Throughout her career, Niobe Xandó experimented with various materials, techniques and themes, but in some ways her work has always maintained a constant dialogue with surrealist ideas. The magical universe of the dream or the search for fluency of the unconscious on the canvas mark the many facets of her work.
Her early art output, rich in color and movement, bears influences from Munch and Gauguin, but it is Marc Chagall's poetic surrealism that comes through most in her work. Between the 1950s and 1960s, her paintings developed from a delicate silent figuration to abstract figures loaded with graphics and gesture. During this period, she participated in two editions of the São Paulo International Biennial, in 1965 and 1969. At the latter, her work was presented in a special room called Magic, Fantastic and Surrealist Art. It was also during this period that she developed the Totem series, in which she adorns wood with lines and colors inspired by archaic ritual masks. In the 1970s, Xandó produced works incorporating influences of lettrism, a movement that sought to create a new form of writing based on symbols.