Almost every art historian, in coming face-to-face with an artwork they have previously seen only in reproduction, has had the startling realization that the physical piece differs significantly from what they had imagined. I distinctly remember having this experience when I first saw Planos em superfície modulada no. 1, a white monochromatic painting by Brazilian artist Lygia Clark from 1957. In 2001, during a visit to the São Paulo collector Adolpho Leirner's apartment, I noticed the painting on the wall, which I had only ever seen in reproduction (Figure 1). As I slowly approached, and the composition came into focus, I realized that the five black lines dissecting...

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