Ione Saldanha

b. 1921 — d. 2001



The Time and The Color
Salon 94 89th Street

Ione Saldanha


Ione Saldanha (born 1919, Alegrete, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; died 2001, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a pioneering figure whose cityscapes and investigations of pure color and form across painting and sculpture firmly cement her within Brazilian modernism. Saldanha’s seamless evolution from depicting urban scenes of whimsically piled facades on canvas in the 1950s to later deconstructing geometries across both two and three dimensions center the idea of a city and its bustling-yet-ordered vigor. Early scenes of metropolitan life condense into flat painted abstractions of stacked color blocks until finally expanding into space with bambus, dried bamboo stalks painted in the round with rings of vibrant color, synchronous with the paintings of the 1960s-1980s.

Saldanha's work will feature at this year's highly anticipated Venice Biennale Foreigners Everywhere, spotlighting artists primarily from the Global South. Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, the visionary artistic director of The Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP), this exhibition promises to shine a light on her enduring influence. In 2021, MASP exhibited The Invented City, a landmark retrospective curated by Pedrosa, which delved into fifty years of Saldanha's oeuvre, structured around the architectural framework of a metropolis. In 2013 her inventive body of work was celebrated in Time and Color, an exhibition held at The Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio).