Elaborated by Ligia Canongia in
close collaboration with the artist, October 2000 February 2001 in Rio de Janeiro.
- Waltercio Caldas Junior was born in Rio de Janeiro, son of Diva Fialho Caldas
and Waltercio Caldas, civil engineer.
Due to his fathers occupation, grows up surrounded by drawings and scale models.
Visiting Santos Dumont Airport in Due to his fathers occupation, grows up surrounded
by drawings and scale models.
Visiting Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro at the age of eight, he sees a replica of
the plane 14 Bis the first constructivist object he ever saw, according to the
In the early sixties, first
amateur exhibition showing objects at the Students Council of the Philosophy Course
at Rio de Janeiro State University / UERJ, the first press coverage on his works being
published in the newspaper Diário de Notícias.
Frequent visits to art galleries in Rio de Janeiro: Bonino, Relevo and Gead.
Studies under artist/teacher Ivan Serpa at Museum of Modern Art MAM / Rio de
Janeiro (RJ), who advises him on the viability of an artists career and on the
complexity of art issues.
Constant visits to the collection and library at MAM strengthen the young artists
formation initiated in the family ambient and boosted by permanent visiting to art
Seeing artworks stimulates the wish to respond to what he saw. In his own words, he begins
being an artist by being a viewer. Works by other artists arouse
in him the will for dialogue.
1965 - Accomplishes his first graphic assignment: the book cover for A
Amazônia e a cobiça internacional, by Arthur Cézar Ferreira Reis, Edinova, RJ.
1967 - Technical draughtsman and layout artist at Eletrobrás. Worked
both as a graphic artist and a visual artist simultaneously for his livelihood.
First professional group show at Gead Art Gallery harvesting a Drawing Award.
Achieves the first works acknowledged as manifestations of a personal language: small
scale models in paperboard suggesting large sizes and bearing an architectural trait with
a dash of humor and enigma added to the idea of a project.
Besides objects and sculptures, drawing is widely and systematically practiced.
1969 - Creates the object Perception conductors which opens up a new
field and unravels a language of its own. This work is a constant reference, a key-nucleus
of signification that basically heralded the universe of all his work.
From 1969 to 1975 produces numerous drawings and other box-objects, similar to Perception
conductors, like The seven stars of silence (1970), Centre of Primitive Reason (1970), and
You are blind (1972).
The artist sometimes calls these boxes urns, admitting links among them and
poetic memories of childhood. On a visit to Cineac Trianon Movie Theater he gets to know
Silk, the fakir, that lay for months on nails in an urn, surrounded by snakes, without any
food. Caldas suggests humorously that the vision of such a scene exercised
marks on his imagination.
1970 - Draws sets for theatrical production of lonescos The lesson,
directed by Ronaldo Tapajós at Conservatório Nacional de Teatro / RJ, his first public
work. Earlier, in 1967, he was impressed with the theatrical sets presented by Czech
artist Svoboda at Sao Paulo Biennial.
1971 - A first-time participant in an official group show, Summer Art
Salon at MAM / RJ, showing three box-objects. Meets art collector Gilberto Chateaubriand
who purchases the objects displayed in.
1971/72 - Invited by musician Reginaldo de Carvalho, head of Villa-Lobos
Institute, to deliver the course Art and Visual Perception.
1972 - Integrates Summer Art Salon /MAM/RJ. Invited by artist Carlos
Vergara, whom he met on the occasion, Waltercio presents the work I am you and I am not
you in the group show Ex-position conceived by Vergara, also at MAM. In the
following year this work will the element in the catalogue for his first solo show.
1973 - First solo show at MAM/RJ with 21 drawings and 13 box-objects. The
exhibition receives excellent response from the critics, the viewers and the market.
Waltercio Caldas and Alfredo Volpi win the Annual Travel granted by Brazilian Art
Ronaldo Brito writes his first text on Waltercio Caldas piece Rational and
Absurd for the above mentioned exhibition, published at Opinião newspaper, the
starting point of a lasting relationship between the artist and the art critic. In the
text, Brito comments:
What interests him is to produce a click it the viewer to provoke a moment of
psychic bewilderment. Art, this way, is much less an object for contemplation than an
active form of conveying a thought, of producing a crisis in the viewers mental
) In a time in which seeing art seems rather a refined social engagement,
the exhibition of Waltercio Caldas is worth a refutation art is not only to be
looked at, but also to be the
Other critical comments by Walmir Ayala, Roberto Pontual and Frederico Morais come out in
the press. The text in the catalogue was composed by the artist from excerpts culled
from Lewis Carolls Alice in Wonderland.
Integrates group show Questionings on the Nature, Meaning and Function of the
Artwork, curated by Frederico Morais at IBEU Art Gallery / RJ.
