The image of the anteater arose punctually in the production of Carlos Zilio in the mid-1980s, with the death of his father. At the time, Zilio remembered a story restricted to the family environment. When he was small, his father had a pet tamandua, in the interior of Rio Grande do Sul. Wherever he went, the anteater went along, like a domestic animal. On a trip, the boy can not take his pet, and the return to the house was delayed by a strong storm. The anteater was saddened by the absence of its owner, to the point of dying. The boy, of course, was devastated when he got home and knew what had happened. With the death of the father, this story resurfaced, and Zilio got to do some work using the figure of an anteater. But only twenty years later, in 2008, he returned to the subject, and as a basic format to represent the animal used a figure found by chance on the stained floor of the corridor to access the studio where he worked for 25 years in Botafogo, which belonged to the painter Iberê Camargo, of which he was a student. “It has to do with losses, inquiries and questions about absences. The materialization of an absence “, comments the artist.

For the exhibition at Anita Schwartz Carlos Zilio created three similar formats of anteater, which are used as masks in paintings and drawings. The works receive several layers of paint – oil and jet color in the paintings on canvas, and jet color on paper and acetate in the drawings – in a long process, and bring varied textures and transparencies. Sizes range from 110cm to 330cm.

The works refer to the artist’s memory, such as the repetition of elements that he used in previous productions – the wavy lines present in works from the 1980s, or the arrows from the painting “Cerco e Morte” (1974), acquired in 2014 by MoMA In the same way, utensils and tools that coexist with the artist in his studio – now installed in Laranjeiras – and ended up “gaining intimacy with the time”, have become objects that will be exposed.This is the case of the kettle used by Iberê Camargo, pots that carry the inscriptions “yesterday”, “today” and “tomorrow”, arranged in steps of a ladder, or “Ryman’s pie”, as an ironic homage to the artist who only wears white (Robert Ryman,1930), created with remains of layers of white paint, alluding to a cake frosting.