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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

Forma:Brazil, Geraldo de Barros and Lygia Pape

March 20, 2001

This exhibition presented the work of two pioneering abstract artists from the early years of concrete and neo-concrete art, a period in the 1940s and 1950s, in which Brazilian artists developed ideas from the European avant-garde in an innovative and unique way. ... Read More

Geneviève Cadieux

December 05, 2000

Americas Society presented an exhibition of works by Geneviève Cadieux, a Canadian contemporary artist. The artist created a compelling body of photographic works whose subjects were nature, the human body, and relationships between the sexes. ... Read More

Lawren Stewart Harris: a Painter’s Progress

September 05, 2000

Lawren Stewart Harris: a Painter’s Progress constituted the first full-scale retrospective of Harris’s oeuvre anywhere since 1963. Forty-six paintings traced a career that spanned six decades and was defined by a truly modernist commitment to experimentation and the idea of art as a constant progression ... Read More

Clara Gutsche: The Convent Series

June 07, 1999

Curated by France Gascon, Clara Gutsche: The Convent Series comprised of sixty-five photographs in both color and black-and-white of Gutsche’s recent work. The show was a photographic study of the monastic life of cloistered nuns in Quebec. ... Read More

Gerardo Suter: Labyrinth of Memory

February 10, 1999

Gerardo Suter, one of Latin America's most important contemporary photographers was the subject of this mid-career survey of a dozen years of his work, which ranged from early photographs of enigmatic landscapes and ruins, to larger prints of more dramatic tableaux featuring nude figures with masks and other props, to recent monumental installations that combined photography with video and performance elements. ... Read More

El Alma del Pueblo: Spanish Folk Art and its Transformation in the Americas

September 18, 1998

This major exhibition vividly documented the deep and long-lasting influence that Spanish folk art exerted on the popular aesthetic of the Americas, displaying ceremonial objects, masks, and elements of private devotion like family altars and votive paintings, decorative folk art objects of diverse media, and numerous domestic objects. ... 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.

House of Miracles: Votive Sculpture from Northeastern Brazil

Thursday, August 31, 1989

This exhibition catalogue explores the vibrant folk art tradition of carved wood and ceramic ex-votos in rural Brazil. Ex-votos are representations of miraculous cures, or the ailments that have been cured, offered in shrines and churches to give thanks for divine intervention in personal difficulties. The catalogue  includes essays by Fatima Bercht and Lelia Coelho Frota. ... Read More

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