The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This document is the catalogue to Cementerio de automóviles, an exhibition of work by hyperrealist painter Bill Caro held at Galería Enrique Camino Brent in Lima in late 1976. In a synopsis, architect Héctor Velarde states that beauty is “eternal presence [; but] Caro captures what was luxury, mad and passing flash of glimmering buzz, frozen in the metallic essence of a vibrant, warm, and deep soul.” The essay by historian Francisco Stastny also included in the catalogue asserts that Caro gives the views of junkyards for which the show is named a “sudden and inevitably presence.” He praises the paintings’ formal qualities and the way they render visual reality on the canvas. Indeed, in 1976—after so many waves of abstraction and Pop Art, as well as figuration—Caro’s vision was daring. Stastny upholds the use of photography to compose works whose techniques date to the seventeenth century. Though they may vary in theme, Caro’s works—Stastny points out—revolve around genres that look to the ephemeral. Notwithstanding, “serene contemplation” that goes beyond social protest shines through these paintings thanks to the artist’s mastery of the ephemeral.
In the seventies, the Lima art scene largely veered away from experimental avant-gardes to return to figuration. The decade witnessed the consolidation of academic surrealism and of hyperrealism to which technical prowess was central. Peruvian painter Bill Caro (b. 1949) was an outstanding exponent of that second tendency. The many series he produced during that period partook of a poetics of decay in images of poor Lima neighborhoods, of junkyards, and of rundown buildings in the historical section of the city. Based on photographs, those often monochrome paintings made use of texture effects to underscore the passage of time. Though Caro’s work from the eighties was still hyperrealist, it was oriented to a more conventional naturalism akin to the eighteenth-century Flemish painting tradition.