The 1940s

1923

Oswaldo Vigas is born on August 4 in Valencia, Venezuela.

1942

He is awarded the Best Illustration for Poetry Award at the First Salón de Poemas Ilustrados, Ateneo de Valencia (Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela), where he is also given his first solo exhibition.

“In the Liceo Pedro Gual, the future graduates were interested in poetry, me among them. I also used to paint. At that time, fun meant writing, reciting, and being aware all the cultural activities that were taking place at the Athenaeum...”

From an interview with Alfredo Fermín, El Carabobeño, 2001

1943

Vigas receives the Medal of Honor in the first Salón de Pintura Arturo Michelena, where he exhibits several works made between 1942 and 1943.

1945

Vigas is admitted to the School of Medicine at the Universidad de los Andes (ULA) in Mérida, Venezuela. He presents a solo exhibition at the Ateneo de Valencia, and participates in the III Salón Arturo Michelena.

“When I entered the University, I continued painting, and with the money I obtained from the sale of my paintings I was able to complete my medical studies.”

From Gisela Ortega, “El médico pinta cuadros,” Caracas a Diario, 1982

1946

Vigas presents the exhibition Oswaldo Vigas at the Ateneo de Valencia. His painting continues to be based on the human figure, depicted with growing distortion and greater freedom, and a thickening of brush strokes, in reinforcement of the general expressivity of his work. He begins his series of figuras de los Andes.

1947

Vigas participates in the V Salón Arturo Michelena, Ateneo de Valencia.

1948

He participates in a group exhibition with other contemporary painters from Carabobo, at the Ateneo de Mérida, in Mérida, Venezuela.

1949

He continues studying Medicine at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and joins the Taller Libre de Arte in Caracas, periodically visiting the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Cristóbal Rojas, where he is in contact with Manuel Cabré, Martín Durban, Pedro Ángel González, Rafael Ramón González, and Rafael Monasterios, among others. He receives First Prize in the First Salón de Pintura of the Ateneo de Mérida. The human figure remains the central theme of his painting. He begins using flat, lacerated colors; at the same time, he discovers pre-Columbian pottery. All this serves as a prelude to Vigas’ Brujas (“witches”) period.

The 1950s

1950

Vigas founds the magazine Taller (“Studio”) along with painter Alirio Oramas. He receives the Lastenia Tello de Michelena Prize at the VIII Salón Arturo Michelena, at the Ateneo de Valencia, and he participates in the III Salón Anual de Pintura A. Planchart.

1951

Vigas graduates as a doctor at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He participates in the XII Salón Oficial Anual de Arte Venezolano at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, the Young Painters Salon, and the exhibition Pintura Venezolana Contemporánea at the Biblioteca de la Central Obrera. He attends the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Cristóbal Rojas.

1952

Vigas is awarded the National Prize for Visual Arts, the XIII Salón Oficial Anual de Arte Venezolano, Museo de Bellas Artes, the John Boulton Award, and the Arturo Michelena Prize for the X Salón Arturo Michelena at the Ateneo de Valencia. Vigas visits painter and sculptor Armando Reverón along with some friends and colleagues from the Taller Libre de Arte, such as Mario Abreu, Gabriel Bracho, Jacobo Borges, Manuel Cabré, R. R. González, Ángel Hurtado, Pedro León Castro, Armando Lira, Rafael Monasterios, Francisco Narváez, Héctor Poleo, and E. Elvira Zuloaga. He presents the retrospective exhibition Oswaldo Vigas: 1946-1952 at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas and at the Ateneo de Valencia. He settles in Paris.

“Vigas’ Brujas (“witches”), as symbolic elements, can be considered as archetypes with magic-totemic content that implies an essential symbolic scheme. They possess the power of instantaneity, of the transitory but, strangely–or extraordinarily--within a permanent reality in which a synthesis of form and meaning is established. This synthesis could be described as a sharp, enigmatic, and obsessive abbreviation.”

From Bélgica Rodríguez, “Las Brujas de Vigas,” El Nacional, April 8, 1979, Caracas

1953

He enters L’École des Beaux-Arts, where he takes etching and lithography workshops with Marcel Jaudon and Stanley William Hayter. With five mural works he takes part in the Síntesis de las Artes conceived by the architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva in connection with the construction of the Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. Vigas participates in the group exhibition Pintores carabobeños de ayer y hoy at the Ateneo de Valencia, and in the II Biennial of São Paulo, in Brazil. In France he attends the IX Salon de Mai and the Salon Réalités Nouvelles.

1954

Vigas participates in Oeuvres pour la Cité Universitaire de Caracas, at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, of which artist and editor André Bloc presents analytical works in the magazine L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui. Projects for murals of Vigas are published by Michel Seuphor-- pseudonym of Belgian artist and writer Fernand Berckelaers– in the L’Art d’aujourd’hui, together with works by the French masters Jean Arp, André Bloc, Henry Laurens, Fernand Léger, Baltasar Lobo, Antoine Pevsner, and Victor Vasarely. Vigas attends the X Salon de Mai at the Musée d’Art Moderne de La Ville de Paris, for which artists like Jean Arp, Marc Chagall, Georges Dayez, Paul Delvaux, Alberto Giacometti, Emile Gilioli, Wifredo Lam, Henry Laurens, René Magritte, Alfred Manessier, Georges Mathieu, Henri Matisse, Roberto Matta, Max Ernst, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Gérard Schneider, and Gustave Singier are also present. He represents Venezuela at the XXVII Venice Bienniale, in Italy. He is part of the traveling exhibition Painters of Venezuela at the Pan American Union, funded by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., along with Mario Abreu, Armando Barrios, Humberto Jaimes Sánchez, and Mateo Manaure. He presents the exhibition Vigas at the Galería Cuatro Vientos, in Caracas.

“Freed from the integrationist aesthetic demands of architecture, the drawing that delimits the figure accentuates itself, the substance becomes denser and the tones of the palette become darker, predominantly grey, ocher, and olive-green. A wild atmosphere envelops the characters, sometimes imposing itself on the remains of figuration that persist.”

