Shirley Paes Leme



Shirley Paes Leme tries to seize the evanescent, to imbue the intangible with shape and volume. She draws with smoke. Her works trace a breath, an exhalation, the gust of wind, the cloud's path. She gives permanence to the impermanent. To capture the transient, Paes Leme developed a new technique pyrophytography, which consists of applying a colorless liquid to paper or cloth; the drawing is then revealed by the action of the heat from a flame. Such as the meanderings of the wind, or of history, the final result is always unpredictable. Born in Brazil in 1955, Shirley Paes Leme lives and works in São Paulo. A Fulbright scholarship recipient, she graduated from John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley in 1986. In 1999, she was a resident artist at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. She has been teaching at the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia since 1979. Paes Leme has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthaum Gallery, Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Jaspers Gallery, Munich, Brazilian-American Cultural Institute, Washington, DC, São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, and Fiberworks Gallery, Berkeley, among others. She has exhibited at the São Paulo Biennial, the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, the Musée d'Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, and the 7th Havana Biennial.

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