Represented in group show International Avant-garde Thomas Cohn
Collection at IBEU / RJ.
1974 - Solo show Narratives, the second show held at recently
inaugurated Luiz Buarque de Hollanda / Paulo Bittencourt Art Gallery / RJ.
Shows drawings at his first international exhibition Arte grafico brasileño
hoy/Brazilian Foreign Office / Itamaraty in Barcelona / Spain, that acquired the
works to constitute part of its collection.
1975 - Invited by Pietro Maria Bardi to participate at the Expo
Brussels in Belgium, together with Brazilian artist Alvim Correa who illustrated the
first edition of H.G.Wells The War of the Worlds, 1906, a forerunner of science
fiction literature. The exhibition doesnt take place but Bardi, the director of Sao
Paulo Museum of Art / MASP, invites Waltercio to present a show there.
First solo show in Sao Paulo, The Nature of Games comprising one hundred works
among drawings, objects and photos covering the period 1969-1975, including the
never-shown-before objects Mirror with light (1974), Bottles with cork (1975) and
In the catalogue, the text The Critical Mirror by Ronaldo Brito, says that the
artist re-proposes art as a language exercise and as a game, questioning itself
about its signification.
Solo show Objects and Drawings at Galeria Luisa Strina, Sao Paulo.
Malasartes magazine co-editor with three issues published 1975-1976. The other editors
were Carlos Vergara, Bernardo de Vilhena, Cildo Meireles, Carlos Zilio, Ronaldo Brito,
José Resende, Luiz Paulo Baravelli and Rubens Gerchman. One of the most important art
magazines in Brazil, aimed at emphasizing the meaning of the artwork as a cultural
product, not a mercantile object. Malasartes represented the first effort of a group of
artists, critics and poets to discuss art politics in Brazil, proposing art as an
expression to be discussed within an intellectual space.
1976 - Solo show at MAM/RJ, exhibiting for the first time the objects
Circle with Mirror at 30o,Dice in Ice and Dots, all dating from the same year. The
exhibition bears distinct features in relation to previous ones, the works being more
synthetic and transparent. Some works are created in larger sizes.
Art critic Roberto Pontual, commenting on the exhibition in the text The Picture in
the Square Ruler published in Jornal do Brasil writes:
I dont (or I do) know why, but when I was strolling leisurely from one work to
another at MAM, it reminded me of the final sequence of Antonionis movie The
eclipse. The silent camera, as if tired of the effort of having to deal with the existence
of the objects, shows in a paused and ultra-rapid way, one by one, the things and their
details, formerly enhanced along the films narrative. Now, isolated, fixed in their
silence, they remain the same, but now filed with weirdness. They are more than
themselves, and nothing had them changed.
Different intentions notwithstanding, the experience repeats itself whit Waltercios
series of drawings Silent Reading.
(Jornal do Brasil, 27 October 1976)
Publishes, in association with Carlos Zilo, José Resende and Ronaldo Brito, the article
The Boom, the Post-Boom and the Dis-Boom, in the newspaper Opinião.
Member of the Cultural Planning Committee at MAM / RJ to discuss the use of the museum
1977 - Waltercio Caldas decline his indication for the Venice Biennial
due to political reasons. First works with paper money, such as Bills for Environment and
Money for Trainig.
1978 - Year rife with achievements with a large out-put: Talcum over
illustrated Book on H. Matisse, Invitation to Reasoning, Art Apparatus, Ordinary Plate
with Rubber Bands, Iron Tube-Glass of Milk and The Mondrian Experiment.
The artist prepares Apparatus, the first book on his oeuvre.
1979 - Apparatus is published by GBM Editora de Arte, Rio de Janeiro,
with an essay by Ronaldo Brito. The book presents a selection of works from the period
1976-1978 with differentiated editorial characteristics, including works never shown
before, specially made for graphic contexts, among these How does the Camera Work (1977(,
and the visual layout concept was created by the artist in collaboration with Paulo
In the essay titled The Limits of Art and the Art of Limits, Ronaldo Brito
The work is bound to the limits of art and its demand is to locate itself at the very
extremes. More than awareness, the work has the obsession of limits. It breathes of this
tension and draws of limits. It breathes of this tension and draws strength from this
ambiguity. Whats art and whats not art, when it ceases to be, how it can be
art and how it cannot be those are the questions. But he doesnt put them
directly because this would be equal to negating them, to escaping from their continuous
pressure, defining himself as the awareness that questions and answers. The works vibrate
along these questions, they are their environment: only there they make sense, only there
they organize and stir up the senses. Their spaces is therefore the imminence of the void,
the limits, whats in-between, the lines that exist while a process for marking out
different regions. Its over these lines that the artist operates, seizing the
surrounding tension and his work is none other but these lines.
