Myra Landau

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“We are social beings therefore we must always keep integration in mind: the balance, the rhythm, the harmony of the world, of men. […] This I believe is art.”

photo: artist's estate

Born in 1926 in Bucharest, Romania, Myra Landau was a self-taught artist and art researcher. After extensive travel, she moved to Brazil, where she met artists like Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Wesley Duke Lee, João Câmara and others who encouraged her to paint. Working at first in a figurative style, she eventually turned to abstraction, developing a style of her own, applying pastel directly on raw linen. One of her innovations was using the movements of free geometrical lines, a style which—as of 1965—she called Rhythms. In 1974, she moved to Xalapa (Mexico) to teach at the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Universidad Veracruzana and in 1975, she was promoted to the position of full-time researcher at the Institute of Aesthetics and Artistic Creation.

Landau had more than sixty individual exhibitions during her lifetime, among others in Mexico City (Museo de Arte Moderna – 1975, 1987; Galería Metropolitana – 1979), Paris (Centre Culturel du Mexique – 1983) and in New York (Henrique Faria Fine Arts – 2018). She also participated in at least 150 group exhibitions in Mexico, France, Italy, Brazil, Chile, Spain, the United States and Cuba. Myra Landau died in 2018 in Alkmaar (the Netherlands).

Ritmo Partido, 2005

pastel on raw linen, 49 x 80 cm
on  loan from the artist’s estate

Her first geometric work Ritmo (1965), eventually grew into an entire cycle. Using a combination of geometric aesthetics and free-flowing movement, she was able to create specific recurring sequences of lines and shapes, and in many respects, her works can be seen as related to the art of pre-Columbian textiles and codices. Throughout her entire life, her work consistently followed the themes of rhythm, space and time, which she portrayed using a variety of media.

Ritmo Intercambiable, 1974

pastel on raw linen, 4 pieces, 90 x 360 cm
on  loan from the artist’s estate