An individual exhibition of the Venezuelan painter Oswaldo Vigas (1923-2014), one of the most influential artists in Venezuela during the second half of the 20th century, whose centenary of his birth is celebrated in 2023, is exhibited for the first time in Mexico.
Oswaldo Vigas. look inside, will remain at the Museum of Modern Art until February 11. In an interview during a tour of the exhibition for The Sun of Mexicohis son, the filmmaker Lorenzo Vigas, explains: “The importance of my father’s work lies in the fact that, at a time when many artists sought to resemble international aesthetic canons, as was the case with geometry in the 60s, He said ‘we don’t have to look towards Europe, but towards Latin America’.
“Something wonderful about this exhibition is that we see the relationship between the work of Oswaldo Vigas and other great Latin American artists who also decided to turn their gaze at that time, such as Rufino Tamayo, Wifredo Lam, or Francisco Toledo,” he adds. .
The exhibition is made up of 110 works by 27 artists, as well as objects belonging to the library and the indigenous art collection of Oswaldo Vigas.
Divided into thematic nuclei that cover the painter’s career, among them that of his first striking exhibitions, in which he exhibited his first Witches, which scandalized the academy, still very figurative and even landscape; her time in Paris in the 1950s, as well as her internationalization.
“What he looked for were the signs that the communities that were in our lands before colonization left us, he found them in the petroglyphs of Venezuela, those paintings made on the stones and that inspired him a lot, but also the pre-Columbian art in clay and a Wayú or Guajira indigenous community, which exists on the border between Peru and Venezuela,” explains Lorenzo, who recently premiered the documentary at the National Cinemateca The orchid thiefwhich shows the most human side of his father, whom he himself interviewed.
Apart from being a painter and muralist, Oswaldo Vigas was an active character, who at various times sought the integration of Latin American artists through meetings, gatherings and encounters, but also through exhibitions in Venezuela.
“That is what we wanted to express in this exhibition, which I consider necessary, because we can realize how important this union is from a plastic point of view, but also from an identity as a continent, politically and socially.”
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Regarding the lack of knowledge of Oswaldo Vigas’ work in our country, the filmmaker explains that “during his life he was not interested in promoting his work. He dedicated himself more to painting and working than to promoting his work, like other artists who did very well. The relationship he had with the galleries was complicated. So, it is really that after his death, the Oswaldo Vigas Foundation is seeking international promotion of his art, so many people in the world are discovering his work.
“Oswaldo Vigas always had great admiration for Mexico, for the cultural roots of this country. He had a very close relationship with several Mexican painters, such as Rufino Tamayo or Francisco Toledo, with whom he was in Paris at the same period. Especially with Toledo he established a great friendship, since they worked at that time in the same engraving workshop. That is why we find it very exciting that we can finally have this exhibition here,” concludes Lorenzo Vigas.