Leonilson emerged as a seminal figure of the Brazilian contemporary art world during the 80s. Leonilson travelled extensively throughout Europe, and his paintings, drawings, and installations were featured in solo and group shows in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, in addition to many exhibitions held in Brazil. In 1991, the artist tested positive for HIV. This diagnosis compelled a decisive shift in his career, as Leonilson began to develop his intimate embroideries, a practice he continued until his death in 1993 at the age of 36.
Drawn: 1975-1993 will be the first comprehensive retrospective of Leonilson’s work in Europe and will present over 150 works produced between 1975 and 1993. The comprehensive catalogue will include essays by Lisette Lagnado, Ivo Mesquita, Adriano Pedrosa and Krist Gruijthuijsen, as well as interviews with Leonilson, Jan Fjeld and Edoardo Brandao.