|Vieira da Silva working on stained glass, C1966|
She created a number of large tapestries and murals including a mosaic for the Lisbon Metro but her most significant commission came after, in 1963, she began to work in stained glass. As a consequence in 1966 she was asked to create eight stained glass windows for the church of Saint-Jaques in Rheims, a project which was later increased to eleven windows and lasted ten years. Despite this she was not religious, saying "... All I have is uncertainty."
She exhibited her work throughout Europe, where her intense, intricate abstractions never seemed to go out of fashion. She continued to paint even after the death of her beloved Arpad in 1985, though there were no more major commissions. An indication of da Silva’s recognition as an artist of stature is in the large number of monographs published in her lifetime, the first in 1949 by Pierre Descargues, and she is one of a very few women artists to be included in the popular book series by Taschen.
Vieira da Silva herself died in 1992. Today she is under-appreciated and this brief biography can do no justice to her remarkable paintings.
Jaques Lassaigne & Guy Weelan, Vieira da Silva Rizzoli, New York 1978/9
Fundacao Arpad Sznes - Vieira da Silva, Lisbon - http://fasvs.pt/
Comments, corrections and further information about Vieira da Silva are very welcome.
You can read about the remaining members of the 31 Women as their birthdays arrive, only three to go now, although there may be a thirty-second woman still to come - watch this space..! Earlier artists will remain on the blog.