The Benson Latin American Collection

Regina Vater Papers, 1967-2009

Descriptive Summary

Creator Vater, Regina
Title Regina Vater Papers
Dates: 1967-2009
Abstract Personal papers of Brazilian American artist Regina Vater include correspondence, records of exhibitions and installations, creative works, and collected printed materials.
Accession No. 2009-30
OCLC Record No. N/A
Extent 14 linear feet
Language English and Portuguese
Repository Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Regina Vater was born in 1943 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her father was a physician, the grandson of an immigrant from Weimar, Germany who emigrated to Parai in the 19th century for the rubber business. Her mother was a poet from a family of Portuguese descent in the Northeast Region of Brazil. Vater grew up in Copacabana, Ipanema, just south of Rio. She found her love of art and poetry early in life, and although she had formal artistic training in her early teens, she did not identify with the academic approach her instructor took. Instead she found her own inspiration in her mother's eclectic library. There she read everything from Greek mythology and philosophy to Milton, from Vick Baum and Krishnamurti to American literature. With an interest in classical and contemporary literature and philosophy, she spent much of her early youth incorporating these themes into her art and poetry.

As Vater's father realized art was more than just a hobby, he attempted to steer her towards a future in a more stable profession: the medical field. Vater compromised and went to the National University of Rio to study architecture. She did not enjoy her time at school and continued to work on her artistic career. When Vater was presented with the opportunity to participate in her first show, she dropped out of architecture school and pursued art full-time.

In her youth, Vater was also heavily influenced by the Brazilian intelligentsia who made Ipanema their home. Vater would visit the bars and cafés the intelligentsia frequented and participate in the free exchange of ideas, culture, and art. She often refers to her time spent with the group of intellects as her "university." It was a time when she began to develop her own creative direction and voice.

Vater's first solo show in 1964 opened the doors to what would become a successful career. In the 1970s she worked as a freelance writer for several cultural magazines in and around Rio. She interviewed artists such as John Cage and Joseph Beuys who would later become friends and colleagues. In 1970 she held her first installation titled "Magi (the) CEAN" and also entered her photography collection in the Salon of Modern Art. In 1972 she won the award for the Travel Exhibition of Modern Art, which led her to her New York début in 1973.

For much of the early 1970s she lived in New York, Paris, London, and Lisbon before returning to Latin America in 1975. Back in Brazil, Vater continued her exploration in film installation, an interest she began during her time in Paris. She participated in numerous solo and group exhibits throughout Latin America, New York and Europe. In 1979, she débuted as a curator in New York in what was the first and most comprehensive Brazilian avant-garde exhibit in the city at that time. Following her success as a curator, Vater received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1980 and moved to New York where she continued to work on installations in photography, film, video, book art, and visual performance. Her work continued to bring Latin American art to the forefront of the American art scene. In 1985, she moved to Austin Texas where her husband was invited to teach at the University of Texas. Since then, Vater has participated in local shows such as the First Texas Triennial and has been involved in the prestigious Art Pace Foundation in San Antonio. She has lectured across the United States, Europe and Brazil and has taught classes and seminars on video art. Vater has produced videos for Austin Access Cable Television, all of which have been shown around the world. Her work and installations have been showcased in museums and galleries such as the Museum of Modern Art (New York); Bien de Sao Paolo; Figueiredo Gallery; the State Art Gallery and Museum of Modern Art (London); Avant Garde Festival; Woulf Rosenwald Gallery (Philadelphia); Mexic-Art Museum (Austin); and The Konimklljk Museum (Antwerp); among others.

Vater's installation work and poetry focuses on the dialogue between divine intervention and cultural manifestation. She is heavily influenced by her native Brazil. Themes revolving around Greek mythology and African-Brazilian mythologies play heavily into her work, as does metaphysical philosophy. While Vater has experimented in many different media throughout her lifetime, she is most known for her installation artwork.

