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drawing of 3 chairs
drawing of 3 chairs

Lucia Nogueira, Untitled ©The Estate of Lucia Nogueira, courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London

Throughout her career, the sculptor Lucia Nogueira made drawings, often in ink and watercolour, and these are the focus of the first British exhibition devoted to the Brazilian-born artist since her death, at the age of 48, in 1998. Drawing was, for Nogueira, always an act of discovery.

Some works here are directly related to the forms of her sculpture and installation works - things dangle as if from the horizon or a washing line; forms are laid out in loose grids, or are isolated on the paper as they might have been in the emptiness of the gallery, without clear indication of scale or material.

While some drawings depict the kind of thing she often used in her sculpture - retorts and test tubes, plastic funnels and bits of science apparatus - others relate more to the transformations of an inner imaginary process: rows of buttons become heads, heads are suspended from the wires of headphones, or are transformed into laboratory glasswear. Bodies are reduced to blobs of black matter on a row of folding chairs.

Everything is figurative, everything an abstraction. In her art, the vulnerable, the delicate and the violent co-existed, often in a single work.The humorous and the sinister went hand in hand, even when she drew such an everyday form as a step-ladder, or an endless row of plus and equals signs, or a helicopter floating on thermals of yellow light. But many of the forms she drew were as unnameable as the objects she made.

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