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da Silva Maria Elena Vieira


Born on June 13, 1908, Maria Elena Vieira da Silva, Portuguese French painter, engraver, stained glass and mosaic artist, died on  March 6, 1992. She painted intricate, semiabstract architectural compositions. She married Hungarian painter Arpad Szenes [1897–16 Jan 1985] in 1930. — {Vieira viellira}
She arrived in Paris in 1928. She was impressed by the chequered tablecloths of the Bonnard paintings on display at the Galerie Petit, which influenced her later work; it was, however, sculpture that she first studied, under Émile-Antoine Bourdelle and then under Charles Despiau. She also studied from Roger Bissière. In 1929 she began engraving in S. W. Hayter’s Atelier 17 and started to design carpets for Dolly Chareau’s Art Deco interiors. The influence of Joaquín Torres García, whose work was exhibited at the Galerie Pierre Loeb in 1932, was also crucial. She exhibited in 1933 and 1937 with the Galerie Jeanne Bucher, finally achieving a distinctive style in which the diamonds and squares of Portuguese azulejos combine with metaphors of chessboards and card games (e.g. Chess Game, 1943). Receding perspectives create an impression of vertiginous, imploding spaces that progressively absorb and annihilate the human element.

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