The exhibition Iberê Camargo: um trágico nos trópicos, originally open on May 2014, was the first of a series of homages organized for the artist’s centenary of birth. After being considered by the São Paulo Association of Art Critics the best exhibition of the year, it arrives at Rio de Janeiro, marking the end of the cycle of celebrations. The 131 works exhibited at the second floor of the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio) – some of them especially selected by the Museum’s curator Luiz Camillo Osorio – include paintings, drawings, engravings and matrixes.
Iberê Camargo (1914 – 1994, Brazil) lived in Rio de Janeiro for 40 years, from 1942 to 1982, and it was in that city that his education was consolidated and where he was consecrated as one of Brazil’s most important modern artists – his first retrospective show was held at MAM Rio, in 1962.
MAM Rio’s visitors will be able to see works from Iberê’s “Natureza Morta” [Still Life] series, which he began on the 1950s after returning from Europe and studying with masters like Carlos Alberto Petrucci, De Chirico and André Lhote, until his latest large and tragic paintings, from the 1990s, that include the series “Ciclistas”, “As Idiotas” and “Tudo Te é Fácil e Inútil”. According to the curator, the core of the show is the maturing process of the artist’s production throughout his life. A small, more intimate room was created in the exhibition to display his graphic production, where many of his recurrent themes and obsessions are worked in a more direct way, with cutting and precise lines. He states that:
“The show based on the understanding that there is a direct relationship between the living presence of the pictorial material and the tragic potency of his painting. There is no chronological narrative, but a desire to perceive how throughout his career, at least after his spools, when he came of age pictorially speaking, there is the same tension between painting a motif and the very motive for painting. A tangible tension between what is perceived and the weight of the gesture and layers of paint. In this curatorial approach, we have prioritized the artist’s mature phase, showing it as the zenith of his trajectory, when the return to the figure was not so much a resumption of something that had been abandoned as an explicitation of corporeity – of man and painting – and its inscription as visuality incarnate”.
Luiz Camillo Osorio has also organized and written the presentation of the book “Cem anos de Iberê” [One hundred years of Iberê], edited by Cosac Naify and Iberê Camargo Foundation in 2014. The 448 pages publication exhibits 272 images and 13 curatorial essays from exhibitions organized by the Iberê Camargo Foundation.