From the text of the Vigas catalog, Galería Cuatro Vientos, Caracas, April 7, 1954

1955

His friend Humberto Castillo Suárez introduces Vigas to Pablo Picasso, whom he visits in Picasso’s house in Cannes, La Californie. Vigas participates in the III Bienal Hispanoamericana de Arte in Barcelona; Chantage de la beauté, Galerie de Beaune; XI Salon de Mai, tribute to Henry Laurens, Henri Matisse, and Nicolas de Stael at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; XIII Salón Arturo Michelena, Ateneo de Valencia; III Biennial of São Paulo, Brazil; and the 1955 Carnegie International exhibition of contemporary painting at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1956

He participates in the XVII Salón Oficial Anual de Arte Venezolano at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas and in the III Salón d’Empaire de Pintura in Maracaibo, Venezuela. In France, he presents Oswaldo Vigas, Blanc et noir at Galerie La Roue in Paris; he participates in Permanence de part, Musée de Picardie, Amiens; XII Salon de Mai, tribute to Fernand Léger, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; tribute to Paul Klee at the Galerie Craven, along with Roger Bissière, Victor Brauner, Jean Dubuffet, Hans Hartung, Roberto Matta, Bram Van Velde, and María Helena Vieira da Silva, among others; exhibition at the Galerie La Roue, along with Martin Barre, Dahmen, Gino Paoli, and Sugai; and Première Exposition Internationale de l’Art Plastique Contemporain, Musée des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris, together with the Venezuelan artists Jorge Andrade, Ángel Hurtado, Humberto Jaimes Sánchez, Francisco Narváez, and Pascual Navarro. He also participates in the Gulf Caribbean Art Exhibition, a group show at thre Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, where he receives one of the exhibition’s three awards, along with Cundo Bermúdez and Armando Morales; Picasso and Contemporary Art, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Bienal Interamericana de Pintura y Grabado, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico.

“Vigas’ progress goes from painting that recreates the forms of nature retained in the subconscious to a conceptual art whose purpose is to act upon the viewer with sensory blows.”

From Juan Calzadilla, “La pintura de Oswaldo Vigas,” El Nacional, November 12, 1957, Caracas

1957

The artist participates in the Retrospectiva de pintura carabobeña y residente at the Ateneo de Valencia, where he also exhibits Oswaldo Vigas: 1953-1957. Both were subsequently exhibited at the Centro de Bellas Artes y Letras in Maracaibo, and the Fundación Eugenio Mendoza. Vigas travels to Venezuela and participates in the drafting and signing of an intellectuals’ manifesto against the dictatorship of General Marcos Pérez Jiménez. He participates in the IX Salón Anual organized by the Salón Planchart and presents Oswaldo Vigas at the Galería de Arte Contemporáneo in Caracas. He participates in the XIII Salon de Mai, tribute to Constantin Brancusi, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Vigas presents Oswaldo Vigas at the Sala Negra, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Madrid, Spain.

“The forms that until then were closed to reach, the Black Objects (“Objetos Negros”), began to free themselves from their conceptual rigor, incorporating the expansive graphics of pre-Columbian petroglyphs.”

From Gaston Diehl, Oswaldo Vigas, Armitano Editores, Caracas, Venezuela, 1992

1958

He receives the Puebla de Bolívar prize and participates at the XIX Salón Oficial Anual de Arte Venezolano at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas. He exhibits Oswaldo Vigas of Venezuela at the Pan American Union, in Washington D.C., and participates in the Carnegie International exhibition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He presents Oswaldo Vigas, blancos y negros at the Fundación Eugenio Mendoza, where he also participates in 26 Artistas Venezolanos.

“First with solid drawings, full of suggestions, later with oil paintings of delightful execution, Vigas has employed his refined sense of order to group his shapes. Black and white fuse without confusion, they mix and they keep being black and white, never gray. That is, an intellectual order rules and contains what could, by its very nature, lean toward the more hermetic ideals of a tropical baroque.”

José Gómez-Sicre

1959

Vigas is appointed Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of Venezuela in France, a position he resigns in 1962. He participates in the exhibition Arte latinoamericano contemporáneo at the Palacio de la Inquisición in Cartagena, Colombia, where he receives the Art Acquisition Prize. He participates in several group exhibitions in the United States: The Slater Memorial Museum of Norwich University of Nebraska Art Gallery; Collections of Pan American Art, Art Institute of Chicago; South American Art Today, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; and Contemporary Drawings from Latin America, Pan American Union, Washington D.C. The artist participates in Veinte años del Salón a través de sus premios, at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas.

The 1960s

1960

Vigas participates in Collection of Contemporary Art of Latin America, at the Pan American Union, Washington D.C. By the end of 1958 we can see in his work the need to break with the formal and arrive at a decisive point in the use of subject matter that for the next three years evokes feelings of a primeval landscape.

1961

The artist presents Vigas, peintures récentes, at the Galerie La Roue, in Paris. He participates in 3 peintres: Attila, Ann Weber, et Vigas, Galerie Neufville, and in the XII Salon de Mai, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, with Francis Bacon, Enrico Baj, Capogrossi, Charchoune, Marta Colvin, Agustín Fernández, Sam Francis, Hundertwasser, Ipousteguy, John Levée, André Masson, Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, Irving Petlin, Emilio Pettoruti, Antonio Saura, Shinkichi Tajiri, Rufino Tamayo, Mark Tobey, Zañartu, and Zao Wou-ki. He takes part in the XXII Salón Oficial Anual de Arte Venezolano at the Museo de Bellas Artes, and in the De la colonia a nuestros días, Pintura venezolana: 1661-1961, whose catalog prologue was written by Geraldo Meneses.

1962

With other seventeen other artists– among them Jacobo Borges, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Manuel Espinoza, Luis Guevara Moreno, Humberto Jaimes Sánchez, Alejandro Otero, Mercedes Pardo, Régulo Pérez, Héctor Poleo, Manuel Quintana Castillo, and Jesús Soto– Vigas participates in an exhibition at the Venezuelan-Israeli Cultural Institute, New York, which was subsequently presented in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He participates in the XVII Salon des Réalités Nouvelles with Sonia Delaunay, Emile Gilioli, Marc Jacobsen, Jean Messagier, Mortensen, Orlando Pelayo, Piza, Serge Poliakof, Mario Prassinos, Victor Vasarely, and Helena Vieira da Silva at the Museé d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, where he also organizes and promotes the institution’s first exhibition of Latin American Art with other Latin American artists and French critics. Along with Mariano Hernández, Joan Mitchell, and John Von Wicht, he exhibits at the Galerie Neufville and in Donner à voir N° 2 at the Galerie Creuze, in Paris. For “impulsion ou la nature du geste” (“impulse or the essence of gesture”), Vigas is selected by the French critic Raoul Jean Moulin to participate in the exhibition L’art latinoaméricain à Paris at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Vigas participates in Pintores contemporáneos de la Escuela de París at the Rabat Museum, Morocco, organized by Gaston Diehl. He is appointed Commissioner for Venezuela at the XXXI Venice Biennale.

