 18,1 in
Photograph by Jean-Louis Losi
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Sans titre, 1949
Oil on canvas
25,6 × 31,5 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Composition aux damiers bleus, 1949
Gouache on paper
18,1 × 24,4 in
Photograph by Jean-Louis Losi
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, L’oiseleur, 1949
Oil on canvas
13 × 21,7 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Normandie, 1949
Gouache on canvas
15,8 × 18,5 in
Photograph by Jean-Louis Losi
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Echec et Mat, 1949-50
Oil on canvas
35 × 45,6 in
Photograph by Jacqueline Hayde
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, La ville nocturne ou Les lumières de la ville, 1950
Oil on canvas
31,8 × 39,3 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Gris Corot, 1950
Oil on canvas
28,7 × 39,4 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Et puis Voilà..., c.1951
Gouache on paper
9,5 × 6,1 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, La garde des anges, 1950
Oil on canvas
23,62 × 36,22 in
Photograph by Jean-Louis Losi
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Sans titre, 1952
Oil on canvas
20,8 × 28,3 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Bibliothèque, 1952
Oil on canvas
28,7 × 36,2 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Sans titre, 1955
Oil on canvas
23,6 × 28,7 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Structure dynamique, 1956
Oil on canvas
23,6 × 28,7 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, L'eau, 1962
Tempera on paper
26 × 20,8 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Red houses, 1963
Tempera on canvas laid down on canvas
14,5 × 21,2 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Le chemin, 1963
Watercolor on paper
38,9 × 24,2 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Mémoire, 1966
Oil on canvas
44,9 × 57,5 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Artemis, 1968
Oil on canvas
15 × 21,6 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Irrésolutions Résolues VII, 1969
Oil and charcoal on prepared paper
76,7 × 38,1 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Le Chœur, 1971
Tempera on paper
12 × 11,2 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Cosí fan tutte, 1971
Watercolor, tempera and China Ink on paper
23,2 × 15,3 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, A la limite, 1972
Watercolor on paper laid down on canvas
22,8 × 48,4 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Le Jardin d'Ipomée, c. 1974
Watercolor on paper
11,8 × 12,9 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Ipogée, 1974
Gouache and tempera on paper
22,6 × 15,6 in
Photograph by Jean-Louis Losi
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Perspectives, 1981
Oil on kraft paper laid down on canvas
18,7 × 55,5 in
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Chemins de la Paix, 1985
Oil on paper mounted on canvas
35,04 x 45,67 in
Photograph by Jean-Louis Losi
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Vers la lumière, 1991
Oil on canvas
45,6 × 28,7 in