Note on References: Much of the information on Vater's personal and professional life was drawn from an interview conducted by Cary Cordova for the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institute on February 23 and 25, 2004.

Scope and Contents Note

This collection consists of correspondence, clippings, newspapers, photographs, printed materials, artist's notes, and photo slides that document the life and work of artist Regina Vater. The Personal and Biographical series consists of materials relating to Vater's personal life. This includes her curriculum vitae, artist statements, biographical sketches, and personal notes.

The Correspondence series (1960s-2000s) contains personal and professional correspondence relating to Vater's applications for teaching jobs, and installation work.

The third series, Creative Works, Exhibitions, and Installations, contains Vater's lectures, pedagogical materials, concrete poems, editing work, storyboards, artist books, and video works, all of which convey her interest in melding myth, history, ecology, and social activism in her work. Drawings and screen sketches for video installations as well as photos of completed works are also included. This series includes 1" x 1.5" folded prototype of Sounds Good and Cameo Feast, as well as a full size prototype of Sounds Good.

Exhibitions and Installations material contains documentation of Vater's participation in various exhibits, most notably her shows created during her residency at Artpace (1999), in San Antonio, Texas. Also included is documentation, sketches, writings, poems, and collages relating to The Book of Hope (1999), a limited edition text she designed and edited while at Artpace. This series also contains Vater's installation sketches and notes to curators on the coordination of her installations, as well as material from her participation in exhibits in Antwerp, Cleveland, and Kansas City.

Printed materials in this series include newspapers, newspaper clippings, and articles referring to Vater and her work. A copy of Vater's children's book, Uma Amizade Bem Temperada, and brochures and programs from Vater's shows and installations, are also included in this series.

The Collected Material series includes articles, clippings, and interviews relating to other artists or new techniques, brochures and programs from exhibits and shows, and other materials directly or indirectly related to Vater's creative process. This series includes 10 folders of Suplemento Literário, a Brazilian literary publication, as well as other newspapers from Brazil and throughout the United States. Also included is a subseries of undated and "undescribed" photography.

Videos include a number of video art pieces, including "Homosapiens," "Latin American Visual Thinking," "We Are All Made Here," and others. Videos in Umatic format require digitization prior to viewing and can only be accessed by special request.

The Oversized Items (1993-2008) series contains a large poster of an installation Vater created for her 1994 ArtPace exhibit, an undated poster titled "Da casa dos Mendes", and assorted newspapers (1993-2008).


Access Restrictions

Access is unrestricted, but some materials, including Umatic format video and materials on computer disks, require reformatting before they can be used and are available by special request only.

Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Index Terms

The Regina Vater Papers are classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries catalog:
Vater, Regina
Lundberg, Bill
Brazilian Art
Installation Art
Video Art
Concrete Poetry
ArtPace San Antonio

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Regina Vater Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

Box and Folder Inventory

I. Personal and Biographical, (1990, 1983-1984, undated)

box folder
1 1 CV and Biographical Materials, 1990, 1983-1984, undated
2 Citizenship, 1980-1984

II. Correspondence, (1974-2002, undated)

box folder
1 3 Correspondence, 1960s
4 Correspondence, 1970s
5 Correspondence, 1980s
6-8 Correspondence, 1990s
9 Correspondence, 2000s
10 Correspondence, Undated
11 Correspondence - Loans of artwork to galleries, museums

