Estate of Feliciano Centurión Paraguayan, 1962-1996



Centurión was born in San Ignacio, in the southern region of Paraguay. He was raised by his mother and grandmother in an ultra-conservative and catholic society, and the family were exiled to Argentina in 1973 under the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. His work employs embroidery and textile, crafts traditionally practiced by women and which are central to Paraguayan culture since the Triple Alliance War, when the country lost ninety percent of its male population. Centurión moved to Buenos Aires in 1980 to study at the national art schools. In the 1990s, he became a core member of the Arte Light movement, centred around the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas (El Rojas). Centurión exhibited several times at El Rojas, in many ways exemplifying the aesthetic choices of that generation of artists, whose explorations of subjectivity incorporated a kitsch and exuberant, almost Baroque style.


After being diagnosed with HIV, Centurión worked in increasingly small and intricate formats. He embroidered animals and mythical beings, in keeping with Paraguay's Guaraní weaving traditions, and used his own text, too, often in reference to his ill-health. In common with Félix González-Torres, ACT UP, José Leonilson, and General Idea, the use of sentiment and traditionally feminine visual languages puts Centurion at the centre of this generation of artists who began to explore gender and sexuality in the 1990s. Although his career was tragically short, he remains a central but little-recognized figure of recent contemporary art history.


Centurión's work has been celebrated in a number of recent solo exhibitions, including Telas y Textos at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, US (2023), Feliciano Centurión: Abrigo, Americas Society, New York, US (2020) and Feliciano Centurión: I am Awake, Cecilia Brunson Projects, London, UK (2019). He was also exhibited at the 13th Shanghai Biennale, Bodies of Water in 2021, and the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo, Affective Affinities (2018), and has been included in important recent group exhibitions including Theme: AIDS (1993), Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, 2022. Cecilia Brunson Projects represents the artist's estate and works closely with Feliciano's family. 



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