Iberê Camargo (Restinga Seca, 1914 – Porto Alegre, 1994) is one of the great names of Brazilian art of the 20th century. Artist of an extensive work, which includes paintings, drawings, gouaches and engravings, Iberê never lined up with currents or movements, but exerted strong leadership in the Brazilian artistic and intellectual environment. Among the different facets of his vast production, the artist developed the well-known series Reels, Cyclists and The Idiots, which marked his career. Much of his production, estimated at over seven thousand works, form now the collection of the Iberê Camargo Foundation.
Starting from a desire of the artist himself and his wife, Maria Coussirat Camargo, with the support of friends and with the leadership of the entrepreneur Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter, the Iberê Camargo Foundation, a private nonprofit institution, was created in 1995.
Its mission is to preserve the collection, promote the study and the dissemination of the work of Iberê Camargo while encouraging interaction of its audience with art, culture and education through interdisciplinary programs.
The headquarters of the institution was designed by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza, one of the most important contemporary architects of the world. The project received the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2002) and special merit at the Triennale Design of Milan.
Being an architectural reference in the city of Porto Alegre, the building has exhibition rooms, atrium, technical reserve, research and documentation center, printmaking studio, the studio of educational activities, auditorium, shop, coffee shop, parking and environmental park designed by the Gaia Foundation.
The collection consists of a documental nucleus, composed of documents and images related to the life and work of the artist, and a nucleus with the Maria Coussirat Camargo collection, which includes paintings, engravings, gouaches, drawings and studies by Iberê Camargo, which the couple accumulated throughout their life.
Modern and contemporary art are at the center of the exhibition program, which is divided into three types: exhibitions of works by Iberê Camargo, temporary exhibitions and itinerant shows.
The art shows dedicated to Iberê Camargo exhibit distinct curatorial take on the artist's production. The temporary exhibitions feature works by established names from the present art scene in Brazil and abroad. In addition, the exhibition program also enables itinerant exhibitions of works from the Foundation Collection at partner institutions.