About the book, critic Rodrigo Naves added, in a text written in August 1979 in the
newspaper Leia Livros:
This book by Waltercio Caldas Jr and Ronaldo Brito (text) is a work with a wish for
) Lets try to open it in a new way, to penetrate it and travel along
it as it unfolds. (
) After trying various alternatives, only one was justify: to
pierce a hole in this book to have some contact with this circular surface that would be
created within the papers thickness. Coincidentally or not, this is the movement of
this work. Yet, (
) concurrently to the hole there must be the memory of the
resistance put up by the material that was perforated, for its reaction to the cutting is
a condition for marking out this papers profile. The void that is going to be
created reeks of the pierced thickness in this case, the art languages and the art
Zulmira Ribeiro Tavares in her text Irony and Sense comments:
More than in other books propagating the visual aspect, here the graphic project itself
results in a highly structured framework. Its elements are parts of a production-layout,
i.e., a layout that conditions perception to focus on a unified material-over support
the book itself. Volumes, surfaces, colors and figurations lose part of their
original condition and gain another, originated from graphic space itself. (
Therefore a new space is actually created from the book, almost bearing theatrical
features. By means of productions the book conveys a deep impression of a retained and
privileged moment, exactly as in a stage, in this case a stage populated not by beings,
but by objects in programmed situations
(Módulo, no. 61, Nov. 1980).
Apparatus exhibition opens at Galeria Luisa Strina and the book is published
in Sao Paulo. In the show, ten objects dated 1977-1978 are presented, such as Invitation
to Reasoning, Art Apparatus and Steel Object, all dated 1978. The exhibition had a
catalogue that was published independently of the book, with the text Glass
Eye by art critic Paulo Venancio Filho.
Commenting on the exhibition, art critic Sheila Leimer calls the works of Waltercio Caldas
replenished objects synthesis of sensory and mental experiences
Waltercios apparatus aren1t analogies, but they contain a poetical proposition.
Their sole link with surrounding daily-use machines is the common notion one has of an
apparatus. That is, a functional and complex object that produces something.
In this sense, the works in the exhibition are apparatus de facto; they
produce aesthetic relations and convey concepts. Yet, their automorphical, autocephalous
and autophagical character renders them independent of literal association. (
works do not possess the clearness of this type of functional interaction between external
body and content, and must be appreciated separately, as objects that are carriers
not generators of relations and ideas. (
) The apparatus works for
itself like a spokesman who is independent from experience. (Folha de São Paulo, 21 Apr
1980 - Solo show at Galeria Saramenha / RJ, presenting the installation
Ping Ping. The catalogue, an exclusive graphic essay by the artist, contains a poem of his
own authorship. On this work critic Paulo Sergio Duarte comments:
The work is not exhausted in the immediate experience of sending the viewer away from his
place, of leaving him outside. Its this but its not only this. Another type of
politics is at stake besides this naïve side, perhaps the whole art game. (
Ping-Ping, as opposed to Dice in Ice expanded the question of the game and its
) All palpable elements are there: racket, ball, net, table. The one
who bets on sensitive certainties does not see the work. Participates in the primary game,
watching a primitive avant-garde ambient. But something is frozen and it isnt the
die. One may think its time. (
) The blind mans shades let clear the
impossibility of playing the art game. The blind man constructs the space without light.
(Módulo, n.61, Nov 1980)
Presents another installation O is ONE in the project Espaço ABC / Funarte at Parque da
Catacumba / RJ. The catalogue of the show contains a text by Rodrigo Naves where one can
the work points to a suspension, a vertigo of the senses. (
) In the system O
is ONE the elements send back equally to one another, but within a paradoxical dislocation
that only produces one movement: that of the wishing to complement absurd censuring. The
work is ironical towards the eye-complement, for a situation is given in which, although
presupposed, the paradox that is presented cannot be solved. Here the fissure throbs and
cannot be filled in. (
) There is nowhere to hold on to. Everything happens as if
whit its back to the viewer, used to see things face-to-face in order to
be able to act. Right from the start, the work wishes to produce this obsession for action
when there is no way to act. (
) Amidst the standstill, a demented wind blows through
the space. There is no way to channel it.
Co-editor of the single-issue magazine A Parte do Fogo, an editorial project that whised
to intervene within the Brazilian cultural milieu, pondering questions of language,
circuit and market. The project included the publicizing of important works of
contemporary output in visual arts, literature and other segments, the printing of
unpublished texts by Brazilian art critics and texts published abroad. As editors declared
at the time, it wasnt about reclaiming one more niche in the territory of
established knowledge, for this place doesnt exist for contemporary artistic
production. A Parte do Fogo is a place where the works are going to act (quoted in
newspaper coverage by Fernando Cerqueira Lemos, Folha de S. Paulo, 1980).
