In June, 1980, along with Antonio Dias, Anna Bella Geiger and Paulo Roberto Leal, he represents Brazil at the 39th Venice Biennial. He describes his drawing (measuring 20 meters length by 2 meters height) as “a sort of catharsis of drawing”. With it, he appears to have brought his documentation of Carnival to a close.
Later that year, he integrates the Quasi Cinema exhibition at the Centro Internazionale di Brera, in Milan. The following year, he shows new work at the Mônica Figueiras de Almeida Gallery (SP).
During the Eighties, the artist once again takes up painting on canvas the basic structure of which becomes the diagonal grid. Despite the absence of references external to the pictorial construction itself, the canvases still his Carnival photographs.
In May, 1983, the Thomas Cohn Gallery (RJ) is inaugurated with a solo exhibition of the artist’s paintings. In December, a show of his paintings is held at the Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud (SP). Also in 1983, he is appointed president of the Municipal Council for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (RJ), taking over from recently-deceased author Pedro Nava. He organizes a solo exhibition of large scale paintings at the Brazilian Centre Gallery in London. With Belisário França and Piero Mancini, he co-directs the video Carlos Vergara: uma pintura [Carlos Vergara: a painting], for RioArte’s contemporary Art video series.
In 1987, he holds a solo exhibition at the Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud and paints a panel for the headquarters of the Banco de Crédito Nacional/BCN in Barueri (SP).
He sets up a studio in Cachoeiras de Macacu, a municipal district 120 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro on the banks of a river with the same name, where he now spends most of his time.
In March, 1988, he holds shows ten canvases in a solo exhibition at the Thomas Cohn Gallery, in Rio de Janeiro. Later that year, in addition to producing a new mural for the main office of the Itaú Bank in São Paulo and a sculpture for a residential building designed by architect Paulo Casé in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, he creates the opening titles for Rio’s Manchete network television serial Olho por olho [An eye for an eye].
In 1989, an important change takes place in his painting. The artist begins to work with natural pigments and minerals which become the foundation for works on various surfaces. These result from a printing process and the impregnation of several “matrixes” such as the very mouth of the ovens in a small iron oxide pigment factory in Rio Acima [in the state of Minas Gerais], as well as the artist’s subsequent interventions.
In October, 1989, at the 20th São Paulo Biennial, he shows large panels printed in colors extracted from iron oxide.