III. Creative Works, Exhibits, and Installations (1980, 1987-1990, 1992, 1994, 2000, undated)

box folder
2 1 Interview by Cary Cordova, Feb 2004
2 Poetry, 1987-1990, 1992, 1994
3 Uma Amizade Bem Temperada, 1980
4 Articles, 1988, 1989, 1992, 2000
5 Lectures, 1989-1990
6 Portfolio, 2009
7 Drawings, undated
8 Notebooks, undated
box folder
3 1 Photographic Material, undated
2-3 Notes toward Video Work, undated
4 Exhibit Notes and Descriptions, 1977-1994, undated
box folder
4 1 Installation Sketches, 1989-1996
2 Installation Slides, undated
3 ArtPace Exhibit Installation Notes, undated
4 ArtPace Exhibit Press Material, 1999, undated
5-6 Book of Hope, 1999, undated
5 Brazilian Visual Poetry, Mexic-Arte Museum, 2000-2002:
1 Proposal
2 Documents
3 Exhibit Brochures
4 List of Books, Brochures, Magazines
5 Correspondence with Artists
6 Additional Artist Information
7-9 Artists' Work
10 Slide List
11 Sounds Good, undated
6 Exibit Printed Materials:
1 Exhibit Fliers, 1967-2001, undated
2 Exhibit Programs, 1968-2009, undated
3 Press Releases, 1979-1995, undated
4 Exhibit Proposals, 1983-1992
5 Newspapers, 2000-2002
6-7 Clippings, 1970-1994
8 Journal Articles, 1972-1993
box folder
7 1 Exhibit Brochures, 1983-1992
2 Exhibit Announcements, 1994-1997
box folder
5 3 Clippings, 1990-1997

IV. Collected Materials, (1972-2009, undated)

box folder
7 4 Visual Poetry, Undated
5-6 Journal Articles, 1972-1997
7 Periodicals, undated
8 Interviews, undated
9 Announcements, 1982-2008
10 Photographs by Silvio Palhares, 1996
11 Printed Drawings by Ruben Grillo, 1990-1998
12 Images, undated
box folder
8 1 O Golo, 1997
2 New York Times, 1998-2000
3 Segundo, 1993 -2006
4 Assorted Newspapers, 1985-2007
9-10 Suplemento Literário, 1996-2009 [incomplete]

