Juliana Cerqueira Leite was born in 1981 and is a Brazilian/American artist. She studied sculpture in London at Chelsea College of Art and then the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, where she graduated from the MFA Sculpture program in 2006 as recipient of the Kenneth Armitage Sculpture Prize. Cerqueira Leite lives and works in New York.
Cerqueira Leite's work has been exhibited internationally since 2007 with recent group shows including the Saatchi Gallery, London; the 4th Marrakech Biennial; DUVE Gallery, Berlin; Art Public, Art Basel Miami Beach; and recent solo shows at Galleria Lorcan O’Neil, Rome; Casa Triângulo, São Paulo, Brazil; AIR Gallery, New York. Juliana has been a NYFA/NYSCA funded artist in residence at Sculpture Space, Utica, and artist in residence at Foundation Armando Alvarez Penteado in São Paulo, Brazil and The Banff Arts Center, Canada. She is recipient of the 2006 Kenneth Armitage Sculpture Prize and the 2010-11 A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship in New York. She is also an active curator with recent projects at the Dumbo Arts Center and St. Cecilia’s Convent, both in Brooklyn, and at Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects in London.
The spirit of Cerqueira Leite's work aligns itself with post-minimalist concerns of the body in space. Her sculptures are visually striking and tactile - often lending themselves to feminist readings due to their historical influences and performative exuberance. However, Cerqueira Leite maintains that her works do not have a specifically feminist agenda. Instead her work shows a struggle between narrative and context that addresses universal human conditions through the undeniably corporeal dimension to her work. Her sculptures reconcile the "practice" of art making with the bodies of its creator and spectators, portraying the contingency of means and end, input and output.
Monumental or delicately proportioned her works investigate how time and physical action are captured by matter to generate form. Her practice reveals a phenomenological approach to process by mapping the experience of embodiment, how it is portrayed through figurative representation and the history of sculpture. The objects, drawings, photography, performance and video work that make up Leite's practice continually reveal their past engagement with the artists' body. Emerging from an interest in how tactile, temporal and spatial experience is stored in memory and the mental body-map, her work is determined by specific action-schemes, repetitive choreography and the properties of materials.