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Colorful drawing by Leonlison.

Leonilson, Ideal Vouge (Fanzine), 1976. Drawing and text / marker, ballpoint pen, graphite on
paper, Courtesy Projeto Leonilson, Photo: Rubens Chiri


Drawn 1975–1993

13.3 – 23.5 2021


José Leonilson created his personal and poetic vision in times of political and social change in his native Brazil. This exhibition is the first major retrospective of Leonilson’s work in Europe and presents a selection of  250 works, from the artist’s early  paintings to the introspective embroidery from the last years of his life.

In the mid-1980s, Leonilson (1957–1993) was one of the leading artists within Geração 80 (“80s generation), rediscovering  a “joy of painting” in the years following the end of  Brazil’s military dictatorship. When Leonilson was diagnosed with AIDS in 1991 his works, which resembled a diary, revealed his deteriorating health and a preoccupation with death.

Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen

The exhibition is on the 2nd floor

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