About the magazine, Sheila Leirner wrote:
A Parte do Fogo is a hard blow for the audience, the critics, the market alas
the circuit that rules art in this country holding pacts whit the political
situation, covering up, homogenizing and always corrupting genuine languages. (O Estado De
São Paulo, 1980)
The editors of A Parte do Fogo were Cildo Meireles, José Resende, João Moura Junior,
Paulo Venacio Filho, Paulo Sergio Duarte, Ronaldo Brito, Rodrigo Naves, Tunga and
1981 - In collaboration with musician Sérgio Araújo produces a 33-rpm
vinyl record a plastic/musical object containing the works The Maquiné Cave
Entrance (Waltercio Caldas) and Three Songs (Sérgio Araújo).
Group shows: Brazilian Artists, at Museum of Contemporary Art MAC /
São Paulo Biennial Foundation; Brazilian Contemporary Artists, at Galeria
São Paulo; From Modern to Contemporary Gilberto Chateaubriand
Collection at MAM / RJ.
1982 - Solo show at Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo. Publishes
on the occasion, by way of a catalogue, O livro mais rápido, a collection of selected
personal writings. The book is presented as one of the eight works in the show.
Invited by philosopher Gerd Bornheim delivers lecture at UFRJ and the interferences in the
lecture hall ambient constituted his work The Algebraic Surface. Group show From
Modern to Contemporary Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection opens at Calouste
Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal.
First commissioned public sculpture- The Blind Shape, at Paseo de las Americas, Punta del
Este, Uruguay, for the Encuentro Internacional de Escultura al Aire Libre /Opern-Air.
Sculpture International Meeting, upon invitation by Angel Kalemberg.
Publishes Popular Science Manual, 52 pages, ABC / Funarte collection. With a preface by
the artist, with its full text re-printed in this catalogue, plus an essay by Paulo
Venancio Filho, this publication takes on the profile of an artiss book,
and presents works created by Waltercio Caldas that make use of everyday elements in their
construction, generating extremely unsettling associations, though. Al first sight,
objects of the type do-it-yourself, whit directions for use contained in a
simple manual but the reproduced works trigger a feeling of unknown restlessness in the
reader. And its to this reader that the artist offers his constructions of a
functional abyss in the space of art books publishing. The book is a discussion on
mechanical reproduction of artworks on the negative resonance upon originality and
uniqueness concepts in traditional works, and on the dynamic operations via which
contemporary works reverse such negativity.
1983 - Alloted a Special Room at the 17th São Paulo International
Biennial for the installation Speed.
Using industrial packaging as a metaphor (Adams chewing gum packages), the work
treats space as a vertigo, mentioning the swiftness with which the viewer moves along in
mammoth-sized exhibitions. On a poster accompanying the presentation, art critic Paulo
Sérgio Duarte in Doppo Seurat comments:
Its about a filter
and an accelerator. It cleanses and demands a certain speed. It works with parameters
in-between transparency and opaqueness, introducing intermediary values. The colorful
supports sequestered from their daily banality get transformed and acquire new identities
in the reliefs. Materiality is ambiguous. Nothing works in just one way; for a moment its
role is to shuffle cards and to make them change places to avoid a choice. In this world,
each and every process of seeing is a bit like this (
) Waltercios device aims
at bereaving the eye of its mechanical aspect subordinated to attention to certainty, to
this type of exactness where the flaw should appear as the failure of the subject.
First graphic collaboration
specially created for section Folhetim, Folha de São Paulo. From then on,
other collaborations follow for same newspaper.
Solo show Sculptures and group show Imagining the present at
Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo.
Group show 3.000m3 to which Waltercio contributes the installation Ping Ping
(1980), which the artist regards as the construction of the abyss in the blinking of
the blind, at Galpão RioArte / RJ.
1984 - Contributes two wall-hanging works for the 1st Havana Biennial /
Cuba, one of them being For all, made with black self-adhesive covering paper, a first
experiment with he material.
First group show in the United States Abstract attitudes in the Center
for Inter-American Relations, New York and at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of
Design, in Providence, curatorship by John Stringer. Critical essay on works shown, titled
Not, written by Paulo Venancio Filho is printed in its full version in this
Solo show Sculptures at Galeria GB Arte, Rio de Janeiro.
Group shows: Tradition and disruption, MASP, São Paulo; Brazilian art
today: 1984, UFF/Niterói/RJ; Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection
portrait and self-portrait of Brazilian art, MAM / São Paulo.
