Eleonore Koch is currently being redeﬁned as one of the most relevant Brazilian painters of the second half of the last century. She was born in 1926 in Berlin. In 1936, ﬂeeing the war, her family moved to São Paulo. Her education in sculpture and her interest in theater and performance laid the foundations for her formal and spatial research. In the early 50s, she settled in Paris, where she studied with Árpád Szenes and Robert Coutin. From the beginning of her career, a concern for atmosphere and materiality endows her compositions with an objectual dimension that goes beyond her ﬁgurative style. During the apogee of Brazilian abstraction, she insisted on an intimate and personal pictorial language.
Between 1953 and 1956, she studied with modernist painter Alfredo Volpi, who became a relevant ﬁgure in her career. In 1959 she was accepted at the V Bienal de Arte de São Paulo. Despite her resistance to the dominant artistic trends, her participation implied a direct contact with the process of renewal and institutionalization of the modernist roots of Brazilian art.
The artist herself stated that -despite her strong attachment to objects- the Concrete Movement was a fundamental reference in her work. We can also observe certain reminiscences of Italian metaphysical painting on her. In the late 60s, she moved to London after getting in touch with Mercury Gallery and the collector Alistair McAlpine, for whom she began to produce almost exclusively, being ﬁnally able to make a living from her work. During her years in London, the artist worked on the Garden Landscapes series: a deep exploration of European public space through the speciﬁc enclave of Regent’s Park.
Over the years, Koch showed her work in spaces such as Salão Paulista de Arte Moderna, MAM-SP, Montesanti Gallery and Maria Antonia University Center (Brazil); Rutland Gallery, Mercury Gallery, Campbell & Franks Fine Arts and Barbican Art Gallery, (London), and the Internationales Kunstmarkt (Cologne). She also collaborated with ﬁgures such as Theon Spanudis or Bruno Musatti. However, she is still partially unknown within the framework of traditional historiography. We can understand her intimate and meticulous representations as a way of sacralizing the everyday. Her singular method -based on collages and preparatory drawings- evidences a performative dimension of painting that generates an alternative understanding of the medium itself.