Mira Schendel at Tate Modern


This was one exhibition where I knew I would purchase the catalogue before I had reached the final room of the show. I am saddened and frankly embarrassed that I had not heard of Mira Shendel until the Tate’s retrospective, those feelings are short-lived as she has inspired, surprised and uplifted me.

Schendel has something for everyone, lovers of Klee will see his influence, lovers of Letraset will be thrilled by the playful ‘anti-texts’ and lovers of sculpture (and those who aren’t) will be seduced by the delicate stalactite-like strands of nylon threads, in one room monolithic and pure, in another room, supporting translucent rice paper palimpsests.

Spray art pieces pre-dating Banksy and intricate watercolour Mandela’s, some with gold leaf, are off-set against large-scale canvases of flattened picture planes, experiments in tone and shadow, morbid colour pallets at times dour and oppressive do little to sully the feelings of awe and intrigue at passing from room to room.

Descriptions of works are pointless here, I urge everyone reading this blog to visit Tate Modern and be enlightened by the work of a female artist who I would, without hesitation, label a genius.


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