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View of “Waltercio Caldas: The Nearest Air and Other Matters,” 2012. Floor, both works: Escultura para todos os materiais não transparentes (Sculpture for All Nontransparent Materials), 1985. Suspended: O ar mais próximo (The Nearest Air), 1991. Wall: Tubos de ferro pintados (Painted Tubes) (detail), 1978. Photo: Fabio Del Re.

Waltercio Caldas

Galeria Camargo Vilaça

View of “Waltercio Caldas: The Nearest Air and Other Matters,” 2012. Floor, both works: Escultura para todos os materiais não transparentes (Sculpture for All Nontransparent Materials), 1985. Suspended: O ar mais próximo (The Nearest Air), 1991. Wall: Tubos de ferro pintados (Painted Tubes) (detail), 1978. Photo: Fabio Del Re.

IT IS NOTORIOUSLY DIFFICULT to translate an encounter with Waltercio Caldas’s work into words. As soon as one attempts to articulate the effects of his production, one betrays one’s own experience and thus the work’s force. This very difficulty, however, is a consequence of the investigation into perception that is at the core of his endeavor. As the artist once explained, “It is the nature of the art object to preserve its destiny as hypothesis.” It follows that his works are like open experiments, but rather than providing an answer, they hold all verifiable visual truths at bay.

The retrospective exhibition “Waltercio Caldas: The Nearest Air and Other Matters,” curated by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro and Ursula Davila-Villa, includes four decades of objects, drawings, sculptures, and books. Some works featured in the show, such as Condutores de percepção (Perception Conductors), 1969,

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