1963

Vigas takes part in several group exhibitions: XIX Salon de Mai, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; La Boîte et son contenu, with Arnal, Arroyo, Baj, Bury, J. E. Camargo, César, Guzmán, Mariano Hernández, Istrati, Labisse, Lapoujade, Licata, Minujín, Nevelson, Peverelli, Piza, Rebeyrolle, Jesús Soto, Sugai, and Takis; Del paisaje a la expresión plástica, Musée Maison de la Culture, Le Havre; and Donner a voir N° 2 at the Galerie Creuze (curated by Gerald Gassiot Talabot, Jean Clarence Lambert, Jean Jacques Lévèque, Raoul Jean Moulin, and José Pierre). He presented two solo exhibitions: Vigas, peintures récentes, Galerie La Roue, and Vigas, Galerie Neufville and Librairie-Galerie Anglaise, whose catalog was organized by Raoul Jean Moulin. Vigas participates in a group exhibition at the Adams Morgan Gallery, Washington D.C. He attends the Stanley William Hayter’s etching workshop.

“With Vigas, here is painting that moves, where all the expressive violence of this young Venezuelan appears inscribed in color and gesture. He has ceased to compose a node of massive lines like a nebula suspended in the space of the picture, subject to a glazed, chalk-white light. Vigas covers the canvas from edge to edge, sweeping it with a dripping black brush that conceals the harshness of greens, reds, yellows. The subject seems to have transformed-- it is more expressive; its space, made of light and transparencies. It is also less studied; it is simply installed in the picture’s space, flooded with a tumult of color.”

Jacques Michel, “A través las galerías,” (exhibition at the Neufville Gallery), Le Monde, November 15, 1963, Paris

1964

Vigas settles in Venezuela with his wife Janine and lives in Valencia.

The artist presents two solo exhibitions in Caracas: Oswaldo Vigas, pinturas de los años 1960-1964 at the Fundación Eugenio Mendoza gallery, and another at the Ateneo de Caracas, whose cataliog text was written by José Augusto Franca and Robert Ganzó. He presents Oswaldo Vigas, exposición de pinturas at the Universidad de los Andes, in Mérida. He participates in the XXII Salón Arturo Michelena. For the second time he wins the Arturo Michelena Award. He presents Oswaldo Vigas, retrospectiva 1941-1934 and participates in the group exhibitions L’École at the Musée d’Alger, homage to the Algerian revolution, and La pintura latinoamericana, Artistas de la Escuela de París at the Casa de la Cultura in Havana, Cuba.

“An exhilarating show, maybe a little monstrous, of unforeseen dimensions: those black forms, live snakes that threaten the oil compositions, are organized in the gouaches, joining the game of gestures as a key to our reading or a compass to mark the route. Here’s the compelling reason to believe that Vigas has understood the greatest responsibility of this journey, spiritual and physical at once, routed between gesture and sign, into a atmosphere of magical, human density.”

José Augusto Franca, from the catalog of the exhibition Oswaldo Vigas: grabados, dibujos, gouaches, Ateneo de Caracas, November, 1964

1965

Vigas is appointed Director of Culture at the Universidad de los Andes. He settles in Mérida, Venezuela, where he continues painting. He founds the Center of Cinematography, the first cinematographic school in the country. He presents the exhibition Oswaldo Vigas: pinturas de los años 1960-1964 at the Casa de la Cultura in Maracay, Aragua, and participates in the traveling group exhibition Venezolanische Malerei von Heute at the Newmann Foundation, Germany, with the participation of artists like Jacobo Borges, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Luis Guevara Moreno, Elsa Gramcko, Francisco Hung, Humberto Jaimes Sánchez, Alejandro Otero, Mercedes Pardo, Héctor Poleo, Luisa Richter, and Jesús Soto.

“The final period in Paris (1959-1964) corresponds to an explosion. The force of conquered subject matter, reduced to its simplest forms, is seen in paintings that proclaim liberation. Materials, texturalism, and action painting enter the scene with full power, to bring each canvas to a collapse or an epiphany. The figure struggles during this decade to stand out brilliantly, to become a great character. There is a powerful reason: the work has been liberated.”

Roberto Guevara, catalog of the Parisian exhibition of Los dioses oscuros (“The Dark Gods”), Caracas, August 1993

1966

Vigas participates in the international exhibition Grabadores latinoamericanos in Montevideo, Uruguay. In Caracas he presents Las brujas, árbol genealógico, Oswaldo Vigas: 1941-1952 at Gallery 22, under the coordination of Nelly Baptista; the texts for the catalog are written by Juan Sánchez Peláez and the artist himself.

“There’s something in Vigas tying him deeply to the American soil… Still in his last compositions, a tenacious struggle between intellect and a Dionysian impulse is fought... He catches the often opaque human figure and distorts it so that it acquires glare.”

Juan Sánchez Peláez, catalog essay for Las brujas, árbol genealógico, Oswaldo Vigas: 1941-1952

1967

Birth of Vigas’ son Lorenzo (February 13). The artist presents Vigas: pinturas 1965-1967 at the Fundación Eugenio Mendoza in Caracas, and Oswaldo Vigas, Venezuelan Witches, at the Inter-American Development Bank Gallery, Washington D.C.

“Beings, plants, minerals, and vermin must once have been together, making a single body. With these figures, I am simply trying to assemble what should never have been separated, restoring some balance in the disorder of creation.”

Eduardo Planchart Licea, Paris catalog essay, “Oswaldo Vigas, Arqueología espiritual de un continente,” Caracas, July 1993

1968

Vigas organizes the first Festival Internacional de Música in Mérida. With the support of his wife, Janine. With Juan Astorga Anta, Antonio Estévez, Maurice Hasson, Eduardo Lira Espejo, Carlos Rebolledo, Jesús Rondón Nucete, and the Rector of the Universidad de los Andes, Pedro Rincón Gutiérrez, he organizes the First Exhibition of Latin American Documentary Film. The Museo de Arte Moderno Juan Astorga Anta is created. The artist resigns as Director of Culture at the Universidad de los Andes.

“Telluric matters and spooky issues occupy every day in Oswaldo Vigas’ painting– the retrospective odyssey of the American man in search of his origins.”

Aquiles Nazoa, foreword to the Mitificaciones exhibition catalog, Fundación Eugenio Mendoza, Caracas, June 1970

1969

To mark the bicentenary of the city of Tinaquillo, the artist presents the solo exhibition Oswaldo Vigas at the Casa del Maestro of that city. He participates in the XXVII Arturo Michelena Salon, Ateneo de Valencia.

