Often simple in composition, the art of Waltercio Caldas invites a host of complex questions about perception and space. Caldas challenges not only the way we look at his objects in the moment but also our perspectives on art more generally. For decades he has been a central figure in Brazilian art. While his influence extends across much of the art world, he has remained largely underrecognized in the United States. To make this exceptional artist more widely known to the U.S. audience, the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin and the Fundação Iberê Camargo, a premier art organization in Porto Alegre, Brazil, have organized the exhibition The Nearest Air: A Survey of Works by Waltercio Caldas.
Waltercio Caldas is the first illustrated English-language publication to fully explore Caldas’s four-decade artistic trajectory, his influences, and his impact. The book includes essays by the exhibition’s curator, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, director of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros; leading art critic Robert Storr, Dean of the Yale University School of Art, who investigates Caldas’s work in relationship to that of his international peers and its importance in the history of art; and renowned art historian Richard Shiff, modern and contemporary art professor at the University of Texas, who discusses key Caldas works that epitomize his investigation of the history of art. The book also includes a selected chronology of the artist’s career and a selected bibliography.
Foreword: Simone Wicha, Blanton Museum of Art
Preface and Acknowledgments: Fundação Iberê Camargo
The Octopus and a Completely Full Aquarium: Waltercio Caldas: Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro
The Mirage Maker: Robert Storr
The Question: Richard Shiff
About the Artist and Contributors
Waltercio Caldas has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio, the Kanaal Foundation in Belgium, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and Christopher Grimes Gallery in Santa Monica, among other venues. He participated in the Venice Biennale in 1997 and 2007, as well as in multiple São Paulo and Mercosul Biennials in Brazil. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and the Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo, among others.