Video: Abrigo at Americas Society — A Tour of Feliciano Centurión's First U.S. Solo Exhibition

By Luisa Leme

Curator Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro and Americas Society's Aimé Iglesias Lukin discuss the Paraguayan artist's work as viewers can examine all pieces featured in Abrigo.

In this mini-documentary, curator Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro and Americas Society Visual Arts Director Aimé Iglesias Lukin talk about Abrigo, the first solo exhibition of Paraguayan artist Feliciano Centurión in the United States.

The short film displays the full collection of Centurión's works in the New York exhibition, which features embroidery and painting on traditional blankets and other domestic items that the artist would buy in Buenos Aires' Garment District. Pérez-Barreiro explains how Centurión approached his identity and life experiences in a novel and political way, shaping art in Latin America in the 1990s. "He's talking about his identity as a Paraguayan immigrant into Buenos Aires, bringing these things that are invisible or considered bad taste and incorporating them very happily and confidently into his work," says the curator. For Lukin, Centurión's blankets serve as a metaphor for the entire exhibition: "[They are] the type of shelter, protection, and community that he was looking as an immigrant artist."

Centurión's works reflect his youth in the tropics, his love experiences in the Argentine metropolis, and spiritual reflections before his untimely death due to AIDS-related illness. "Even when he's diagnosed with AIDS and is facing the disease, he decides to make works that are not traumatic but are a testimony for the future, himself, his loved ones. That is what makes his work so powerful, informative, and at the same time very political," says Lukin.

Documentary: Luisa Leme
Installation Images: On White Wall, Alessandra Medina
Soundtrack: Music of the Americas
"Caçuá," by the Hamilton de Holanda Quintet, performed at Americas Society in New York.
"Vals Op 8 N3," "Petit Pierrot," and "Bicho Feo" by Agustín Barrios Mangoré, performed by Tony Morris at Americas Society in New York.