“His work aims toward a simplification of form that, without being geometric or stereotyped, contains precise and repeated symbols. The lines become straight, a dotted line tends to repeat itself, while some forms are highlighted by color, and the materiality of impasto leaves the picture.”

Sebastián Romero, foreword to the Oswaldo Vigas: mitos y figuraciones exhibition catalog, Portobello Art Gallery, Caracas, October 1973

The 1970s

1970

Vigas settles in Caracas with his family and promotes the creation of the group of artists called Presencia 70, with which the artist presents exhibitions at the Comunidad Educativa Agustín Ravelo, the Ateneo de Caracas, and the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas. He exhibits Mitificaciones at the Fundación Eugenio Mendoza in Caracas, and Vigas 70 at the Galería Bon Art, in Valencia, Venezuela.

“This new proposition of Vigas’ is based on structures of stylized forms, in crossed rhythms, patterns of telluric evocation and of flora invented for the plastic experience, that in their best moments create mysterious and pleasant atmospheres, where it is easy to detect the skill and very difficult to discover their value as artistic research…”

Roberto Guevara, “Vigas 1970,” El Nacional, June 9, 1970, Caracas

1971

Vigas holds the position of Director of the Arts Division of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura y Bellas Artes (INCIBA). He organizes and sets new standards for the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas, the Salón de las Artes Plásticas in Venezuela, the Salón Artes del Fuego, the Salón de Gráficas y Dibujo, and the Salón de Jóvenes. He participates in several group exhibitions at the Galería Salamandra and the Galería Antañona (where he exhibits tapestries with Ana Teresa Dagnino and Humberto Sánchez Jaimes), and also participates in Presencia 71 at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas and at the Casa de la Cultura in Maracay. He presents solo exhibitions at the Teatro de Bellas Artes de Maracaibo and also presents Oswaldo Vigas, pinturas 1945-1971 at the Centro de Historia Larense in Barquisimeto.

1972

Vigas resigns his position and participates in several group exhibitions in Venezuela and in Europe: Treinta años del Salón Arturo Michelena a través de sus premios, Ateneo de Valencia, Casa de la Cultura of Maracay, and Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas; and Colección de Ewa Garztecka, with Eduardo Arroyo, Consagra, Otto Dix, Guinovart, Jan Libenstein, Alfred Lenice, Silvano Lora, Pablo Serrano, and Védova, among others, at the Wroclaw National Museum, in Poland. Starting from the end of this year, a new rejection of the surveillance of the intellect prevails in Vigas’ work, and once again the instinctive need to paint freely is unleashed. Vigas’ new characters retain the structural meaning his characters had in his previous period.

1973

He presents Oswaldo Vigas, pinturas recientes at the Galería Antañona, and Oswaldo Vigas, mitos y figuraciones at the Galería Portobello, both in Caracas. He participates in Gráficas contemporáneas, at the Galería Portobello, and 4 Maestros de la pintura contemporánea: Guevara Moreno, Sánchez Jaimes, Salazar y Vigas at the Museo de Arte Colonial, in Mérida, Venezuela. The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo El Minuto de Dios of Bogota organizes the retrospective Oswaldo Vigas, 1943-1973. Also in Colombia, he presents Oswaldo Vigas: serigrafías at the Galería San Diego, and he participates in the First Bienal de Arte Latinoamericano in Sogamoso, where he wins the First Honor Mention. He participates in the World Print Competition 73, in San Francisco, California.

1974

He presents Ocho artistas venezolanos at the Galería Aele in Madrid, with Teresa Casanova, Doménico Casasanta, José Antonio Dávila, Francisco Narváez, Pardo, Max Pedemonte, and A. Rodríguez. He participates in the Premios Arturo Michelena, Ateneo de Valencia: 1943-1974 at the Ateneo de Valencia, Valencia; Nueve pintores valencianos, at Banco Hipotecario del Centro; Gráfica y dibujo latinoamericano at the Galería Portobello; and Oswaldo Vigas, óleos y acrílicos and the Galería Bancarios.

1975

New York’s Galería Venezuela presents Prints by Vigas and Manaure. Vigas participates in Veinte pintores latinoamericanos at the Galería Siglo XX, in Quito, Ecuador, with Berni, Roberto Matta, Luis Molinari, Antonio Samudio, Jorge Seguí, Fernando de Szyszlo, and Jorge Tábara, among others; Panorama de la pintura venezolana, 113 obras de los siglos XIX y XX at Casa de Las Américas in Havana, Cuba, with the Caracas City Council; and Proposiciones para la arquitectura (maquettes), with Harry Abend, Pedro Barreto, Luis Chacón, Colette Delozanne, Alejandro Otero, and Jesús Soto at the Living Art gallery in Caracas. Oswaldo Vigas, 3 tapicerías opens at the Embassy of Mexico in Caracas.

1976

Vigas is part of the Organizing Committee of the recently created Galería de Arte Nacional and the new Museo de Bellas Artes. He participates in numerous group exhibitions in Venezuela and abroad: Latin Excellence: Contemporary Hispanic Art, at the Xerox Corporation Center, New York, along with by Canogar, Coronel, Juan Fernández, Gabino, Góngora, Matta, Mérida, Morales, Emilio Orozco, Pacheco, Rivera, etc.; Exposición de arte venezolano, gráfica, dibujo y cerámica, Galería CONAC; Salón Nacional Las Artes Plásticas in Venezuela, Museo de Bellas Artes; Seis pintores venezolanos, Galería Arte Presente; Librería-Galería Cruz del Sur, along with Jacobo Borges, Manuel Espinoza, Alejandro Otero, Alirio Palacios, Mercedes Pardo, and Luisa Richter; and Las artes plásticas en Carabobo, siglos XIX y XX, Ateneo de Valencia.

“Oswaldo Vigas is one of the few artists in our midst who, in terms of both intention and program, has gone from the particular to the universal, to the expression of our identity.”

Roberto Montero Castro, “Oswaldo Vigas: la lucha por descubrir la identidad americana,” National Culture Magazine (CONAC) No. 222-223, October-December 1975 and January-March 1976, Caracas

1977

Vigas presents Oswaldo Vigas, imagen de una identidad expresiva at the Museo de Arte Italiano de Lima, Peru, and Ancestros at Galería Venezuela, New York. He participates in the collective exhibitions Pintura Venezolana at the Galería Ariete in San Cristóbal, Venezuela; and Quince pintores, Galería Cubagua, Caracas, along with Hugo Baptista, Gabriel Bracho, Carlos Hernández Guerra, Humberto Jaimes Sánchez, Mateo Manaure, Alirio Palacios, Régulo Pérez, and Manuel Pérez Quintana Castillo.