1985 - Moves to NYC, staying for one year. Works on projects and
elaborates his Sculptures for all non-transparent materials that multiplies itself in
various pairs of semi-spheres, of different sizes and materials (wood, granite, marble,
etc), a work in constant expansion that blends with the air.
Group show Brazilian Art Panorama - Tridimensional Forms, MAM / SP.
1986 - Solo shows simultaneously at Galeria de Arte Rauel Amaud / São
Paulo (SP), and at Galeria Paulo Klabin / RJ, each with eight pairs of semi-spheres from
the series Sculptures for all non-transparent materials. The idea of the
double, intrinsic to the work itself, is also restated on the coupled
exhibitions, although works exhibited were of different sizes and materials.
Group show The objects new dimension at Museum of Contemporary Art
MAC /SP with two works shown. One of them superimposes three shades of white: the
plain white wall, the one produced by transparent self-adhesive covering paper applied
directly on the wall, and that of the draughtsmans paper. The other piece, an almost
environmental one, consists of two carbon paper sheets laid on the floor, distant 8 meters
from one another, onto which two water filters placed over the panel drip water drops.
Video Erase thee Sesame, directed and photographed by Miguel Rio Branco is made from a
selection of works. Sponsored by Instituto Municipal RioArte and produced by Studio Line /
RioArte, the 11-minute video production won best video and best director awards at
Maranhão Video and Film Festival.
Video is a name given to an electronic signal. The objects and sculptures recorded by this
system are present more as images than as things. In fact, I almost believe these
transparent things as close things. The obvious is fake sometimes.
1987 - Invited to participate in two segments of the 19h International
São Paulo Biennial; Singular imageries, curatorship by Sônia Salzstein and
Ivo Mesquita, exhibiting 15 sculptures from the period 1969-1987; and In search of
essence reductional elements in Brazilian art, curated by Gabriela S. Wilder.
Various group shows, among which: Modernity Brazilian art of the 20th
Century, at Museum of Modern Art / Paris; Works on paper, GDS Gallery /
NY, drawings scratched
Over photography film and projected on the wall; Art and word, UFRJ / Science
and Culture Forum.
1988 - Solo show Sculptures, Galeria Sérgio Milliet /
Funarte / RJ, works dated 1986-1988, such as Einstein and Paul Valéry. On the show
booklet, art critic Sônia Salzstein writes her first text on the artist and declares:
Waltercio Caldas pieces seem to spring from the imaginary and unsettling geometry of
water. Successive hindrances within the void, or rather, within the plenum. The only way
to face them is by paring down oneself to them, which does not mean annihilation on
the contrary, it means extra vitality being added, incorporating and electrifying them
completely until they dissolve and then one must go on, landing on another one,
Solo chow Four curved sculptures, Galeria Paulo Klabin / RJ, showing for the
first time Godard sculpture and Curve, both from 1988.
Group shows: Art today 88 XIII Ribeirão Preto Salon / SP, and
Paper in space, Galeria Aktuell / RJ.
1989 - Integrates 20th International São Paulo Biennial within special
event Art on Newspaper. The exhibition originated from an experience carried out by Jornal
da Tarde / SP, where various artists created interferences in the papers graphic
space. Waltercios work Software consisted of the alternate exhibition of two
sentences. That as Here and This as Shadow, on an outdoor electronic panel for a period of
9 hours. This period matched exactly the time needed for the newspaper to be printed. Next
morning it came out bearing the printed image of the work that had sculpted media space
via a digital process (work reproduced in this catalogue).
Creates an exclusive six-page graphic essay for the magazine Guia das Artes, a special
São Paulo Biennial issue.
Permanent installation of the public piece The Instant Garden at Parque do Carmo / SP,
celebrating the Bicentennial of Human Rights Declaration, a project of the Cultural
Affairs Bureau / SP. This formally constructivist and symmetrical sculpture/garden closely
adheres to landscape and site topography, being guided by its horizontality. Two
staircases placed side by side as if with their backs to each other one going up,
on going down force passers-by to alter their normal pace, extending itself at each
step. Only at the top, when passing to the other staircase one is able to regain a natural
walking rhythm. According to the artist, it was about suggesting a poetical relation
between experience and the sight of the imaginary horizon line.
Group show Rio Today, celebrating the reopening of MAM /RJ to public
New solo show Sculptures, Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud /SP.
1990 - First solo show in Europe: drawings at Pulitzer Art Gallery /
Amsterdam / Holland.
Group show in England curated by Guy Brett at Ikon Gallery / Birmingham and Corner House
Gallery / Manchester. An excerpt of the curators text is published herein.
Invited to integrate group show Panorama of Brazilian Art Today / 90 Paper, at MAM
Awarded Brasilia Art Award at Brasilia Museum of Art, which incorporates Einstein (1987)
to its collection.
