The artist
Waltercio Caldas - © Copyright - Web Master Maurício Lima


Elaborated by Ligia Canongia in close collaboration with the artist, October 2000 – February 2001 in Rio de Janeiro.

1946 - Waltercio Caldas Junior was born in Rio de Janeiro, son of Diva Fialho Caldas and Waltercio Caldas, civil engineer.

Due to his father’s occupation, grows up surrounded by drawings and scale models.
Visiting Santos Dumont Airport in Due to his father’s 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 artist.

In the early sixties, first amateur exhibition showing objects at the Student’s 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.

1964 - Studies under artist/teacher Ivan Serpa at Museum of Modern Art – MAM / Rio de Janeiro (RJ), who advises him on the viability of an artist’s career and on the complexity of art issues.
Constant visits to the collection and library at MAM strengthen the young artist’s formation initiated in the family ambient and boosted by permanent visiting to art galleries.
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 lonesco’s 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 Critics’Association.
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 viewer’s mental habits, (…) 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
ought about.
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 Caroll’s 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 doesn’t 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 Water/Glass/Mirrors (1975).
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 don’t (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 Antonioni’s 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 film’s 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 Waltercio’s 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 Experimental Room.

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 Venancio Filho.
In the essay titled “The Limits of Art and the Art of Limits”, Ronaldo Brito states:
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. What’s art and what’s not art, when it ceases to be, how it can be art and how it cannot be – those are the questions. But he doesn’t 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, what’s in-between, the lines that exist while a process for marking out different regions. It’s 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 itself. (…) Let’s 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 paper’s 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 paper’s profile. The void that is going to be created reeks of the pierced thickness – in this case, the art languages and the art circuit.
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 – and says:
Waltercio’s 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. (…) These 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 1979)

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. It’s this but it’s 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 impossibility. (…) 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 isn’t the die. One may think it’s time. (…) The blind man’s 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 read:
… 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 wasn’t about ‘reclaiming one more niche in the territory of established knowledge, for this place doesn’t 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 Waltercio Caldas.

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 ‘artis’s 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 it’s 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:

It’s 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 (…) Waltercio’s 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 catalogue.
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 object’s 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 draughtsman’s 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, successively.
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 paper’s graphic space. Waltercio’s 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 visitation.
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 curator’s text is published herein.
Invited to integrate group show Panorama of Brazilian Art Today / 90 – Paper, at MAM /SP.
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 he writes:

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 Horizonte.
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 viewer’s 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 Kasse.
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. Waltercio’s 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 artist’s 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 Critics’ Association.

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 bull’s 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 static appearance.
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 Sign’s 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 institution’s graphic editions program.
Publishes the book Velázquez, Editora Anonima /SP.
Extremely important book-work in the artist’s 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 artist’s canvases.
Represented with sculptures at the 23rd São Paulo Biennial as Brazil’s 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 Janeiro.
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 landscape.
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 Aracy Amaral.
The show consisted of projects and scale models of never-built public sculptures in Waltercio’s 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 don’t 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 historical reference.
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 Waltercio’s 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. (…) Waltercio’s 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:

Actually, Waltercio’s 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 artist. (…) These questions are sewn by Waltercio’s 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. Waltercio’s room displayed the book-object Velázquez, the canvas Los Velázquez and two more pieces related to what the artist calls ‘the functioning of mirrors’.
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 Frontier’s 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