“With their repetitive rhythm and their well-marked accents, these characters seem to be fantastically mounted on stilts-- for an invisible theater of the ancestors. The carnavalesque and the hieratic are summoned in the same scene; some of the insolent figures, like rigid scarecrows, allow themselves to be surrounded, encrusted by scales.”

Dan Haulica, “La inmersión inmemorial,” París 1952-1993 catalog, Paris, September 1993 (on the paintings produced in 1977)

1978

He presents Oswaldo Vigas, signo y magia at the Galería Durban, in Barquisimeto; Oswaldo Vigas, cien dibujos 1965-1978 at the Galería La Trinchera, in Caracas; and Oswaldo Vigas, una mitología americana, at the Galería de Arte El Callejón in Bogota. In Caracas, he participates in several group exhibitions: Cinco maestros de la pintura actual venezolana: Guevara Moreno, Manaure, Régulo Pérez, Quintana Castillo, y Vigas, Galería Centro de Arte Euroamericano; Ibero-American Art Today, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber, Caracas; AGPA, cartón de Venezuela, obras gráficas, Museo de Bellas Artes; and Premios del Salón Arturo Michelena, Galería de Arte Nacional. He also attends the Salon of Honorees with the Arturo Michelena Award, Ateneo de Valencia. In Paris, he participates in the XXXIV Salon de Mai, a tribute to the poet Juan Sánchez Peláez, at La Galerie; and in Essor de la peinture vénézuelienne entre 1950 et 1966, in the Arturo Michelena and Cristóbal Rojas halls, Venezuela Embassy in France. He participates in the group exhibition held on the anniversary of the Galería Forum in Lima, Peru.

“Suddenly, we find ourselves in these ‘magical’ images of Venezuela’s Oswaldo Vigas en route to metaphor through contradictory emotions like imbalance, order, beauty, fear, turmoil, and harmony, with the face of America unknown and enigmatic.”

Mario River, text for the Oswaldo Vigas, una mitología americana catalog

1979

Vigas presents the retrospective Ritos elementales, dioses oscuros at the Galería de Arte Nacional in Caracas, and Oswaldo Vigas at the Instituto de Arte Panameño in Panama. In Caracas, he participates in the group exhibitions: El mundo de lo sobrenatural at the Boggio Museum, along with Victor Millán, Elsa Morales, Alirio Oramas, Armando Reverón, and Bárbaro Rivas; El arte figurativo en América Latina, Museo de Bellas Artes. He presents Oswaldo Vigas, poesía ancestral at the Galería Gaudí in Maracaibo, and Oswaldo Vigas, ritos elementales, dioses oscuros at the Galería de Arte Nacional in Caracas. He participates in the group exhibition AGPA, cartón de Venezuela, gráficas at the Consulate of Venezuela in New York.

“The selective eye that approaches his work will definitely discern a highly affirmative equilibrium in which a spirit ardently surrenders to the pristine forces of the earth itself, a work that exudes authenticity on all four sides. The culmination of a deserved victory for a man who transmutes matter into something giving dimension to the imperishable, the transcendent.”

Rafael Squirru, “Oswaldo Vigas y la pintura Venezolana,” Instituto de Arte Panameño, 1979

The 1980s

1980

Vigas participates in the Chicago International Art Exhibition at the Navy Pier, Chicago; Venezuelan Art Today Boston 350 Years, a traveling exhibition that tours Boston, Washington D.C., and New York; 30 Artistas Andinos Latinoamericanos at the Museum of Pittsburgh; Momentos de la pintura venezolana en el siglo XX at the Centro Venezolano de Cultura, Bogota; II Ibero-American Biennial of Art, Drawing and Etching, Instituto Cultural Pedro Domecq, Mexico; and XXXI Salon de Mai, a tribute to Sonia Delaunay, at the Centre d’Art. He presents the solo exhibition Oswaldo Vigas, óleos sobre tela, gouaches y tapicerías at the Embassy of Venezuela in Paris. He is invited by the Taller de Artes Gráficas Asociados (TAGA) to participate in a traveling group exhibition in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. He participates in Arte constructivo venezolano 1945-1965 and in Indagación de la imagen: la figura, el ámbito, el objeto, Galería de Arte Nacional, as well as in Nueve Premios Nacionales, Galería Durban, Caracas, and Galardonados con el Premio Arturo Michelena, Ateneo de Valencia.

“Oswaldo Vigas’ art– even his gouaches, which because of their nature, should be at the opposite pole– is essentially mural. I almost feel tempted to say ‘architectural’… The wool masters seem to have understood him very well, because they managed to translate his deep intentions into wool, his broad respiratory rhythm, contained without force, making these tapestries truly monumental works despite their modest size.”

Pierre Masteau, Le Courrier du Meuble, November 14, 1980, Paris

1981

Vigas exhibits alongside Manuel Quintana Castilla and Mario Abreu in the exhibition Three Venezuelan Painters, Galería Venezuela, New York. He presents his solo exhibition Oswaldo Vigas, Galería Municipal de Arte Moderno, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. He takes part in the group exhibitions Pro-Posición 20 and Los premios nacionales, pintura y escultura at the Galería de Arte Nacional in Caracas, and Homenaje a Picasso at the Galería Durban. He presents Oswaldo Vigas, Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, which includes tapestries made ​​between 1971 and 1978 in various workshops (in France: Ateliers Camille Legoueix, Aubusson, and Ateliers Pierre Daquin, Chantilly; in Spain: Telarte; in Portugal: Vittoria Art Workshops; in Mexico: Weavers Center in Xonatatlán).

“For us, this experience proves that paintings such as Vigas’ are made for the wall because they are materiological, and this materiology changes their nature: rather than being pictorial, the work becomes textile, but it retains this potential possibility of the wall. I think we should try to break away from the path indicated by some modern architecture and give to the wall, and particularly to the inner wall, a warmth it does not have... We think that this exhibition will be an excellent opportunity to show the mural potential of Oswaldo’s works.”

Pierre Daquin, Tapicerías by Oswaldo Vigas exhibition catalog, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, November 1981

1982

Vigas works on the execution of the relief-mural Homenaje a la cultura de Tacarigua for the façade of the Ateneo de Valencia, Carabobo, commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Salón Arturo Michelena. He takes part in the first SIDOR Salon in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. In Caracas, he participates in the group exhibitions Selección de adquisiciones y donaciones 1979-1982, Museo de Bellas Artes; Obras de la Colección Permanente, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber, Caracas; and in the XXI Aniversario de la Galería El Muro, along with Briceño, Omar Carreño, Carlos González Bogen, Luis Guevara Moreno, Mateo Manaure, Régulo Pérez, Manuel Quintana Castillo, Virgilio Trómpiz, Ramón Vásquez Brito, and Pedro León Zapata. He presents the solo exhibition Oswaldo Vigas at the Mérida Bar Association, and participates in Latin American Paintings, Drawings and Sculptures at Christie’s, New York.

