Photo: Lisbeth Salas
Jesús Fuenmayor is a curator with more than thirty-five years experience in the field of modern and contemporary art exhibitions and with a commitment to artists, innovative curatorial work, dynamic programming, education and community. From 2017–2019, he served as Chief Curator for the 14th Cuenca Biennial in Cuenca, Ecuador: Living Structures / Art as Plural Experience. As Chief Curator, he chose fifty-three contemporary artists from three continents (the U.S., Europe, and Latin America) that each took up the question of art as lived experience. Previously, he worked as an independent curator and also held positions as Director and Curator of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation in Miami (CIFO, 2012–2015) and as Director and Curator of Periférico Caracas (2005–2011). In his native Venezuela, he also worked as curator at the Museo Alejandro Otero; advised collections; taught at the architecture school; and prepared exhibitions for international venues, including Apex Art and the Americas Society in New York, as well as the Venice Biennial.
Throughout Fuenmayor’s years working as an art space director and curator, he has married a desire for curatorial excellence with a keen responsiveness to public programming and educational contexts. Since beginning at University Galleries he has amplified its profile, curricular engagements, and programmed a notable roster of established and emerging international artists, including Adrian Piper, Ulises Carrión, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Cecilia López, Jules Gimbrone, Nikita Gale, Thessia Machado, Nao Nishihara, Stevie Say, Lucie Vítková, Javier Castro, among others.
Fuenmayor's other recent exhibitions include the retrospective Eugenio Espinoza: Unruly Supports 1970–1980 at the Pérez Art Museum Miami in addition to Gego: Autobiography of a Line at the Dominique Lévy Gallery in New York. In 2014, he curated Impulse, Reason, Sense, Conflict, which focused on abstract art in the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection and foregrounded the collection’s international scope by juxtaposing American, European and Latin American modern and contemporary art. These and other exhibitions included a publication that he conceptualized and that featured distinguished scholars of international contemporary art, among them, Michael Asbury, Manuel Borja-Villel, Sérgio B. Martins, Mari Carmen Ramírez, and José Roca. Fuenmayor also maintains a scholarly publication record. He is author of the catalogue to the 14th Cuenca Biennial, Living Structures / Art as Plural Experience and of Accumulate, Classify, Preserve, Display: Roberto Obregón Archive from the Carolina and Fernando Eseverri Collection, which documents Roberto Obregón’s first solo exhibition at an arts institution in the United States. He has edited volumes on modern and contemporary art, including the key reference volume Pulses of Abstraction in Latin America (Turner Libros, 2013). He contributes to volumes and magazines on contemporary art in a global context, including Laercio Redondo: Intimacies/Proximadades (Rio de Janeiro: Museu de Arte Moderno, 2016); Kinaesethesia: Latin American Kinetic Art (Getty; Palm Springs Art Museum, 2017); an interview with Lothar Baumgarten for Mousse Magazine Contemporary Art (Milan, 2016); the Grove Dictionary of Latin American Art; and an interview with Nikita Gale for Art Journal Open (College Art Association Publication, 2020).
Fuenmayor regularly lectures and advises in international contexts on collections, curating, and contemporary art. In 2020, he spoke at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice in conversation with Ella Cisneros. He also organized a conversation series on the theme “collections” at ArtRio and spoke at the opening symposium for the OsloBiennalen in Olso, Norway. He serves on various nomination and advisory committees, including for apexart International Fellowship program, CIFO, and the PIPA Prize.
“Interview with Chief Curator Jesús Fuenmayor,” by Chrissie Iles, Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator at the Whitney Museum, 2018. Link: https://universes.art/en/cuenca-biennial/2018/fuenmayor-interview
Plural domains: Selections from the Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation Collection, University Gallery & Harn Museum of Art. Opens fall semester 2021.
Selected exhibitions (* includes publication)
Accumulate, Classify, Preserve, Display: Roberto Obregón Archive from the Carolina and Fernando Eseverri Collection, University Gallery & Harn Museum of Art, November 12, 2019–February 14, 2020; traveled to the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami, January 30—May 16, 2021.*
Estructuras vivientes. El arte como experiencia plural (Living Structures / Art asPlural Experience). XIV Bienal de Cuenca. Cuenca, Ecuador, 2018.*
Plural domains: Selections from the Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation Collection. Museo de la Ciudad, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2018.
Interruptions: Proyecto Visible. Pinta Projects, Pinta Miami/Mana Contemporary, 2018.
Passages in Art from Venezuela. Special presentation at Pinta, curated with Tahía Rivero, 2017.*
Cayetano Ferrer: Tropos, Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires, 2017.*
Gego: Autobiography of a Line, Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York, 2015.*
Unruly Supports: Eugenio Espinoza, Pérez Art Museum Miami, 2015.*
The Devil is in the Details, KaBe Contemporary, Miami, 2015.*
Time-Sensitive, Pinta Projects, Pinta Miami/Mana Contemporary, 2015.
Impulse, Reason, Sense, Conflict, CIFO Art Space; curated in collaboration with the CIFO staff, 2014.*
Permission To Be Global/Prácticas Globales, CIFO Art Space, Miami and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; curated by Jen Mergell and Liz Munsel in consultation with Jesús Fuenmayor, 2013.*