Opening on the 13th of October, the art gallery Cecilia Brunson Projects (CBP) and Galeria Millan will be showing Paraguayan-born artist Feliciano Centurión (1962 — 1996) as part of the Frieze Masters Spotlight. The Frieze Masters Spotlight section, overseen by Laura Hoptman (Executive Director of The Drawing Center, New York) is dedicated to the most important avant-garde artists from around the world, including figures whose seminal works have been unfairly overlooked. Centurión certainly fits into the latter.
A member of the Rojas Gallery group in Buenos Aires, Centurión’s work was seminal in the ‘arte light’ movement, in which artists embraced a kitsch aesthetic to reflect and explore the culture of the early 1990s. This intentionally gaudy imagery led a number of critics to underestimate the depth of what these artists were doing. For the artists of the Rojas group, interventions into everyday materials, bright colours and bold imagery were a way for them to celebrate their LGBTQ+ identities and stand in contradiction to the strict rule of dictatorship under which they had grown up.
For Feliciano Centurión, this took the form of bringing together cheap household objects like blankets and pillow cases with intricate embroidery, fabric patches and Ñandutí lace, a traditional form of lace made by the indigenous Guaraní people, a tribute to his place of birth. This exuberance had to come up against the reality of mortality when Centurión was diagnosed with AIDs.
The works on show date until the year of his death, aged 34, in 1996. They become smaller and smaller, moving tablecloths to pillow cases as canvases as Centurión became bedbound due to his illness. Despite this, his work became if anything more intricate. Centurión embroidered religious phrases and scraps of poetry which had significance to the continuing deterioration of his health onto these pieces of found fabric.
The presentation at Frieze follows CBP’s exhibition of Centurión’s work in 2019, the first exhibition of his works ever in the UK. Simultaneously with the Frieze Masters Spotlight, CBP are presenting the first ever exhibition of works by Katie Van Scherpenberg in Europe in their own gallery space, as well as works by seminal Op-artist Luiz Sacilotto in their viewing room. CBP were created in order provide a platform to bring Latin American art and artists to European audiences, and their current exhibitions, and presence at Frieze are a testament to their success.
To learn more about Centurión, visit CBP’s website by clicking here.