Oswaldo Vigas. Poetics of abstraction

Curated by Carmen Gaitán Rojo
Director of the Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL)

Recognizing this universal Venezuelan is today a task that forces Mexicans to pay tribute, as one of the great artists who coined multiple sources of inspiration. Of this undoubted fact, it accounts for the variety of records reached in the pieces chosen for this exhibition. For the painter, the search for the ancestral is an eternal present, a fundamental source that nourishes his work.

In 1952 he won the National Prize for Plastic Arts, with the work La gran bruja, he challenged the structures of Venezuela, his country, and exerted an intellectual and artistic impact, which caused him to be given a central place in the national plastic. Facial and textile designs of the Wayuu culture, characterized by subtle geometric structures, impact his work. This interest was typical of a generation and a continent that was meeting its cultural and spiritual essence.

Oswaldo Vigas. Poetics of Abstraction, gives a synthesis of 50 years of uninterrupted creation. The records run from the years 1950 to 2009. The aesthetic construction of Oswaldo Vigas will surely dazzle with the overwhelming honesty that reflects each of the 18 paintings and three sculptures, which for the first time we can appreciate in Mexico.

Press Release

Oswaldo Vigas. Poetics of abstraction, the first individual exhibition of the artist in Mexico, will address 50 years of production of one of the most important Latin American modernists of the twentieth century.

To comprise the work of Oswaldo Vigas in a single exhibition is an ambitious project in terms of synthesis, one that extends through different historical, geographical and stylistic stages. For this reason, our exhibition Oswaldo Vigas. Poetics of Abstraction will focus on presenting a representative sample of his work, structuring the content with some of the most characteristic works of each of the decades of his career in the period from 1950 to 2009.

From the buoyant 50s of abstract constructivism and outstanding participation in the legendary "Avant-Garde" Paris’ scene; to the 60s informalism, Zen Buddhism and the return to Venezuela; going through the 70s of vertical compositions and anthropomorphic geometrization, to the 80s of gestural and sculptural production; until reaching the 90s of minimalist figurative development and production based on drawing and line: the artistic life of Oswaldo Vigas describes a person with an impressive creative energy, a deep intellectual interest in his vocation and an extraordinary sharpness to identify the cultural fibres of the Latin American worldview. In the words of the critic JJ Tharrats: “Vigas seems to assume in his painting that idea advocated by Torres García: make a virgin art but penetrated from the essences of each land and reach with this the unification, within the greatest diversity, of all the art of the continent...”