Often simple in composition, the art of Waltercio Caldas invites a host of complex questions about perception and space. Caldas challenges not only the way we look at his objects in the moment, but also our perspectives on art more generally. For decades he has been a central figure in Brazilian art. While his influence extends across much of the art world, he has remained largely underrecognized in the United States. To make this exceptional artist more widely known to the U.S. audience, the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin and the Fundação Iberê Camargo, a premier art organization in Porto Alegre, Brazil, have organized the exhibition The Nearest Air: A Survey of Works by Waltercio Caldas.
The exhibition catalog Waltercio Caldas is the first illustrated English-language publication to fully explore Caldas’s four-decade artistic trajectory, his influences, and his impact. The catalog includes essays by the exhibition’s curator, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, director of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros; leading art critic Robert Storr, Dean of the Yale University School of Art, who investigates Caldas’s work in relationship to that of his international peers and its importance in the history of art; and renowned art historian Richard Shiff, modern and contemporary art professor at the University of Texas, who discusses key Caldas works that epitomize his investigation of the history of art. The catalog also includes a selected chronology of the artist’s career and a selected bibliography.