Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

The Tiled Room

1935

In Tate Modern

Artist
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva 1908–1992
Original title
La Chambre à carreaux
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 604 × 913 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax with additional assistance from the Nicholas Themans Trust 2014
Reference
T14206

Display caption

The Tiled Room was a breakthrough work for da Silva. Her paintings often resemble mazes or cities seen from above. The web of lines here suggests what one critic called her ‘absorption in space’. The lines of colourful squares have been connected to her experience of feverish imaginings when she had jaundice. She was also haunted by memories of her lonely childhood. After her father died, her mother withdrew into mourning. The unsettling space she creates here could relate to these experiences.

Gallery label, April 2021

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