Painted in 1952. Bibliothèque evokes the interior spaces characteristic of Vieira da Silva’s postwar paintings. The library setting was one that she explored from the late 1940s, exemplified in her significant painting of 1949, also titled Bibliothèque, which was acquired by the French State in 1951 and now resides at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. In the current treatment of the theme, Vieira da Silva employs a similar palette of bold reds and bright yellows but she alters the sense of scale, as if focusing on a more intimate wall of the library space. The delineation of cubic spaces calls to mind the work of Joaquin Torres-Garcia, and the early pictographs of American artist Adolph Gottlieb, but Vieira da Silva pushes her work beyond the semiology inherent in those artists' work into a liberated and abstract interpretation.
Hans Henkell, Victoria, Australia (sale: Christie's New York, November 16, 2000, lot 123) Private Collection, Portugal (acquired at the above sale)
Paris, Jeanne Bucher Jaeger; London, Waddington Custot and New York, Di Donna Galleries, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, 2019-20, illustrated in color pp. 64-65
G. Weelen and J.-F. Jaeger, Vieira da Silva: Catalogue Raisonné, Geneva, 1994, no. 985, illustrated p. 191