Solo show with new drawing at Galeria 110 Arte Contemporânea / RJ. In the catalogue, art
critic Paulo Sérgio Duarte publishes the text These are liquid drawings where
These are liquid drawing
in their delicacy. Delicate, in its Latin origins is to render liquid, fragile, subtle
(delicates, posteriorly deliquatus). They escape from onstentatiousness and are an
exercise on the border of mineral expressiveness.
In the world of excesses we live in, what exceeds has to be object of intelligence,
nowadays mixed up with slyness. A good part of contemporary output cunningly exploits a
remainder of the gaze. The drawings are a reaction to this cult. What is the seat of
delicacy in a world where all history externalizes itself, being therefore take? Facing
pseudo-expressionist novels, movies and paintings, where language takes the shape of a
pre-fabricated atifact, what can drawing recall but the opposite of all this repressed
melancholy, turns around and shows off in color superb.
1991 - Solo
show at Kanaal Art Foundation / Kortrijk / Belgium whit sculptures and drawings. Art
critic Ronaldo Brito signs the exhibition presentation text Clear Bias, full
text printed in this catalogue.
Group shows in Brazil, among which: Image over Image in Rio de Janeiro; 2nd
Ephemeral Sculptures International Exhibition in Fortaleza; Winter Festival in Belo
New solo show at Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud / SP, introducing the series of modular
sculptures The Next, dated same year.
1992 - A special year for the artist who is invited to be represented at
Documenta 9 Kassel /Germany. The specially created all-new installation Raum für den
nächsten Augenblick consists of eight glass tables, with a central cut that splits them
in two different height levels; in the center, marble dust and grains are pulverized,
falling randomly over the disjunctive surfaces. Waltercio Caldas here attained a lofty
degree of transparency and intangibility, although strictly speaking the work filled up
the whole ambient. The glass and the stainless steel of the tables associated with the
ethereal matter of the pulverized marble disperse the viewers gaze, postponing it
ever further, where it again gets lost in the void. The efficacy of the work in this
constant target deviation, this indistinctness of the limits of the bodies
gets even more emphatic when the work reveals itself as one of the hardest to be
photographically reproduced. The marble dust and the different sizes of the marble grains
superposed on the glass is almost impossible to be registered by the photographic lens.
The installation integrates the collection on permanent display at the Neue Galerie in
The Documenta catalogue was signed by lise Kuijken, by Paulo Venancio Filho whose text
Not was reprinted therein (both are reproduced in this catalogue) and by Sonia
Salzstein with the text White Heat.
Solo show at Stedelijk Museum / Schiedam / Holland presenting objects and drawings.
Group shows in Antwerp / Belgium, Seville / Spain and Paris / France.
In Brazil, together with invited artists of multiple nationalities, participates in the
exhibition Global Klimate Amazon Art, an artistic event parallel to
ECO-92, the first international summit meeting to discuss world policies on ecological
issues. Meeting and exhibition took place at MAM / RJ, the latter subsequently traveling
to Brasilia Museum of Art and, on the following year, to Staatliche Kunsthalle / Cologne /
Germany. Each artist traveled to a different city in the Amazon region, to grasp and
select local issues and matters to be processed in their artworks. Waltercios work
was an installation replete with the number zero, each one made from a
different type of Amazonian wood. Synthetic and sharp, at the same time the work kept
unscathed the artists subtle and delicate poetics, cunningly critical as to public
negligence regarding environmental preservation issues, being one of the few works to
operate over this ambiguity.
1993 - Solo show The Nearest Air at the Fine Arts National
Museum MNBA / RJ. The huge museum gallery was occupied with slender, rarefied and
sinuous wool yarns hanging down from the ceiling forming small nuclei and configuring
perhaps the most radical show of the artist as to the boundaries between the visible and
the invisible, a recurrent questioning in an oeuvre that re-proposes the air
as body. Here Waltercio also radicalizes on the photographic improbability of
his pieces that shun reproduction this time even more. The show is awarded
Mario Pedrosa Award, Best Show of the Year in Brazil by Brazilian Art
Group shows in Brazil and abroad, among which: Latin American Artists of the 20th
Century, MoMa / NY and Joseph Hanbrich Kunsthalle / Cologne / Germany (the same show
had been presented the previous year at Plaza de Armas / Seville/Spain); Two
Works, with José Resende, John Gibson Gallery / NY; Out of Place,
Vancouver Art Gallery / Canada; Brazil: Art Signs Books and Video 1950=1993,
presented consecutively in Venice, Milan, Florence and Rome / Italy.
