Zélia Salgado looked for the development of a personal line in sculpture and painting, not paying much attention to artistic movements and trends. On one side she didn’t need to survive on art, having married the then cotton businessperson Paulino Salgado, of whom she took the last name. On the other, she very early pursued an independent path, “at a hard cost”, rebelling at the National Fine Arts School in the 1920s.
Having presided over the National Section of Arts for UNESCO during the 1950s, Zélia would be linked to the Brazilian Informal Abstractionism in Sculpture, dialoguing with her contemporary peers and marking out a personal place, influencing newer generations, remarkably former pupil and sculptor Lygia Clark (1920-1988). Zélia was also founder of the Contemporary Plastic Arts Association (ARCO), together with Anna Letycia, Fernando Pamplona and sculptor Bruno Giorgi. According to engraver Fayga Ostrower, Zélia “manages a multiple load of sensual, intellectual, emotional and spiritual experiences altogether”.
In this link, former MNBA director back in 2004, Paulo Herkenhoff, highlights the quality of her artwork in Informal Abstractionism, relating her to other sculptors. Zélia tells what where her targets in Art, where did she wanted to go, and several external links enlighten the artistic context to which she related.