GB: He also looked at Manzoni. The line of work in Camargo -in essence monochromatic and animated - is an indication of a potent will to create a new language far enough from Fontana´s slashed paintings but close to the spirit of his economy of means.
AS: There were other radical artists meeting in Paris. We think of Klein but also of his Op and Kinetic friends…
GB: Of course. But, remember, it´s Paris in the 1960s. Poliakoff and Fautrier are leading the scene. There is a quest of a more radical approach. The non-figurative artists have of course seen the Cubists and the Abstracts from the early 20th century. But, for Camargo, as for others in his generation, the quest begins by denying the possibility of becoming just another consequence of the old order. Camargo proceeds backwards: he starts with a radical formal and chromatic reduction and by using these minimalistic building blocks, he creates a potent and expressive work of art.
AS: What was Camargo expecting from the use of the red-rust color instead of his signature pure white for this large piece?
GB: In general, it is clear that Camargo wants to be recognized as an independent voice but he certainly does not want to be perceived as an artist who is telling his “petite histoire”. Camargo only aims to the “big story” and he achieves this by creating another world, a world that has never been seen. With this large red relief, he literally landed us on Mars.
(Extract from a conversation between Axel Stein, Director, Sotheby’s Latin American Art with Grégoire Billault, Sotheby´s Contemporary Art Senior Specialist, September 2013)
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