V. Audiovisual and Electronic, 1979-2009

12 U-matic Tapes, 1980-1995
NOTE: U-matic tape materials require reformatting for use and are available by special request only. Contact the Benson Collection archivist for more information.
1 10 Minute Sample of Regina Vater Work in New Genre (Installations and Video Installations)
2 28 m 09 sec 15
3 Agua
4 Agua/A6/Indio Principio
5 "Anaconda", 1990
6 "Anakonda", 1989
7 Animals Predios 1/Mac (Master)
8 Aranha Sem Words
9 Avião/Mac - Futbol Arvore Oent Rampa/Pedrinho/Predios Da Sane la Z. Residencial/Grafite/AV. Paulista/Agua/Michel/Fazenda
10 Axe Oxum One Hour for Installation #1 (Master)
11 Axe Oxum (Original for Video Installation)(Master)
12 Axe Oxum For Installation #2
13 Brasil Orig.
14 Brasil Original
15 "Bumba Meu Boi", 1995
box folder
13 1 Bumba Meu Boi/Fonte No Jardim Botanico, 1995
2 Cage/White Noise (Master) 1995
3 Carnaval Dub/ Jardim Verão I 1995
4 Cinderella - Penelope (Master), 1989
5 Controverse, 1987
6 Controverse (Master), 1987
7 "Controverse" (20 Minutes), 1986-1987
8 Coyote Bones/Dry Oak/Fire/Ladrilho Espanhol/High Speed/Big Red Tree Zin Zout
9 Dancing for the Goddess, 1994
[digitized copy available]
10 Dancing for the Goddess/Carnaval
11 Dancing for the Goddess/Comeco Spring Jardim I/Earnest Fraziel
12 Dead Coyote Winter Fire
13 A Dialogue with the Art and Sensibility of Ernest Frazier 1989/1992, 1989,1992
14 Editings of Various Videos, 1988
box folder
14 1 Elemental, 1990
2 Elemental, 1991
3 Emily 16
4 Emily Dickinson
[digitized copy available]
5 Fall
6 Final Carnaval (Master)
7 Frame of Mind/Woman is the Nigger of the World/Regina Vater - 80s Works/To Travel is Necessary to Live Isn't/In Advance a Broke Hearth
8 "From Brazil by Brazilians", 1993
9 From Brasil by Brazilians (Final Master), 1993
10 Golden Bough 1993
11 Green, 1991
[digitized copy available]
12 "Green", 1991
13 "Green" (Part One and Part Two), 1991
14 "Green" (Master in Dub #1)/Pordosol/Shell/Nature Morte
box folder
15 1 Heloise For Penelope
2 Historical Sight/80's Work by Regina Vater/Telepoems
3 Homosapiens, 1988
4 Homosapiens, 1989
5 Homosapiens Dub
6 "Homosapiens"/Historical Sight, 1989
7 I Have Killed the Deer, 1991
8 Indian Interview (Master)
9 The Installation Art of Regina Vater in a Lecture by the Artist at the Mexic-Arte Museum, 1994
10 Installations "Comigo Ninguem Pode", Black Installation, Women is the Negro of the World
11 Installations, Drawings, Photos by Regina Vater (Most of the Work Completed after 1979)
12 Interview: Art and Ecology
[digitized copy available]
13 Interview with Bill Lundberg by Regina Vater for TV Globo - Brazil, 1980
14 Interview with Bill Lundberg by Pittsbourgh Television, 1984
box folder
16 1 Introduction to Visual Thinking
2 Introduction to Visual Thinking (Promo), 1991
3 Jardim Final de Maio I/Termina Com Principio Bird Feeding Babies
4 Jardim - Moon
5 Kisses (Master)
6 Latin American Visual Thinking - Public Interviews, Undated
7 Madrigal for Emily
8 Master
9 Master for Visual Poetry
10 May Day, 1983
[digitized copy available]
11 Megaron (Master)
12 Megaron/Naturaleza Still Alive/ and some graphics in the end
13 Memories/Poetry/Elemental Quarters/Works by Reg Vater, 1992
14 Menino Boi
box folder
17 1 Mexic-Arte Lecture Nov. 10- 1994 Master Edited
2 Mulher, Muler
4 Naturaleza Still Alive/Video Installation
5 Nature Morte for Tia Ruth
6 Nature Morte for Tia Ruth (Master)
7 Nuvens
8 One Hour Version Dub 1988 Tupi or Not Tupi or Brazil's Trail
9 Original Green
10 Original Oxum, 1992
11 Parte Final Primavera
12 Penelope (Master)
13 Penelope (Master 1)
14 Raw Material Snake Nest, 1988/Turtle Parte 2
15 Regina Vater Profile
box folder
18 1 Ship Alone and Landscapes
2 Ship by Itself
3 Shows and Flordia 1
4 Silent Green (Master)
5 Stony Memories, 1989
[digitized copy available]
6 There Here
[digitized copy available]
