The creative practice of Brazilian artist Jac Leirner (b.1961) begins with incessantly collecting and serially arranging materials according to certain organizational needs utilizing a conceptual and complex vocabulary. Their inventory includes a variety of items, including silverware, cigarette butts, tools, rulers, cash, and bags. These commonplace things undergo a reconfiguration based on a semantic and narrative displacement effected by the artist, who applies a deep awareness to the formal features of objects, such as shape, color, and typefaces, in the creation of the work. Leirner’s work is appealing due to its repetition and the slowness of its creation; materials may take decades to acquire, yet a piece may be created quickly.
Leirner has exhibited widely across Europe and the Americas, including at the Tate Modern, London; the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; IMMA Dublin; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; Miami Art Museum; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; ICA Boston; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She has been included in the Sharjah Biennial, the Istanbul Biennial, and the Mercosur Biennial. Her work is held in the collections of major institutions across the world, including those of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; MAM–Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; the Tate, London; and the National Museum of Art, Osaka, among others. Leirner received a BFA from Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado. Leirner is represented by Esther Schipper. She lives and works in São Paulo.