For the 2019 Armory Show, Ascaso Gallery is proposing a single-artist booth devoted to the great Venezuelan modernist Oswaldo Vigas. Vigas, who died in 2014 at 90, had a career lasting seven decades, as a key participant in the Parisian art scene in the 1950s and upon his return to Venezuela in 1964, as a towering figure in Latin American art. During his lifetime, he showed extensively with over 100 solo exhibitions and international shows, including the 1953 Sao Paulo Biennale and the Venice Biennale in 1954 and 1962. Weaving together indigenous iconography with modernist influences, Vigas retained his Venezuelan roots even as he explored cubism, Art Informal, geometric abstraction and the CoBra art movement. It is our intention to highlight the development of his work from the 1950s through the 1970s with a selection of paintings, ranging from Objeto gris, 1954, an early experiment in cubism, through Sacrificante, 1972, a later composition reflecting his desire to invent a unique vocabulary or as Vigas put it, “An abstraction of sensitivity.”
Ascaso Gallery has represented Vigas for over twenty years and works closely with his estate to ensure his legacy. Vigas is poised to receive greater attention in the United States with his second museum retrospective in one year in North America , currently on view at the Tampa Museum of Art. As we reexamine the history of modernism, expanding the canon to include under-recognized artists from diverse cultural backgrounds, Oswaldo Vigas is an important artist who deserves wider acknowledgement.
Booth Number at the fair: 116
Text: Barbara Pollack