1983

Vigas is included in the group exhibition to be permanently installed at the General Consulate of Venezuela in New York, and in other group exhibitions, such as Bolívar hoy at the Galería Acquavella in Caracas, along with Gabriel Bracho, Leo Castro, Pedro Centeno Vallenilla, Luis Guevara Moreno, Humberto Jaimes Sánchez, Alirio Palacios, Héctor Poleo, César Rengifo, and others; 12 pintores venezolanos, premios nacionales, Galería Durban; II Bienal Nacional de Artes Visuales and XVII Extraordinary Congress of Art Critics, both at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber; and Nueve artistas contemporáneos, a traveling exhibition seen in the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Jamaica. He presents solo shows of tapestries, paintings, and gouaches in the Galería Centro Arte El Parque, in Valencia, Venezuela.

1984

Vigas presents Ritos elementales as the office of the Secretary of Culture of Zulia, in Maracaibo, Venezuela. He participates in the group exhibition 100 obras de la Colección del Museo, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Museum’s foundation, and Seis premios nacionales de las artes plásticas, with Mario Abreu, León Castro, Luis Guevara Moreno, Humberto Jaimes Sánchez, and Braulio Salazar, at the Universidad de Carabobo. The Galería Durban opens Oswaldo Vigas, Ídolos y personajes. He was invited as a participant and jury member in the II Bienal Nacional de Dibujo y Grabado, Museo de Arte La Rinconada, Caracas.

“Baudelaire said, ‘To handle language wisely is to practice a kind of evocative witchcraft.’ Vigas wisely handles his language, and his witchcraft is evocative. But… Vigas is a painter philosopher. The true philosopher does not have a fixed idea that always accompanies him or her.”

Ludovico Silva, “Oswaldo Vigas,” Lamigal magazine #3, June 1984, Caracas

1985

Vigas participates in the group exhibitions América y lo real maravilloso, homenaje a Alejo Carpentier, Museo de Arte de la Rinconada; Artistas de Venezuela por Amnistía Internacional, Galería Los Espacios Cálidos, Ateneo de Caracas; Vertientes de una generación, Concejo Municipal del Distrito Federal; Obras actuales de los premios nacionales, Galería Universitaria de Arte, UCV; Sentido de volumen-esculturas, Colectiva 85, and La mujer en el arte, Galería Durban; Les grandes de l’art vénézuélien: subjectivité et lyrisme, organized by Gaston Diehl, Embassy of Venezuela in Paris. The artist presents Oswaldo Vigas, Pinturas at the Galería de Arte Viva México, Caracas.

1986

Vigas participates in Colectiva 85, Galería Durban; AGPA 85, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber; X Aniversario, Euro-American Art Center; Bijoux Wiso 1986, Unión Israelita de Caracas; Arte por la paz, Galería de Arte Viva México, Caracas; Pintores de los países bolivarianos, Museo de Arte La Rinconada; Pintores contemporáneos, Galería Acquavella; Raíces Andinas en el Arte Contemporáneo, Banco Central de Venezuela; Oswaldo Vigas y Víctor Valera, Galería Durban; The Latin American Graphic Arts Biennial, Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, New York. Two new themes loom in the course of this year: peace, represented in the mother, and children and birds that fly, from which the artist makes a series of sketches and oil paintings. Another theme emerges in the crucifixion, inspired by antique etchings of the fifteenth century and the famous Crucifixion by Grünwald, as well as by previous work of the artist.

1987

The artist participates in a group exhibition at the Josip Broz Tito Gallery for the Non-Aligned Countries in Titograd, Yugoslavia. He also participates in Artistas Latinomericanos, at the Casa del Moral, Arequipa, and Certamen Internacional de Artes Plásticas, Ancón, Peru; and Gráfica venezolana contemporánea, Kikar Gallery, Jaffa, Israel. He participates in Bijoux Wiso 1987, homage to Víctor Valera, at the Unión Israelita de Caracas; Pintores nacionales, at the Acquavella; Lectura del arte nacional, at the Galería de Arte Nacional; Paisajes andinos, Oswaldo Vigas y Marius Sznajderman, at the Ateneo de Caracas; Tribute to Gaston Diehl, at the Alliance Française; and 13 Pintores, at the Galería Durban.

“Vigas does not kill spontaneity in his work. He loosens his arm, he is carried away by nature. The painting seems to spring from his fingers, the colors come out of his bloodstream, the strokes are a true reflection of the turns his spirit takes.”

José Pulido, “Vigas y su estilo son un bloque inamovible,” El Nacional, July 18, 1987, Caracas

1989

In Caracas Vigas takes part in the group exhibitions Ceremoniales – Trabajos Recientes at the Centro Armitano de Arte and Arte de los países bolivarianos at the Museo de Bellas Artes. The then-president of France, François Mitterrand, receives one of his oil paintings, Materna, as a gift from the Republic of Venezuela on his official visit to the country.

The 1990s

1990

The book Oswaldo Vigas is written by the art critic Gaston Diehl and published by Gráficos Armitano. The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber presents the retrospective exhibition Vigas, 1942 al 1990. Vigas participates in Reencuentro, premios Arturo Michelena 1943-1989, and in 1851-1989 Premios Andrés Pérez Mujica, Galería de Arte Ascaso, both in Valencia, in addition to the international exhibitions Latin Art Ca 90, La Galerie d’Art Lavalin, in Montreal, Canada, Latin American Drawings Today, San Diego Museum of Art; and Masters of American Art, Andrea Marquit Fine Art, Boston. The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber, organizes the retrospective Oswaldo Vigas, lo figurativo y lo telúrico, comprising 174 works, including paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and drawings. On the occasion of this exhibition, the Lagoven Company produces the 25-minute documentary Oswaldo Vigas, renovación en el origen.

1991

Vigas’ tapestries and ceramics are displayed at the Centro Cultural Consolidado de Caracas.

1992

Vigas is invited to participate in the XXVI International Contemporary Art Award in Monte Carlo, where he unanimously won the Great Prince Rainier III of Monaco Award.

1993

The museum La Monnaie de Paris organizes the retrospective Oswaldo Vigas de 1952 a 1993, comprising 132 works (paintings, sculptures, and ceramics). On this occasion, Vigas receives the Chevalier des Arts et l’Ordre des Lettres de France and the Médaille Vermeil de la Ville de Paris. At the same time, La Maison de l’Amerique Latine in Paris displays four of his tapestries.

