Carlos Vergara's art does not adhere to territories, it is developed in the constant travels he makes around the world, driven by the magic of discovery. Known as a traveling artist, he travels to other cultures and enriches his work with associations of colors, materials, and traits. Part of his universe will be in the retrospective that will take up the entire space of the Bolsa de Arte gallery in São Paulo from March 30th.
The exhibition covers five series of works carried out from the expeditions to Serra da Bodoquena, in Mato Grosso do Sul, at Cappadocia, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Pompeii, Kazakhstan, among other places. The public will be immersed in their choices and findings, all within the libertarian practice of Vergara living with the world. “This show is a noteworthy event that I face in two attacks, one in the area of painting and the other in sculpture”. For him, it is not a mere artist exhibition: “tI work looking outside and inside and the ideas determine the material with which I will develop them”. Vergara is restless, but selective and rigorous with the result of his work, whether in painting on canvas, drawings on paper, steel sculpture, monotypes on large canvas or simple pocket squares.
With turns and searches, he pursues signs for the sacred, “not in the religious sense, but the sacred in a broader sense, contained in the desire to supplant the human state, in the grandiose”. Os Shrouds, made from the tracing of the floor, surface and places chosen by him, are soaked in the colors of the earth and enliven the weave of the fabric, whether canvas or canvas. This is evidenced in the monotypes obtained in Serra da Bodoquena, where the Kadiveu, Indians who fought in the front Brazilian in the Paraguayan War. These works were carried out in different formats and supports, impregnated with memory, history, anthropology. Still of this series are thes pocket squares, identical in shape, which together have the intensity of a map within a living cartography. As a geologist, Vergara makes the decals bent over, crouching, kneeling, on uneven and different pavements. He works the opposites, mimicking the delicacy of the handkerchief with the roughness of the street surface. The scenes of this “performance” seem to capture the breathing in and breathing out of the artist in action. “The scarves were worked on the Portuguese Way to Santiago de Compostela, without assistants”. The password of this transcendental poetics is the record of walks in past times. Each piece is a symbolic element of territory, occupation and a sense of belonging. The “drawings” on the ground appear at random or are constructed. There are traces of cities, such as manhole covers and garbage containment grids.
Every production process usually leaves its mark. within the series Invented Nature, the sculptures are made of steel and bring traces of a possible landscape. The pieces are cut and fit in a kind of game. Five of them are large, about two and a half meters high by one and twenty meters wide and give the show a large scale. At the same time, there are other small-format pieces made of stainless steel.
In the early 1960s Vergara was influenced by pop art and abstract expressionism, a movement to which Iberê Camargo was linked and with whom Vergara worked for a long time. From painting with figurative gestures, graphics and primary colors, he changed his work during the military dictatorship. Part of the anthological show Opinion 65, alongside Antonio Dias, Rubens Gerchman, when his work began to gain notoriety. In 1980, he participated in the 39th Venice Biennale together with Antonio Dias, Ana Bella Geiger and Paulo Roberto Leal and created a huge panel with craft paper, which he now revisits. In his re-reading, the also makes new versions of the columns that are stripped by means of precise stylus cuts. Every exhibition, by any artist, is a temporary view of the work whose gaze can change depending on where it is displayed..
One of the unpublished parts of the retrospective is aseries of assemblages, a term used to define collages with objects, made with liquid asphalt and paraffin. Unlike closed forms, this series presents itself as an active and expanded space in painting. The set of works defines Vergara as a prolific and active artist who, over the years, provokes actions and discoveries in a continuous fruition.