7 Tia Ruth, 1990
[digitized copy available]
8 Tia Ruth/Mamáe (Master)
9 Trabalhos de Arte (Master)
10 Tupi or not Tupi (Short Master)
[digitized copy available]
11 Tupi or Not Tupi (2s Master)
12 "Tupi or Not Tupi" (Master II)
13 "Tupi or Not Tupi" (20 Minute Version)
14 "Tupi or Not Tupi" (Smaller Version), 1988, 1992
box folder
19 1 "Tupi or Not Tupi or Brazil's Trail"
[digitized copy available]
2 "Tupi or Not Tupi or Brazil's Trail" (30 Minute Version), 1988-1989
3 "Tupi or Not Tupi or Brazil's Trail" (One Hour Version)
4 Turning the Sadness Inside Out
[digitized copy available]
5 Turtles
6 u'i Coaraci
7 U'i Coaraci (A poem for the preservation of Baixada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso, Brazil), 1985
[digitized copy available]
8 Vide o dolorido
[digitized copy available]
9 Vide o dolorido, 1983
10 We Are All Mad Here
11 "We Are All Mad Here", 1994
12 We Are All Mad Here/El Jardin (1st Version)/El Jardin (2nd Version)
13 "When Wisdom Befriends Gossip", 1991
box folder
20 1 Unlabeled
VHS Tapes, 1979-2000
2 80's Work/Meltdown/Love Spaces/Frame of Mind/Woman is the Nigger of the World/Dog Barking at the Moon/Vide o dolorido
3 80s Work/u'I Coaraci/Meltdown/Dog Barking at the Moon/Frame of Mind/Woman is the Nigger of the World/Document of a Film Instal. Love Spaces/Vide o dolorido/To Travel is Necessary to Live Ins't/In Advance An Open Hearth
4 "Agua" Video for Installation, 1993
5 Barbara Strisen Carly Reman Concerts
6 Chris Barreto - Cenas no studio/Cenas em Pensilvanie/Clip de Globo/Todo o Fashion Show
7 Cultura: Fundação Padre Anchieta
8 Dias de Sá, Neidi, Exposição - A ordem do Caos, 2000
9 Document of a Film Instal. "Love Spaces"/In Advance a Open Hearth/Meltdown/Haiku/Frame of Mind/Dog Barking at the Moon/There/Here/Vide o dolorido
10 "Elemental", 1990, 1991
11 Elisabeth Bishop Agua/From Brasil by Brazilias
12 Frontline Ugandan Singer and AIDS
13 Kennedy Assassination
14 "Mar de Compaixão"
15 Melting Down/Haiku/Frame of Mind/Dog Barking at the Moon, 1986
16 Milagro en Roma
17 Programa I - Augusto
18 Programa II - Artistas
19 Promo for Classes
20 Pulp Video 1st
21 Rodenbach poetry/Dance/prototype Jellyfish Installation
22 Sample of Regina Vater's Installation A Little Fragment of Video for Anakonda
23 Saraiva, Alberto, Oxi (2)
24 Soaps 3-14, 15, 18, 19
25 Vide o dolorido, 1983
26 Vide o dolorido rio, 1983
27 Video on Installations by Regina Vater, 1979-1994
28 Video on Regina Vater's Instal Containing Footage Showing Video Instal Agua at W and TW Gal. in Austin
29 "We Are All Mad Here", 1994
30 Whitney Biennial 1985-0-30/Art in our Own Time 30-90
31 Women and Nicaragua
21 CDs, 2009
Toda Merda Aora É Arte, 2009
Zip Disks, Undated
NOTE: Zip Disk materials require reformatting for use and are available by special request only. Contact the Benson Collection archivist for more information.
5th now wlad and img.
Andre Window/Camoes Corrigr
Banner camões
Banner test
Camoes Feast Book - II
Decio Piguatriri/Life Poem
Falves 1
Falves Child (2)/Imagina
Fundo Layer Camrés/Regina Last Plotters
Haroldo/Avelino - Menor Abandon
Hugo Ponte Vãfisosof/Helio Paragoléw Paulo Ramos
Imag Artista - Internet
José Macas Riesr
Jose Mindlin
LIVRO de artista CAMOS
Lundberg, Lucky Blue/Vítrines
Lygia - Bruno.P.J/Almandrade/Franlin Small Prints/Joaquim Small Prints
Millor Bison
Miscelanea/Petrobras Proposal 2
Photo for Press
Proposta Petrobras
Visual Poetry English (In the raw)
Viva Vaia
Wladimir Bettem
Unlabeled (Faded)
Unlabeled (Faded)

VI. Oversized Items, (1991-2003, undated)

box folder
11 1 The Austin Chronicle, 1991-2003
2 Distinguished Speaker Series poster, 2003
box folder
OV 1 Exhibit posters
1 III bienal internactional de poesía visual\experimental\alternativa, Undated
1 Seccion Brasil III bienal internacional de poesía visual\experimental\alternativa, Undated