If a single symbol could summarize the iconic work of Leonel Matheu (Havana, 1967), this would be that enigmatic head –a sort of dome- that appears as a constant throughout his work. Self-portrait and collective portrayal of a nation marked by diaspora and dystopia, this symbol embodies the symptoms and stigma of contemporary global society.
With a masterful use of the synthetic graphic design language, Matheu builds up a personal and yet universal iconography that interweaves in intimate fables of our daily existence. Spirituality, technology, passion, solitude, dreams, chimeras and deceptions are at the core of this thoughtful body of works.
“Crossroads of the Dystopia” is the first major museum survey exhibition of this midcareer versatile artist whose work ranges from drawing with colored pencils, ink on paper, oil on canvases, video and multimedia installations, to public installations and qualification of architectural spaces. Curated by Janet Batet, the exhibition resumes moreover twenty years of work and provides a comprehensive overview of Matheu’s most distinctive imagery.
Leonel Matheu, who presently resides in Los Angeles, has been one of the figures that have marked the local arts Miami in the last twenty years. He graduated at the Institute of Graphic Design of Havana in 1987. In 1992 he settled in Miami, Florida. His artwork is part of public collections in various art museums, between them are the MOCA-Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami Beach, The Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami, The Lowe Art Museum in Coral Gables, The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, The Georgia Museum of Art at University of Georgia in Athens, The Mobile Museum of Art in Alabama, The University Art Museum in Radford University, Virginia and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Velez-Malaga, Spain, among others.
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum (formerly The Art Museum at FIU) opened in 1977, gaining a respected reputation for its innovative exhibitions, outstanding lecture series and educational outreach programs for South Florida’s diverse audiences.
Student and faculty exhibitions, an important component of the Museum’s academic function, present the work of artists who have achieved significant state and national recognition, including NEA, MacArthur, Guggenheim and Florida Visual Artist Fellowships. The Betty Laird Perry Emerging Artist Collection was established with work acquired through the Betty Laird Perry Purchase Award which is granted to selected BFA and MFA students graduating from the FIU programs in visual arts.
The Frost Art Museum presents exhibitions in Latin America and is working on future collaborations and partnerships with leading art institutions in these regions. These efforts to foster cultural, educational, and artistic exchanges compliment Florida International University’s commitment to its ever-growing international audiences. The Frost Art Museum complements its exhibitions with a wide range of regionally unique and nationally recognized educational programs. The Steven and Dorothea Green Critics' Lecture Series directly connect South Florida's audiences with important artists, critics and art historians living today.
With the transition to the new 46,000 sq. ft. museum facility in 2008, the Frost Art Museum has the opportunity to better serve the University and the South Florida community. Reaffirming its commitment to the excellence of its collections, exhibitions and educational programs, the Frost Art Museum continues to broaden its base of support and serve an increasingly larger and more diverse constituency.
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