“Camargo installed a mannequin in his studio, patently not with the intention of pursuing the rigorous teaching of André Lhote through scrupulous analysis of human forms. His painting at this time is nothing but deformation and grotesque exaggeration. The very numerous drawings featuring mannequins dramatise, rather, a tension between two female figures, as if woman could be represented only through such a double and enigmatic entity: palpable and graceless flesh, desirable and abstract image.
Reaching far beyond any myth of the feminine, this duality alludes to the tension perceived to exist between any ideal and actual reality – this being a conceptual mainstay of the entire history of beauty in painting as well as of the history of idealised representations of reality. What is raised is the very question of human truth in so far as this never coincides with beauty. From the moment he returned to figurative painting, Camargo relinquished any search after the seductions of the beautiful. In this he was in line with contemporary art, concerned as it was solely with expressing the artistic will to truth. The mannequin, which helped De Chirico take leave of cubist formalism, serves Camargo in its role as tensor: between a will to expressive truth, henceforth irrepressible, and the memory of a practice of painting aimed at production of the beautiful (as illustrated in works antedating 1980).”
Jacques Leenhardt, Iberê Camargo: os meandros da memória (Porto Alegre: Fundação Iberê Camargo, 2010), 108-109.