1994 - Public commission sculpture Omkring (Around) on permanent display
in Leirfjord / Norway, within the project Skulpturlandskap. Sheer line articulation, the
sculpture counters its lightness with exceptional tension part of its structure is
located in balance over a cliff. Lightly touching the ground on just four spots, it rests
over the ambient, although subject to the extreme precariousness of such a balance.
Contributes three drawings dated 1972 for group show Mapping, maps being the
theme-subject, MoMA / NY. One of them was purchased by MoMA to integrate its collection.
Together with Amilcar de Castro and Eduardo Sued integrates the show Precision
curated by Irma Arrestizabal at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil /RJ. Invited by art critic
Nelson Brissac Peixoto do integrate the second edition of Art/City project carried out in
Sao Paulo, this time bearing the sub-title The City and its Flows. Waltercio
produces Matter has two hearts installed at downtown São Paulo Guanabara Building. The
piece, a two-meter high glass cube filled with milk with a bulls heart inside is
exhibited for a period of two months, which produced material physical alterations
milk changes color in contact with the heart and heart bulges immersed in the liquid.
Although the work deals with organic matter, it is not organic processing that matters but
the invisible movement occurring with in this process, the work maintaining an absolutely
New solo show at Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud / SP.
Highlighted group shows: Brazil 20th Century, São Paulo Biennial Foundation;
Object-book the boundary of voids, CCBB / RJ; The Signs
Thickness, drawings at Karmeliter Kloster / Frankfurt / Germany.
1996 - Solo shows Notes: 1969-1996, Paço Imperial / RJ, with
never-shown-before sketchbooks, most of them being autonomous artwork items. Quite
distinct from all other preceding shows, this one consisted of preparatory sketches and
intimate studies that disclose a surprising laboratory of ideas and images
formerly kept away from public access. The show was sponsored by Atelier Finep and the
booklet brought a text by the artist (full version is printed in this catalogue)
Exhibition The History of Stone at Chácara do Céu / RJ with a series of
comic strips of sleeping stones. Coupled with the show a print by Waltercio
Caldas was issued, within the institutions graphic editions program.
Publishes the book Velázquez, Editora Anonima /SP.
Extremely important book-work in the artists career, a deluxe edition with images
and texts purposefully out of focus, hampering readings, accentuating the
presence of the images the remainder being not more than ambients and interiors in
its rich articulation of planes. The space, the air, the relationship between things and
their places after all as constitutive of printed material as its very physical
concreteness remain essential issues to Waltercio, unveiling another Velázquez,
emphasizing the invisible aspects of the artists canvases.
Represented with sculptures at the 23rd São Paulo Biennial as Brazils sole
representative. Two works previously presented at CCBB / RJ integrated the show: Dagger
(1996) and MTDC / Matter has two hearts (1994)
Sculpture for Rio, public commission piece on permanent display at downtown Rio de
Located at a small and unimportant crossroads with in the urban mesh, the sculpture
founds the site, it now personalizes and identifies another place
by the erection of two columns that mark out an unexpected place, the columns using the
city skin, enwrapped by the traditional Rio sidewalk paving stones. They lift
and expand the city1s epidermis vertiginously and vertically, inaugurating an imponderable
MoMA /NY acquires Mirror with Light to integrate its collection. One year earlier it had
integrated the group show Art From Brazil in New York.
The Jobim family orders from the artist, a project of a model for a public sculpture
Homage to Antônio Carlos Jobim to be placed at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas.
The project is going through legal procedures at the City Hall of Rio de Janeiro.
Various group shoes, highlighting Art and Urban Space Fifteen
Propositions at Itamaraty Palace / Athos Bulcão Foundation / Brasilia, curated by
The show consisted of projects and scale models of never-built public sculptures in
Waltercios project The Sleep Museum.
1997 - Selected to integrate Brazilian delegation at 47th Venice
Biennial, The Venice Series was composed of four stainless steel sculptures bearing
art-historical artists names inserts. Ironizing the exacerbated use of
reasoning in historical readings, the artist says, in an interview to Ligia
Canongia in the catalogue accompanying the show at Centro Cultural Light / RJ the
following year, that orders dont need to be rational there may exist a
poetical order. And he adds:
The names were used as flat things, as physical objects the simple transposition of
a historical reference to a physical object. Actually, the artists mentioned are there
without their works. They are just words, as significant as the word however
or nevertheless. (
) The name, now used as matter, is not there simply as
Sometimes, I fear that in a grim future, art will be replaced by its name.
Re-exhibits at 1st Mercosul Visual Arts Biennial in Porto Alegre the installation Place
For a Soft Stone, already shown during ECO-92 at MAM / RJ.
Public commission sculpture on permanent display Unmirrored at Paulista Av., Instituto
Itaú Cultural / SP.
