Jac Leirner

São Paulo, Brazil, 1961




With its complex conceptual vocabulary, Jac Leirner’s work employs the collection and accumulation of objects as a method, like mementos or souvenirs that the artist collects, or extracts, from their original contexts. Preferring the collection to the unitary object, Leirner organizes cigarette butts, utensils, tools, cash bills, rulers, and airplane ashtrays according to a serial or modular principle. Merely collecting or organizing these objects is not enough; it is necessary to compose a formal arrangement, where Leirner’s strategies settle into a sculptural form. These forms always remit to ulterior – art-historical, museological, industrial, consumer – systems, so that structural organization is always associated with social connotations of exchange and circulation.

Among her recent solo exhibitions are Jac Leirner, Swiss Institute, New York, USA (2023), O Meu Trabalho, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo, Brazil (2022) Us Horizon, Esther Schipper, Berlin, Germany (2022); Wolfgang Hahn Prize, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany (2019); Institutional Ghost, IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2017); Add It Up, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2016); Junkie, White Cube, London, UK (2016) and Jac Leirner: Borders are drawn by hand, Museum of Contemporary Arts of Shanghai, Shanghai, China (2016). Leirner took part in the group shows Diagonais, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo, Brazil (2023); Noor Riyadh Festival, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2022); A máquina do mundo: Arte e indústria no Brasil 1901 – 2021, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2021);Momentum, Voorlinden Museum, Wassenaar, Netherlands (2020); World/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, USA (2019); Memory Palace, White Cube, London, UK (2018).

Leirner has works in important public collections, such as the Allen Memorial Art Museum – Oberlin College, Oberlin, USA; Art Gallery of Ontario, Ontario, Canada; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, USA; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Coleção Cisneros, Caracas, Venezuela; Colorado University Art Museum, Boulder, USA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculputure Garden, Washington DC, USA; Instituto Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil; MOCA | The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA; MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico; MAM – Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent, Belgium; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, USA; Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; SF MoMA, San Francisco, USA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; Städtische Galerie Villa Zanders, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany; Tate Modern, London, UK; The Bohen Foundation, New York, USA; University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art, Essex, UK and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA.