Eleonore Koch | Almeida & Dale

Eleonore Koch

Berlin - Germany, 1926 São Paulo - São Paulo, 2018

Eleonore Koch's work, despite having emerged in the mid-20th century, has only recently aroused growing interest both inside and outside Brazil. Her introspective attitude, somewhat detached from the aesthetic and thematic trends of her time, makes her work unique and fascinating. Her painting is now widely recognized for its evocative character and its subtle elegance.

Koch was born into a Jewish family in Berlin in 1926. Fleeing the nazi persecution, her family emigrated to Brazil in 1936, when Koch was just ten years old. After a period spent in Paris, where she lived and studied painting from 1948 to 1950, Koch returned to Brazil and began attending the studio of Alfredo Volpi, who became fundamental in the development of Koch's career as a painter, mentoring her over the years. In 1966, Koch participated in an exhibition in London, where she went to live from 1968. The city's parks soon became the subject of her paintings, among the many landscapes she created throughout her life.

Interior scenes and still lifes are also among the artist's favorite genres. In all her works, Koch pays close attention to drawing, composition, and color choices. She has mostly worked with egg tempera, an ancient technique widely used in Renaissance painting, which adds a certain anachronism and uniqueness to her choices, in comparison with the painting of her time. In her work, objects, people, landscapes and everyday scenes are delicately portrayed and lend themselves more to the painter's meticulous craft than to depicting reality with symbolic or allegorical representations. In this sense, Koch is close to the teachings of her mentor Alfredo Volpi. Her color palette and the precise boundaries between shades are undeniably the fruit of her apprenticeship with Volpi.

Eleonore Koch exhibited at the 1959 and 1967 editions of the Bienal Internacional de São Paulo, and recently in the 34th edition (2021). In 1980, she took part in the Theon Spanudis Collection exhibition at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo – MAC USP. She returned to live in Brazil in 1989. In 2009, a selection of her works was presented at the Centro Universitário Maria Antonia, in the solo show Eleonore Koch: mundo ordenado, an exhibition that aimed to reopen the debate on her production. Recent exhibitions include Eleonore Koch: The Essential Painter, at Modern Art, London (2020) and Eleonore Koch: espaço aberto, at Museu de Arte do Rio – MAR, Rio de Janeiro (2022). Her work is part of the collections of the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo – MAC USP, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo – MAM SP.

Angry Island, 1974

tempera on canvas
17 ⅞ x 21 ¼ inch [45,5 x 54 cm]

Untitled, 1973

pastel on paper
17 ¾ x 23 ⅞ inch [45 x 60,5 cm]

Mata-borrão e papel amassado, 1996

tempera on canvas
19 ⅝ x 24 inch [50 x 61 cm]

Memorial Gardens I, 1988

tempera on canvas
23 ⅝ x 28 ¾ inch [60 x 73 cm]

Interior com cadeira branca, 1977

tempera on canvas
29 x 36 ½ inch [73,6 x 92,6 cm]

Untitled, 1974

tempera on canvas
46 ½ x 35 ⅝ inch [118 x 90,5 cm]
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