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Jac Leirner

Brazilian  •  b. 1961

Biography

Considered one of Brazil's most important contemporary artists, Jac Leirner manipulates found materials to create work that offers biting social commentary on the economy and consumer culture. She was born in 1961 in São Paulo to prominent patrons of Brazilian art. The importance of "collecting" has always been integral in Leriner's life, as her father, Adolfo Leirner, was a prominent collector of Neo-Concrete art. While the artist's parents were interested in collecting quality pieces, Leirner asserts that her interest lies in amassing large quantities of found objects. Leirner configures these found objects into numerous patterns, creating large sculptural installations that explore themes of space, color and materiality.

Insights

  • Phillips set a world auction record for the artist in November 2014 with her 1989 piece Nomes (Names), which sold for $221,000.

  • Leirner's work has been included at the 47th Venice Biennale in 1997, the dOCUMENTA (IX), Kassel in 1992, the 44th Venice Biennale in 1990, the 1989 Bienal de São Paulo and the 1983 Bienal de São Paulo.

  • In 2014, White Cube presented 'Junkie', an exhibition of sculptures and photography thematically centered around Leirner's drug use. About 30 years ago, Leirner began hoarding the ephemera and objects that she assembled and photographed during a cocaine binge in 2010.

"I like to believe that...small ridiculous things are potent. Or have a potential. Or a plastic potential."

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