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Book launch of José Leonilson: Empty Man

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

January 26, 2018


Admission is free. Kindly register. 

A 20 percent discount will be given to Americas Society members, and a 10 percent discount to nonmembers on all book sales the evening of the event.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Americas Society publishes the book José Leonilson: Empty Man. During the event, Gabriela Rangel, director of Visual Arts at Americas Society, engages in a conversation with Brazilian artist Leda Catunda and writer and art historian Luis Pérez Oramas. The book, edited by Karen Marta and Gabriela Rangel, is published in association with Americas Society’s exhibition dedicated to the work of José Leonilson. It includes an essay by the show’s curators, as well as texts by scholars Jenni Sorkin (University of California at Santa Barbara), Luis Enrique Pérez Oramas (writer and art historian), and Yuji Kawasima (Universidad Complutense in Madrid).

Learn about Americas Society's exhibition José Leonilson: Empty Man, on view September 27–February 3, 2018.

Event Information: Veronica Flom | | 1-212-277-8367
Media | 1-212-277-8333
Membership |

Image: Cover of José Leonilson: Empty Man catalogue. (New York, Americas Society, 2018)

Leda Catunda was born in 1961 in São Paulo, where she lives and works. Her solo shows have most notably included Pinturas Recentes, at Museu Oscar Niemeyer (Curitiba, 2013), which traveled to MAM Rio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2013); as well as Leda Catunda: 1983–2008, a retrospective held at the Estação Pinacoteca (São Paulo, Brazil, 2009). One of the leading figures of the so-called Geração 80, the artist participated in key exhibitions such as Como Vai Você, Geração 80?, Parque Lage (Rio de Janeiro, 1984); and Pintura como Meio, MAC-USP (São Paulo, 1983). Her career has also included participations in three editions of the Bienal de São Paulo (Brazil; 1994, 1985 and 1983), as well as the Bienal do Mercosul (Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2001) and the Bienal de Havana (Cuba, 1984). Her work figures in various public collections, such as those of Instituto Inhotim (Brumadinho, Brazil); MAM Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Fundação ARCO (Madrid, Spain); and Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, Holland); as well as the Pinacoteca do Estado, MAC-USP, MASP, and MAM (all in São Paulo, Brazil).

Luis Pérez Oramas received his PhD in art history under the direction of Louis Marin and Hubert Damisch at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France, in 1993. In 2003 Pérez Oramas became curator in the Department of Drawings at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; in 2006, he was appointed Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art at MoMA, a position he held until 2017. Prior to his tenure at MoMA, Pérez Oramas was professor of art history at the Université de Haute Bretagne-Rennes 2, France (1987–91); Ecole Régionale Superieure des Beaux Arts de Nantes, France (1992–94); and the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Artes Plásticas Armando Reverón, Caracas, Venezuela (1994–2002), as well as curator of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Caracas (1994–2002). In addition, Pérez Oramas served as the chief curator of the Thirtieth São Paulo Biennial, The Imminence of Poetics, in 2012. He is the author of several exhibition catalogues, a number of books on art, social issues, and political criticism, and eight books based on his poetry, most recently La dulce astilla (Valencia: Pre-Textos La Cruz del Sur, 2015) and Olvidar la muerte. Pensamiento del toreo desde América (Valencia: Pre-textos, 2016).

Gabriela Rangel is a Venezuelan curator, critic, and writer based in New York. Rangel holds an MA in curatorial studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, an MA in media and communications studies from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, and a BA in film studies from the International Film School at San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. She is the director and chief curator of Visual Arts at Americas Society. She has curated and cocurated exhibitions on the work of Silvia Gruner, Marta Minujín, Gego, Gordon Matta Clark, Xul Solar, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Juan Downey, and Dias & Riedweg, among others. Rangel also contributed to exhibition catalogues and periodicals on topics related to the critical revision of modernisms in Latin America such as Parkett, Art in America, Trans, and Art Nexus.