Edgardo Antonio VIGO 1928-1997

Edgardo Antonio VIGO was born in the small city of La Plata, a few kilometers away from Buenos Aires. The son of a carpenter, Vigo enrolled in the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes of La Plata in 1950, graduating with a degree in drawing. Upon graduation, Vigo travelled to Europe where he came in contact with the international avant-garde for the first time thanks to Venezuelan artist Jesùs-Rafael Soto. Following Vigo’s return to Argentina, neither his early sculptures nor his ‘useless machines’ fell into favour with the public or local critics. As an employee of La Plata’s Ministry of Justice, Vigo developed his practice outside the established circuits of artistic production and presentation. Despite recognition within his own country, he soon became regarded internationally as the founder of Mail art in Argentina. Often with an explicitly political approach, and no lack of humour or irony, Vigo quietly revolutionised the way in which artists spread their work and message in Latin America. It was only in 1991, when collector Jeorge Helft organised Vigo’s first exhibition in a public institution at Fundaciòn San Telmo, Buenos Aires, that his work began to receive attention. His inclusion in Argentina’s Pavilion for the 1994 São Paulo Biennial finally cemented his position in the whirling topographies of Latin American conceptual art. 

 

Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Museo de Arte Moderna de Buenos Aires (2016); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014); and Weserburg Musem fur Moderne Kunst, Bremen(2011), with participation in notable group exhibitions including ‘Focus Latino America: Art is Out Last Hope,’ Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona (2014); ‘La Escritura Desbordada: Spanish and Latin American Experimental Poetry, 1962-1982,’ Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain (2012); 'On the Margins of Art,' Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain (2009); and ‘From Figuration to System Art in Argentina,’ Camden Arts Centre, London (1971), amongst others. His work is included in the collections of Archivio Juan Carlos Romero, Ataulfo Perez Aznar Collection, Gispert-Besoytaorube Collection, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Museo d’Arte Moderno Buenos Aires (MAMBA) and the Phoenix Art Museum.