José Leonilson: Empty Man at the Americas Society

Cecilia Brunson curates José Leonilson: Empty Man at the Americas Society together with Gabriela Rangel and Susanna V. Temkin

On view: September 27–February 3, 2018

This Fall, Americas Society will present José Leonilson: Empty Man, the first U.S. solo exhibition of this key Brazilian artist. Focusing on Leonilson’s production as a mature artist, the show will feature approximately fifty paintings, drawings, and intimate embroideries made between the mid-1980s until 1993, when the artist died of AIDS. This short yet prolific period showcases the artist’s fully developed language, connecting Leonilson’s oeuvre with contemporary art practices, Brazilian vernacular traditions, and global issues prompted by the AIDS crisis. By taking as its starting point the works produced during the last three years of his life and moving backwards into the 1980s, the exhibition maps Leonilson’s artistic journey following the reverse chronology of T.S. Eliot: “in the beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning.”

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