Drawings, an album with twenty serigraph prints is published by Reila Gracie Editora / RJ.
It contains a text by the artist, re-published herein.
Solo shows New Sculptures at Quintana Gallery /Miami / US and
Sculptures at Galeria Javier Lopes/ Madrid/Spain.
Selected group shows: Re-aligning Vison, El Museo del Barrio / NY and Akansas
Art Center / Litle Rock / US; 4 Artists from South America, Christopher Grimes
Gallery, Santa Monica / US; Brazilian Sculpture An Identity Profile,
BID Cultural Center / Washington / DC and Banco Safra / BID / SP; Cegueses,
Girona Museum of Art / Spain.
1998 - The Venice Series exhibited at Centro Cultural Light / RJ.
Solo shows at Galeria Paulo Fernandes / RJ and Galerie Lelong / NY.
Johnnie Walker Award recipient, presenting one sculpture on permanent display
a MAM / Bahia.
Group show highlights: Amnesia, Track 16 Gallery and Christopher Grimes
Galley, Santa Monica / US; Transitive Forms, Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud /
SP; Der BrasilianischeBlick, at Haus der Kulturen der Walt / Berlin, at Ludwig
Forum für Interntionale Kunst / Aachen and at Kunstmuseum / Heidenheim, Germany, with
works from the Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection.
1999 - Solo show Books at MAM / RJ and at Casa da Imagem /
Curitiba / Brazil. The show was a first cut-out on Waltercios work segment dedicated
to the production of books-objects assembling twenty pieces from Night Flight (1967) to
Criticism of Miracle (1999). Along thirty years the artist has been producing
books treated as sculptural objects, thus uniting two passions: art and the
book itself. The exhibition opened to great enthusiasm from the public and the critics
owing to the novelty of its presentation. In the catalogue, art critic Sônia Salzstein in
Books, Rolling Surfaces asserts that the poetical motivation of the
books are the same as in the whole of his output, and adds:
the books have been
emerging sparsely along many years without characterizing a graphic specialty
of the artist, and sometimes it is easier to find links with other non-book works, than
among themselves. (
) Waltercios work is prone to a book-form, less by the
collection of graphic production procedures and techniques or by the specific language
they embody, but as a mode of continuous space, a surface configuration that he seems to
retain from this book-form.
Art critic Paulo Sérgio
Duarte declares in Jornal do Brasil, section Idéias/livros, 14 Aug1999:
Waltercios love for books is just the starting point for exploring his ideas with
books. Works presented are plastic events resulting from different investigations by the
) These questions are sewn by Waltercios major formal characteristic:
in all works nothing is missing, nothing is too much. (
)In the twenty pieces on
display the demanding viewer will be confronted with a net whose knots constitute moments
of method condensation, and with the invisible relations that interlink these diverse
knots to the questions that crisscross the works, changing visually from one to the other.
They can be summed up as space and place, continuous and discontinuous, opaqueness and
transparence pivotal issues in all the works, density and complexity being added.
Solo show Sculptures at
Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica / US.
Group show highlights: Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin 1950s-1980s, Queens
Museum of Art / NY and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis / US; Domestic Pleasures,
Galerie Lelong / NY; Waltercio Caldas, Cildo Meireles, Mira Schendel, Tunga, at
Christopher Grimes Galley, Santa Monica / US.
2000 - Solo show A Room for Velázquez a parallel event to
Splendors of Spain, exhibition at MNBA/ RJ with works by Velázquez and other
Spanish masters. Waltercios room displayed the book-object Velázquez, the canvas
Los Velázquez and two more pieces related to what the artist calls the functioning
Three solo shows in Brazil: Sculptures, at Celma Albuquerque Galeria de Arte,
Belo Horizonte; Books, a Pampulha Art Museum, Belo Horizonte, Drawings
plus one object, at Galeria Laura Marsiaj Arte Contemporânea / RJ.
He installs the public sculpture Frontiers Moment in Itapiranga on the Uruguai River
shore, on the border between Brazil and Argentina. The sculpture was part of the Frontiers
project, sponsored by Instituto Itaú Cultural.
Group shoe highlights: Icon = Grid + Void / Art of the Americas from the Chase
Manhattan Collection, at the American Society / NY; Rediscovery
Exhibition-Brazil 500 years, São Paulo Biennial Foundation; Situations:
Brazilian Art-70s, at Casa França-Brasil / RJ; 20th Century: Art from
Brazil, CalousteGulbenkian Foundation / Lisbon / Portugal (exhibiting Pint Ping from
1980); Outros 500-Highlights of Brazilian Contemporary Art in UECLAA. Albert
Slomn Library, University of Essex / US.
Translated by Paulo Andrade Lemos