Lydia Okumura

Lydia Okumura

Lydia Okumura was born in 1948 to Japanese parents in São Paulo, Brazil. In the 1970s, influenced by the new art movements in Japan and North America, she initiated the first Conceptual Art show in Brazil with fellow students at the SESC Vila Nova in São Paulo. As part of the collective Equipe3, along with Genilson Soares and Francisco Iñarra, Okumura was invited to participate in the 1973 São Paulo Biennial, for which they created a site-specific abstract environment, Points of View. This formative early installation was a precursor to Okumura’s sustained investigation of the intersections between two- and three-dimensional space, creating precise geometric illusions through modest interventions.

Okumura moved to New York in 1974, where she attended the Pratt Graphics Center and collaborated on Sol LeWitt’s Minimalist wall drawings, to which her own works have been compared. Okumura creates her ‘Situations’ by painting directly on walls, connecting geometric shapes with pieces of string and drawn graphite lines that result in deceptively simple optical illusions. As the artist explains, “I longed to combine the idea of dimensions – from three-dimensional to flat surfaces – to multi-dimensions perceptible by the mind”.

Okumura participated in five São Paulo Biennials between 1973-84, as well as numerous gallery and institutional exhibitions across the US and Latin America, including a solo show at the Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo in 1984. Okumura received her first touring US retrospective in 2016, which started at UB Art Galleries, Buffalo, NY before travelling to the Weber State University in Utah, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona.

Okumura’s works are included in the permanent collections of major institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museo de Arte Moderna, Brazil; Museum of Belas Artes, Venezuela; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan; Akron Art Museum, Ohio and University of Buffalo Museum, NY.

Awards

1978


Purchase Prize, International Graphics Biennial, Fredrikstad, Norway


Annual Prize, Pratt Graphics Center Annual Exhibition, New York, NY, USA


 


1977


Biennial Prize, International Biennial of São Paulo, Brazil


 


1973


Secretaria de Arte, Cultura e Turismo Prize, International Biennial of São Paulo, Brazil




1972


Annie Alvares Penteado Annual Prize, FAAP, São Paulo, Brazil 


Acquisition Prize, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil




1971


Incentive Prize, Jovem Arte Contemporânea – Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil


Solo exhibitions

2019


Lydia Okumura: Volume ’84, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, UK


Lydia Okumura: Dimensions, Galeria Nuno Centeno, Porto, Portugal


 


2018


Lydia Okumura: Situations, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ, USA


  


2017


Dentro, o que existe fora, Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo, Brazil


Five Sides and Other Dimensions, BROADWAY 1602 UPTOWN & HARLEM, New York, NY


Lydia Okumura: Situations, Weber State University, Ogden, UT, USA


 


2016


Lydia Okumura: Situations, UB Art Galleries, Buffalo, NY, USA


Uprooting Architecture: 1.000.000mm3, Ideobox Artspace, Miami, FL, USA


 


2015


The Disappearance of Perspective, BROADWAY 1602 UPTOWN & HARLEM, NY/Wentworth House Garden, Norfolk, CT, USA


In Front of Light, Centro Cultural Vergueiro, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


2004


Recent Circular Paintings, Galeria Deco, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1995 


Recent Paintings, Museu de Arte de Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1993


Recent Works on Paper, Galerie d’art Jean-Claude Bergeron, Ottawa, Canada


 


1991


Recent Paintings, Kate Art Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil


 


1984


Architectural Metapho-Objects and Installations, Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, Brazil 


Installation and Paintings, Galeria São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 


Installation and Paintings, Condeso & Lawler Gallery, New York, NY, USA


 


1983


Installation: Work on Paper, Utsubo Gallery, Osaka, Japan


 


1982 


Installation and Paintings, Condeso & Lawler Gallery, New York, NY, USA


 


1981 


Installation at Espaço Arena, Museu de Arte de Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1980


Installation and Works on Paper, Watari Gallery, Tokyo, Japan 


 


1979 


Installation and Works on Paper, Utsubo Gallery, Osaka, Japan


Installation and Works on Paper, Guinzakaigakan Gallery, Tokyo, Japan


 


1978 


Installation and Works on Paper, Nobe Gallery, New York, NY, USA


Installation: Inversion Plus on Both Sides, Cayman Gallery, New York, NY, USA


 


1977


Graphics and Works on Paper, Nobe Gallery, New York, NY, USA


Registros de Experiencias 1971-1977, Galeria do SESC Vila Nova, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1968


Assemblage-Relief-Paintings, Varanda Galeria de Arte, São Paulo, Brazil 


Group exhibitions

2019


Negative Space: Trajectories of Sculpturecurated by Peter Weibel, Daria Mille and Anett Holzheid, ZKM KarlsruheGermany


Women Geometers, curated by Adriana Herrera, Atchugarry Art Center, Miami FL




2018


Matriz do Tempo Real, MAC USP, São Paulo, Brazil


Dialectics of Entanglement: Do We Exist Together?, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY, USA


Land of Lads, Land of Lashes, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, UK