“Vigas’ work seems a hieratic vast jungle, a disturbing population of vegetal totems.”

Jean Clarence Lambert, text for the La Monnaie de Paris exhibition catalog, France, 1993

1994

Vigas presents Obras recientes, exhibition at the Galerie Corinne Timsit, in Paris, that is then presented in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He participates in the group exhibition of the art acquisitions of the Musée du Val de Marne, Paris, and in Tapisseries d’aujourd hui sur murs d’autrefois, Château Adhèmar de Montelimard, France.

“Vigas’ predominant use of a narrow range, of a flat and homogeneous chromaticism, plus the simplification of the linear repertoire, facilitates the persistence of the image in the memory.”

Carlos Silva, text for the Oswaldo Vigas-Ficción de mediodía: 1997-2001 exhibition catalog, Galería de Arte Ascaso. Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela. November 2001

1995

The solo exhibition Mutants, pélélés et autres zigotos (“Mutants, Puppets, and Other Zygotes”) is presented at the La Tour des Cardinaux Gallery, L’Ile-sur-la-Sorgue, France. Vigas is the special guest in the XXVII International Contemporary Art Award of Monte Carlo. The solo exhibition Oswaldo Vigas, la obra reciente is presented by the Grupo Li-Centro de Arte of Caracas, with 98 works.

1996

The solo exhibition Comadres, equilibristas, peleles y otros engendros (“Wives, Acrobats, Puppets and Other Monsters”) is presented at the Galería de Arte Ascaso in Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela. Oswaldo Vigas, un hombre americano is presented at the Casa de las Américas and the Casa Simón Bolívar in Havana, Cuba.

1997

Vigas presents two solo exhibitions: Vigas: Obras Clave, an homage to Vigas by the Venezuelan Air Force, at the Air Force General Command of Aviation Gallery in Caracas; and Vigas en Maracaibo at the Galería 700 Arte of Maracaibo. He also participates in three group exhibitions: El constructivismo en el arte latinoamericano, Sotheby’s, New York; Artistas del Taller Libre de Arte, Museo Jacobo Borges, Caracas; and Tapisseries de l’Atelier 3, Lyon Auditorium, France.

1998

He presents Oswaldo Vigas, painter and sculptor at the Aldo Castillo Gallery, Chicago, where Arte Miami 98 is also displayed. Oswaldo Vigas, en el camino, siempre is presented at SIDOR, in Puerto Ordaz, Bolívar state.

1999

Four Latin American Masters is presented at the Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, including Agustín Fernández, Pérez Celis, and Antonio Seguí along with Vigas. He is the Honored Artist of the Feria Iberoamericana de Arte (FIA 1999), Caracas, where he is included with the Grupo Li Centro de Arte and the Aldo Castillo Gallery (to return in the 2000, 2001 and 2002 editions). Oswaldo Vigas, Paintings and Etchings is shown at Il Pinolo, Tokyo, Japan. Vigas takes part in the group exhibition Etats d’un temps, part of the FDAC, Centre Culturel de Paris Collection; and Peintures et sculptures d’Amerique Latine, Chefs d’Oeuvres du Siècle XXème, Festival d’Art La Cita, Biarritz, France. Vigas is awarded the honorary doctorate of the Universidad de los Andes and presents Vigas en Mérida, at Galería La Otra Banda, Mérida, Venezuela.

The 2000s

2000

Un Coeur, un Monde, a group show organized by the NHK network of Japan, is presented in France, the United States, Vietnam, Australia, and Brazil, as well as in Japan. Vigas participates in The Latin American & Caribbean Contemporary Art Today at the Miura Museum of Art, Tokyo, and in Reacción y polémica en el arte venezolano at the Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas. The artist presents Entes, colonieras y recuerdos de viajes at the Galería DIMACA, Caracas.

“Vigas’ work presents a fantastic imaginary world, with entities or beings that are nothing more than the inhabitants of his own conscious.”

Édgar Cruz, text for the Vigas: Entes, colonieras y recuerdos de viajes exhibition catalog, Galería DIMACA, Caracas, November 2000

2001

The Coro Museum of Art reopens its doors with the inauguraral exhibition Oswaldo Vigas, 1952-1957. The Ascaso Art Gallery in Valencia hosts the solo show Noon Fiction. The writer, historian, and art critic Carlos Silva publishes the book Oswaldo Vigas, Legends of Tomorrow. Vigas participates in the First Salon of Art sponsored by Exxon Mobil of Venezuela.

2002

In the setting of the France-Venezuela 2002 Festival, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber (MACCSI) presents Oswaldo Vigas, ideografías de París, 1952-1957, which goes on to be displayed at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del Zulia, Maracaibo. Vigas shows graphic works at INSA de Lyon, France. He participates in Geometría como vanguardia, Colección Banco Mercantil, at the Museo Alejandro Otero, Caracas; and he exhibits Oswaldo Vigas at the Tenji Gallery in Tokyo, Japan.

2003

Vigas is an official guest of the 56th Cannes International Film Festival on the occasion of the selection of his work La bruja de la culebra for the poster representing their prestigious category Un Certain Regard. He presents a solo exhibition Recuerdos del Presente at the Galería de Arte Ascaso in Caracas and a show of large-format graphics work at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas. With the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo he attends the Ibero American Art Fair in Caracas.

2004

He receives the Latinity Award 2004, awarded by the Latin American Union, with the endorsement of the jury of the Ambassadors of Member States represented in Venezuela. He participoates in the Feria Iberoamericana de Arte (FIA 2004), in Caracas, with the Galería de Arte Ascaso. On occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Alliance Française of Caracas, the Alliance Française of Paris presents Caracas in Paris.

2005

The exhibition Sacro y Mundano is presented by the Galería 700 Arte in Maracaibo, Venezuela, comprising oil paintings, drawings, and etchings. Under the technical direction of Alssio Saladino and Franco Uccelletti, Vigas makes the Trilogía para Banesco, a mural work (5 m x 40 m) made of Bisazza Venetian mosaics for the Ciudad Banesco Building in Caracas. The Musée Jean Lurçat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine in Angers, France exhibits Oswaldo Vigas: Sortilèges des tropiques: peintures, tapisseries, sculptures, céramiques 1950-20. The solo exhibition Grabados recientes, thirty works including holographs and etchings, is presented at the Alliance Française of Caracas.

