This exhibition celebrates the work of the Venezuelan artist Oswaldo Vigas, whose work was acclaimed internationally for more than five decades as he exhibited at galleries throughout the world. Vigas, who died on April 22, 2014 at the age of 90, has been praised posthumously as a “colossus because throughout his life he turned adversity into the fuel that propelled his creativity” (Susana Benko, ArtNexus).
“Vigas Informalista, Paris 1959-1964” presents over fifty paintings and works on paper from the artist’s second period of work in Paris, which began in late 1958 after a prolonged stay in Venezuela and ended with his return to his native country in mid-1964. Many works in this show have not been previously exhibited, or have not been seen for many years. This exhibition follows the 2013 “Vigas Constructivista” at the same gallery.
Vigas’s paintings from the period under investigation reveal his interest in abstract expressionism and lyrical abstraction, while remaining distinct from the works he created in the years before and after. In 1957, the artist described his style as follows: “[a] system of signs and symbols, a personal way of conceiving objects, figures, planes of color, lines, spaces,” hence pointing to the heterogeneity of his artistic language, which relied on a complex matrix of referents and modes of expressions. While critics have often focused on Vigas’s continuous interest in his unique artistic heritage reaching back to pre-Columbian art, they have also praised his daring fusion of abstraction with figuration as modern expression sui generis. Vigas’s approach to art paralleled that of the artists often referred to as second-generation Abstract Expressionists, and in France, that of the proponents of lyrical abstraction, who were dissatisfied with the growing presence of pop art and New Realism, as well as with a conceptual push toward neo-dada in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Among the works presented in this show are Naciente I and Gemini, both from 1962, and Vuelo ígneo, 1963. As the exhibition curator Dr. Marek Bartelik explains, “the two former works display Vigas’s subtle interplay of figuration with abstraction, which had become his signature style by then; the latter is a prime example of gestural abstraction, which in the context of American art, puts him closer to Cy Twombly than to Jackson Pollock; at the same time, these works reveal Vigas’s fascination with the ‘primordial’ aspects of art, similar to that expressed in works of Jean Dubuffet and the CoBrA group.”
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, in which Dr. Bartelik discusses Vigas’s art in the context of the artistic life in Paris in the late 1950s and the early 1960s.
About Ascaso Gallery
With a quarter century history in Caracas and Valencia, Ascaso Gallery opened its doors in Miami to extend its rich exhibition program and offer professional specialized art consulting services to South Floridians and other US clients.
The gallery’s impeccable status in the international fine art community is backed by experience, expertise, expanding market and its selection of the leading names of Venezuelan and Latin American masters. Antonio and Limari Ramirez de Ascaso have given their support to public art projects and publication of serious catalogues and books making a priority to contribute scholarly thinking and writing on Latin American art history. Ascaso Gallery is a constant presence in the most prestigious art fairs worldwide.