Waltercio Caldas was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1946, where he still lives and works.
Caldas is a major figure of Brazil’s contemporary art scene. He started his artistic practice in the 1960s, a period marked by the Neo-Concrete movement. For five decades, the process of perception and the relations between the gaze and reflection have been at the heart of his work, where extremely pure and almost minimalist forms coexist with a conceptual complexity. His sculptures are both present and immaterial and show not so much the objects but rather the space between these objects. As Guy Brett writes, “the minimum of physical material reveals the maximum latent spatial energy.”
Thus, Caldas goes beyond the duality between presence and absence, positive and negative, and manages to reach a paradoxical fusion between a tangible reality and thought.
Language plays a fundamental part in this process of constructing meaning. Because of this essential relation between names and objects, between what we see and what we read, the title becomes an integral part of Waltercio Caldas’s work. What matters when approaching his work, is the precise and enigmatic moment of perception revealing the work as a process, an echo to phenomenological thought which argued that the object only exists in the eye of the viewer.
His first solo exhibition took place at the Modern Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro in 1973 when he was only 27. Numerous museums and art institutions have dedicated exhibitions to his work since, including the Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, Netherlands (1992), the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal (2008), the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, United States (2013), the State Pinacotheca in São Paulo, Brazil (2013), etc.
He represented Brazil in the 47th Venice Biennale and took part in the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. He also participated in the dOCUMENTA 9 in Kassel (1992) and in the 5th Mercosul Biennial (2005).
His works are included in major collections throughout the world: Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), the Museum of Modern Art (New York, United States), the National Gallery of Art (Washington, United States), the Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), among others.
His monumental public installations are present in numerous countries: Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, Norway, Germany, etc.