Light, Line, Color, and Space, UB Art Galleries, Buffalo, NY, USA


#iff2018, Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil


 


2017


Für Barbara, The Hall Foundation, Derneburg, Germany 


Minimalist Anyway, White Rainbow Gallery, London, UK 


Pedra no Céu, Museu Brasileiro de Escultura, São Paulo, Brazil


 


2016


Inaugural Exhibition, BROADWAY 1602 UPTOWN & HARLEM, New York, NY, USA


 


2015


Pinta Art Fair, Saludarte Foundation, Miami, FL, USA
Metáforas Construidas, Galeria LaCometa, Bogotá, Colombia


SIDESHOW NATION II, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, USA


 


2014


LAND OF SUNSHINE, Japanese-Brazilian Artists from the Ricardo Akagawa Collection, Prefecture Museum, Gunma, Japan


Points of View 1973-2014, with Equipe3, Museu do Solar de Marquesa, São Paulo, Brazil


Contra o estado das coisas-anos 70, with Equipe3, Jaqueline Martins Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil


ULTRAPASSADO II, BROADWAY 1602 UPTOWN & HARLEM, New York, NY, USA


ULTRAPASSADO I, BROADWAY 1602 UPTOWN & HARLEM, New York, NY, USA


SP-Art Fair, Galeria Jaqueline Martins Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil


Sideshow Nation II, Alamo, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, NY, USA


 


2011 


Shaped Painting, Onetwentyeight Gallery, New York, NY, USA


 


2010


Salvador Allende Collection, Museu de Solidariedad, Santiago, Chile; Museu Afro-Brasileiro, São Paulo, Brazil


 


2009 


Objeto Imaginado, Centro Cultural Vergueiro, São Paulo, Brazil


Cultura Japonesa na Arte Brasileira-Abraços na Arte: Brasil Japão, Palacete das Artes Rodin Bahia, Salvador, Brazil 


 


2008


Contemporary Art Yokohama-São Paulo Art Project, Iwasaki Museum, Yokohama, Japan


100 Anos de Arte Nikkey do Brasil, CCBB, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, Brazil; Museo Brasileiro de Escultura MUBE, São Paulo, Brazil 


Laços do Olhar, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil


Nipo-brasileiros no acêrvo, Museu da Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, Brazil


Arte Brasil-Japão Moderno e Atual, MAC/USP Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, Brazil


 


2005


Other Dimensions of Abstract Art, Gallery Onetwentyeight and Tribes Gallery, New York, NY, USA


 


2004


Generations.04, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY, USA


 


2003


Gerações: a arte contemporânea nipo-brasileira, Espaço de Art, Unicid University/Museu da Casa Brasileira, São Paulo, Brazil


 


2001


Arte nipo-brasileira, momentos, Galeria Euro-Art Castelli, São Paulo, Brazil 


Fetish-istic, Gallery Onetwentyeight, New York, NY, USA


 


1999


Perspectives, Paintings and Installations from Brazil, USA and Norway, Onetwentyeight Gallery, New York, NY, USA; Atelier Coletivo de Olinda, PE, Brazil 


 


1998


Traços e formas, Jo Slaviero Galeria de Arte, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1997


Onetwentyeight Gallery, New York, NY, USA


Contemporary Japanese-Brazilian Painters, Oficina des Artes Santa Helena, Jacareí, São Paulo, Brazil 


Japanese/Brazilian Women’s Exhibition, Museu de Arte Nipo-Brasileiro, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1996


Interiores, Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 


Contemporary Japanese-Brazilian Art Traveling Exhibition, Museums in São Paulo, Brazil and Niigata, Tokushima, Gifu and Tokyo, Japan


 


1995


Contemporary Japanese/Brazilian Artists, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 


Five Contemporary Artists, Toki Art Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil


Mares Nevegados, Mosteiro dos Jerônimos, Lisbon, Portugal


Women’s Global Vision, Aba Gallery, New York, NY, USA


XIV International Drawing Exhibition, Mirò Foundation, Barcelona, Spain


 


1994


O desenho moderno no Brasil, Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 


Xilografia: do cordel `a galeria, Companhia do Metropolitano de São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1993


Portugal-Japão 450 anos de Amizade, Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, FAAP, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1991


The Awakening/El Despertar, The Discover Museum, Bridgeport, CT, USA


 


1990


Latin American Biennial, Latin Art CA ’90, Lavalin Gallery, Montreal, Canada


 


1989


Invitational: Salão de Arte Contemporânea de Campinas, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1988


80th Anniversary of the Japanese Immigration, 40 Artists, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Sço Paulo, Brazil 


Arte em Jóias, Luiz Carlos Okubo + Galeria Sculptura, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília and Tokyo 


 


1987


Conexus, Connection Project, Museum Contemporary Hispanic Art, New York, NY, USA


Art of the Americas, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, USA


Eminent Immigrants, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Staten Island, NY, USA


 


1986


Artists for Artists, Forefront Gallery, Long Island City, NY, USA


 


1985


Exuberant Abstraction, Modern Art Consultants, New York, NY, USA


Today’s Art of Brazil, The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan


 


1984


10 Artists of Latin America, International House, New York, NY, USA


Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand Retrato e auto-retrato da arte brasileira, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1983


Painting Installation, 17th International Biennial of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Center for Inter-American Relations, New York, NY, USA


Condeso/Lawler Gallery, New York, NY, USA


Hispanic Achievement in the Arts, Equitable Gallery, New York, NY, USA


The Japan Dynasty ’83, The Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, USA


 


1982


Center for Inter-American Relations, New York, NY, USA


Central Hall Artists Gallery, New York, NY, USA


 


1981 


Contemporary Art of Latin America, The National Museum of Osaka, Japan


Form, Inform and Recreate, The International Biennial of Medellín, Colombia


The Shaped Fields: Eccentric Formats, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY, USA


 


1980 


Installation/Two Artists, Pratt Institute Gallery, New York, NY, USA


A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY, USA


 


1979


Installations - Cecile Abish, Kazuko, Lydia Okumura, Nobe Gallery, New York, NY, USA


From Tokyo to SP - Installation, 15th International Biennial of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 


Three Artists: Equipe3, Cranbrook Academy of Arts, Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA


Recent Acquisitions, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA


Contemporary Art Festival, Daegu, Korea 


 


1978


Creative Artists Public Service Grantee Exhibition, New York, NY, USA


Four Artists Installation, Barbara Schwartz Residence, New York, NY, USA


International Exhibition of Original Drawings, Museum of Modern Art, Rijeka, Yugoslavia 


Imigração 70, SESC Campestre, São Paulo, Brazil


 


1977


XII International Graphic Arts Biennial, Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia


In Front of Light Installation, 14th International Biennial of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


III International Biennial of Drawings, Vienna, Austria


Annual Exhibition, Pratt Graphics Center, New York, NY, USA


Prints from the Collection, donated by Yara Cohen, Museu da Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil


 


1976


Decade of ‘70s, CAYC, Buenos Aires, Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo, Brazil 


Annual Exhibition, Pratt Graphics Center, New York, NY, USA


XV International Drawing Exhibition, Miró Foundation, Barcelona, Spain


IV International Biennial of Graphic Arts, Kraków, Poland 


V International Biennial of Drawings, Rijeka, Yugoslavia


III International Biennial of Graphics, Fredrikstad, Norway


IV International Graphics Biennial, Freshen, West Germany 


Iman: New York, Center for Inter-American Relations, New York, NY, USA


SALALM, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA


 


1975


Equipe3 Installations, Estudio Actual Gallery, Caracas, Venezuela 


XI International Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia


XIV International Drawing Exhibition, Miró Foundation, Barcelona, Spain


Brazilian Art Festival, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL, USA


 


1974 


Prospectiva, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil


Inverted Rainbow, Salão de Arte Contemporânea de Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil 


Annual Exhibition, Pratt Graphics Center, New York, NY, USA


 


1973


Equipe3: Pontos de Vista, 12th International Biennial of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


International Biennial of Graphic Art, Puerto Rico 


Triptychs and Sculpture, Galeria Eucatexpo, São Paulo, Brazil


 


1972


Jovem Arte Contemporânea, Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil


Acontecimentos 7.04.1972 - 9th Aniversário, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil


National Biennial of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


Incluir os Excluidos - Equipe3, VI Jovem Art Contemporânea (JAC), Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1971


Identity: Five Conceptual Artists Exhibition, SESC-Vila Nova, São Paulo, Brazil 


Equipe3: Restaurarte, IV Salão de Arte Contemporânea de Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil 


Annual de Artes Plásticas da FAAP, São Paulo, Brazil 


 


1970


III EXPO de Arte Contemporânea, Colégio Maria Imaculada, São Paulo, Brazil


 


1969


Two Artists Exhibition, Galeria Hobjeto, São Paulo, Brazil


Coletiva de Inauguração, Galeria Acervo, São Paulo, Brazil; Salão Seibi; Galeria Objeto


Salão de Arte Contemporânea do Grupo Seibi, Aliança Cultural Brasil Japão, São Paulo, Brazil


 


1968


Salão de Arte Contemporânea do Grupo Seibi, Aliança Cultural Brasil Japão, São Paulo, Brazil


IV Salão do Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil


1st Salão Joven, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil


II Biennial de Bahia, BA 


 


1967


Salão do Trabalho, SESC Vila Nova, São Paulo, Brazil


X Salão de Arte Contemporânea de São Bernardo, São Paulo, Brazil


1st Salão de Arte Contemporânea de São Caetano do Sul, São Paulo, Brazil


III Salão de Arte Contemporânea de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil


X Salão Paulista de Belas Artes, São Paulo, Brazil


 


1966


II Salão de Art Contemporânea de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil


XXXI Salão Paulista de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, Brazil


XV Salão Paulista de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, Brazil


 


1965


I Congresso Sul Americano de Cerâmica, FAAP, São Paulo, Brazil 


XIV Salão Paulista de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, Brazil


XXX Salão Paulista de Belas Artes, São Paulo, Brazil