Oswaldo Vigas

Green animal with mouth open wide revealing sharp teeth and patterns of geometric color surrounding it, similar to netting.

Oswaldo Vigas, “The Net,” 1952, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the Oswaldo Vigas Foundation

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Oswaldo Vigas was born in Valencia, Venezuela, in 1923, of mixed Indigenous and Spanish heritage. He is considered one of Latin America's most prominent artists, along with such important figures as Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, and Rufino Tamayo. Vigas is known for his unique and personal vision that takes inspiration from his mestizo identity and the history, mythology, and ancient art of his birthplace mixed with influences from European modernism.

 In 1952, after receiving the National Visual Arts Award and having a major solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Caracas, Vigas relocated to Paris, where he joined a dynamic and cosmopolitan community of avant-garde artists dedicated to experimentation. He absorbed the lessons of Cubism, Surrealism, and Constructivism while never abandoning his commitment to the Indigenous and African patrimony of his native land.

Upon returning to Venezuela in 1964, where he remained until his death in 2014, Vigas's contribution to the cultural life of his country cannot be overstated. In addition to his prodigious output in painting, sculpture, ceramics, and murals, Vigas exhibited widely around the world. He was the first artist to represent Venezuela at the Venice Biennale when its national pavilion was inaugurated in 1954. In addition, he has had solo museum exhibitions throughout Latin America and the United States.

This exhibition comprises paintings from the 1950s, including his early Paris years and his 1970s work after his return to Venezuela. It is organized by the Boca Raton Museum of Art in collaboration with the Fundación Oswaldo Vigas and coincides with the recent launch of a catalogue raisonné of his work.

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This exhibition has been made possible by the Museum's Leadership Donors.

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