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Visual Arts at Americas Society

Arts and Culture

Americas Society Gallery does not accept unsolicited submissions and materials. Our staff is not authorized to receive or review artist or exhibition proposals.

The Visual Arts program boasts the longest-standing private space in the U.S. dedicated to exhibiting and promoting art from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada; it has achieved a unique and renowned leadership position in the field, producing both historical and contemporary exhibitions. The Visual Arts program presents three exhibitions annually, each accompanied by a series of public and educational programs featuring outstanding artists, curators, critics and scholars. The Visual Arts program produces exhibition catalogues as well as scholarly publications, including the seminal work, A Principality of Its Own: 40 Years of Visual Arts at the Americas Society.

 

The Society’s Visual Arts department, dedicated to fostering a better understanding of art in the American regions beyond U.S. borders from the pre-Columbian era to the present day, produces gallery exhibitions, illustrated catalogs, and a variety of public programs. The quality of our exhibitions attests to the diversity and heritage of the Americas, and upholds the mandate of the Americas Society to foster a better understanding of the art made in these regions from the pre-Columbian era to the present day.

The visual arts program boasts the longest-standing private space in the United States dedicated to exhibiting and promoting art from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. Americas Society is recognized for its catalyzing role in establishing Latin American art markets in the United States and helping to expand the notion of modernity in the western hemisphere. The success of the department is rooted in its role as not merely a consecratory venue, but also as a platform for new artistic visions and achievements from throughout the Americas.

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Upcoming Exhibition

José Leonilson: Empty Man

September 27 to February 3, 2018

José Leonilson (1957-1993) came of age as an artist during the 80s generation in Brazil. What he shared with this diverse artistic milieu was the so-called ‘joy of painting,’ rediscovered in the years following the end of Brazil’s dictatorship. What separated him from his contemporaries was his personal way of working and his distinct aesthetic centered on raw emotional feelings, introspective musings, and private affairs.

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.”

Learn more about the exhibition.

The Visual Arts program boasts the longest-standing private space in the U.S. dedicated to exhibiting and promoting art from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada; it has achieved a unique and renowned leadership position in the field, producing both historical and contemporary exhibitions. The Visual Arts program present three exhibitions annually, each accompanied by a series of public and educational programs featuring outstanding artists, curators, critics and scholars.

Explore our past exhibitions below, and view a timeline of Visual Arts exhibitions dating back to 1967.

Past Exhibitions

The True Poetry: The Art of María Izquierdo

May 06, 1997

This exhibition focused on the development of artist María Izquierdo’s pictorial vocabulary drawn from her interest in the Mexican landscape, the still life, portraiture, and self-portraiture. The exhibition demonstrated the complex manner in which Izquierdo drew as much from her artistic milieu as from European movements such as Surrealism. ... Read More

Embodied Abstraction

February 05, 1997

This exhibition highlighted three significant young artists living and working in New York. In varying ways, their painting, sculpture, and drawing reflected the remarkable resilience and relevance that abstract modes of expression maintained at the end of the modernist century. ... Read More

New World Orders: Casta Painting and Colonial Latin America

September 26, 1996

Casta (caste) paintings were produced in Latin America in the eighteenth century to depict the mixing of the major racial groups-- Indians, Spaniards, and Africans-- that inhabited Spain’s colonies in the New World. This was the first exhibition on this subject to be organized by a cultural institution in the United States. ... Read More

Lola Álvarez Bravo: In Her Own Light

January 17, 1996

Lola Álvarez Bravo: In Her Own Light was the first significant presentation of the artist’s work in the United States. The exhibition featured 75 of the most stirring and impressive works produced during many stages of her working life. ... Read More

Visions of Light and Air: Canadian Impressionism, 1885-1920

September 27, 1995

This major exhibition focused on the development and history of Impressionism as practiced by Canadian artists working in their native country and abroad, between 1885 and 1920.                                                                       ... Read More

Tomie Ohtake: Recent Paintings, 1989-1994

April 26, 1995

This was an exhibition of Tomie Ohtake’s large-scale abstract paintings. The Japanese born artist was a leading figure in post-war Brazilian art, developing her career parallel to Abstract Expressionism in the United States and becoming a decisive figure in forging the character of Brazilian painting after the mid-century. ... Read More

Still Life: The Body as Object in Contemporary Photography

February 28, 1995

This exhibition featured the work of artists from various parts of the Americas, all of whom used non-traditional modes of photography in order to explore the theme of the body and interpret the human form as a site of ritual, meditation, or transcendental exploration. ... Read More

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Special editions of books covering visual arts of the western Hemisphere and published by the Americas Society.

The Visual Arts department offers a variety of beautifully illustrated catalogues that chronicle past Americas Society exhibitions.

Abstract Attitudes: Waltercio Caldas

Monday, April 30, 1984

This is the catalogue of the Brazilian conceptual artist, Waltercio Caldas, which accompanied the exhibition Abstract Attitudes. The catalogue includes a bilingual (English/Portuguese) essay by Paulo Vendncio Filho and was copublished by the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. ... Read More

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