2006

As part of the celebration of ten years of the gallery, the Galería Medicci of Caracas presents the solo exhibition Oswaldo Vigas: Criaturas del Asombro. Vigas participates in Le Musée de la Tapisserie a 20 ans at the Musée Jean Lurçat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine, Angers, France; Documentaria, 30 años en el arte venezolano, at the Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas; and Iberoamérica, presented at the University of Saint Francis, Chicago, by the Aldo Castillo Gallery.

“The visual language of this Valencian artist asserts itself once again in his 2005 and 2006 work. However, we could say that in these years a chromatic inversion occurs in his pictorial language, emphasizing the relationship between drawing and the chromatic. The line, like an abyss, strongly defines the inside and the outside, as an expressive metaphor for the duality of existence. Both in the background and in figures, grays or raw patches that dominated in prior periods disappear to give vitality with green, red and yellow, colors of the tropics themselves. It is the seething of life, characteristic of Caribbean culture, that is present.”

Eduardo Planchart Licea, “Oswaldo Vigas-figuras ancestrales,” for the exhibiton Oswaldo Vigas, Galeria Medicci, February 2006

2007

The CAF Gallery in Caracas presents Oswaldo Vigas: pasión por la creación. His work Selvático II (1963) becomes part of the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art of the Prague National Gallery, Czech Republic. The Fundación Banco Provincial, Caracas, presents Tierra y Fuego, Ceramics; as part of that exhibition, the Galería Medicci publishing house presents the book Mis dioses tutelares (“My Guardian Spirits”), a selection of Oswaldo Vigas’ poems.

2008

The Galería de Arte Ascaso in Caracas presents Oswaldo Vigas en París. Obras de los sesenta, and publishes the book of Vigas poems Regreso de la noche (“Return of the Night”), with a prologue by José Pulido. The Mary Ann Manning Gallery, Culturecentrum Schapoord, in Knokke, Belgium, presents Oswaldo Vigas, Art Nocturne Knokke. Vigas takes part in Atelier 3 Transpositions, Tapisseries, 1972-2008, at the Musée Jean Lurçat de la Tapisserie Contemporaine in Angers, France. He participates as guest artist in the XIII Biennial of Miniaturas Gráficas Luisa Palacios, Inter-American Development Bank (CAF) Gallery.

2009

The artist presents Mujeres, mujeres y mujeres, Dibujos y Giclées de Oswaldo Vigas at the Alliance Française La Castellana, Caracas; Oswaldo Vigas en InterValores, a solo exhibition at the InterValores Brokerage, Caracas; and Oswaldo Vigas, mujeres y otras realidades at the Galería Umbrales, Ciudad Guayana, Bolívar state, Venezuela. He participates in the exhibition Latin American Art, organized by Christie’s, New York. He is the honoree artist in the Feria Internacional de Arte y Antigüedades de Maracaibo (FIAAM).

“Vigas defines the main feature of his artistic production with a few words: ‘If there is no drawing, there is no painting. That is the basis, the fundamental structure of everything I’ve done in my life, except in some periods when the subject was most important.’”

Marjorie Delgado Aguirre, “The recent drawings of the 1952 National Painting Award winner will be exhibited from tomorrow,” El Nacional, November 2009, Caracas

2010

Vigas is the honoree artist of the XV Salón Cabriales de Pintura Figurativa. Fifteen gigantographies (banners) are presented at the Parque Fernando Peñalver, Valencia: Oswaldo Vigas, De Brujas a Curanderas (“From Witches to Midwives”). He participates in Latin American shows and sales, at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, New York, and in Chicago ARTEahora, at the Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida, USA. He attends the Feria Iberoamericana de Arte (FIA 2010), Caracas, with the Galería de Arte Ascaso and the Galería Medicci (which he will attend again in 2011 and 2012). He participates in the group exhibition Colores y formas de la integración, organized by the Inter-American Development Bank Collection, CAF Caracas. The Office of the Mayor of Baruta presents Vigas a cielo abierto, and the Galería 700 Arte in Maracaibo presents Vigas sobre papel.

2011

The Centre d’Art Villa Tamaris, La Seyne-sur-mer, France, organizes the retrospective exhibition Oswaldo Vigas. Mérida, Paris, Caracas. Peintures. Vigas participates in the Fourth Biennial of Sculptures, Galería de Arte Trazos, Caracas.

“The title of the Oswaldo Vigas exhibition at Villa Tamaris implies the idea of ​​traveling, of itineracy. In the essay on Vigas’ work, Jacques Leenhardt said that in the difficult years of the early concerns, ‘Oswaldo enters the indigenous past to find an anchor that would counterbalance the European influences–and that since then, until today, Vigas’ ‘theater’ will be able to multiply its actors and their dramas, and acquire the amplitude of a ‘human comedy,’ ​​of a new euphoria made of vitality and irony.”

Robert Bonaccorsi, text for the Oswaldo Vigas. Mérida, Paris, Caracas. Peintures exhibition catalog, Villa Tamaris Centre d’Art, March 2011, La Seyne-sur-mer, France

2012

El Gabinete del Dibujo y la Estampa, Valencia, Venezuela, presents the retrospective El dibujo en la obra de Oswaldo Vigas, 1940-2012. The solo exhibitions Auténtico, at the Galería Utopía 19, and Lo erótico, at Galería Estudio Arte 8, are presented in Caracas. The artist represents Venezuela in the Ibero-American art exhibition organized on the occasion of the celebration of the two hundred years of the establishment of the Supreme Court, in Madrid, Spain.

2013

Vigas presents Vigas Constructivista, 1953-1957 at the Ascaso Gallery in Miami and in Caracas, Venezuela. At the Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas, he participates in Sintesis de las artes mayores, seis décadas 1953-2013, sponsored by the BBVA Provincial Foundation, and in Vigas in Black and White, at the France Embassy in Venezuela.

2014

Oswaldo Vigas dies on April 22.

The Dillon Gallery in New York presents Oswaldo Vigas: Transfiguration. After his death, the Galería de Arte Nacional presents the Homenaje Oswaldo Vigas in Caracas. The Miami Ascaso Gallery presents Vigas Informalista, París 1959-1964. In October, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lima launches the traveling exhibition Oswaldo Vigas. Anthological 1943-2013, a project the artist had begun during his lifetime.

“With giant steps he advances in his development, showing changes in each period, but maintaining his figurative axis. He darkens or lightens his palette; he replaces the flat surface with the textured ones; dense matter and forms wind into space in a quasi-expressionism close to the American abstract expressionist school, to art brut and the CoBrA Group.”

Bélgica Rodríguez, Oswaldo Vigas, Oswaldo Vigas Foundation, Caracas, 2012