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2 East 75th Street, 1A
New York, NY 10021
212 585 2400

Also at:
16 East 71st Street, 1A
New York, NY 10021
Leon Tovar is a New York-based gallery that promotes and showcases the finest examples of Latin American Modernism. In 1990, Mr. Tovar opened his first location in Bogotá, Colombia, with a presentation of work by Sol LeWitt and Bernar Venet, followed by exhibitions on Josef Albers, Carlos Rojas, Luis Camnitzer, Dennis Oppenheim, and Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar. In 2002, Mr. Tovar moved his operation to New York City’s Upper East Side, where he was among the first galleries to exhibit the geometric, kinetic, optical, and constructivist tendencies practiced by Latin America’s vanguard artists. His expertise in the field was informed by his personal relationships with many artists, among them Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Rojas, Edgar Negret, and Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar, as he endeavored to increase the visibility of art from Latin America and its place within a global discussion of modernism.

After twenty-five years of programming, Mr. Tovar opened his second location in New York’s NoMAD neighborhood in 2015, which hosted numerous group and solo exhibitions, featuring the artists Edgar Negret, Jesús Rafael Soto, Fanny Sanín, Carmelo Arden Quin, and Agustín Fernández. In addition to maintaining regular exhibition programming including tours and panels, the Gallery is a consistent presence in major international art fairs in the U.S., South America, and Europe. The Gallery’s endeavors at these and other events have been covered in El Pais, The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Ocula, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, Forbes, The Art Newspaper, and Modern Magazine. In the spring of 2019, Leon Tovar Gallery moved its second location to the Upper East Side at 2 East 75th Street.
Concurrent with his role as Gallery Director, Mr. Tovar has provided consultation to museums, auction houses, collectors, curators, appraisers, and artists, and has served on selections committees for the ARTBO and ARCO Madrid art fairs. His published articles appear in such publications as Summus and Revista Credencial, and he was a featured panelist in Latin American Art Now (2017), Art, Nationality, and Global Modernism (2018), and Where is Latin American Art? Center Stage (2019), all of which were hosted by TEFAF New York.

Artists Represented:
The Estate of Carmelo Arden Quin
The Estate of Marcelo Bonevardi
The Estate of Martín Blaszko
The Estate of Agustín Fernández
The Estate of Edgar Negret
Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar
Fanny Sanín

Works Available By:
Carmelo Arden Quin
Marcelo Bonevardi
Martín Blaszko 
Agustín Fernández 
Edgar Negret
Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar 
Fanny Sanín
Feliza Bursztyn
Sergio Camargo
Santiago Cárdenas
Carlos Cruz- Diez
Marisol Escobar
Manuel Espinosa 
Gonzalo Fonseca
Gego
Mathias Goeritz
Gyula Kosice
Wifredo Lam
Roberto Matta
Julio Le Parc
Cesar Paternosto
Omar Rayo
Jesús Rafael Soto
Alejandro Otero
Alejandro Puente
Carlos Rojas
Mira Schendel
Francisco Salazar
Luis Tomasello
Victor Vasarely

 

 
Leon Tovar Gallery
Leon Tovar Gallery
Leon Tovar Gallery
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Upcoming Exhibition

Marcelo Bonevardi, Agustín Fernández, Roberto Matta, Tarsila do Amaral

Latin American Master Drawings

16 East 71st Street, 1A
New York, NY 10021

January 24, 2020 - December 31, 1969
Leon Tovar Gallery is pleased to announce its participation in Master Drawings 2020 with the opening of Latin American Master Drawings. Building on the success of the Gallery’s fall 2019 survey on the work of Marcelo Bonevardi, Leon Tovar presents a focused examination of the artist’s works on paper. In a 1964 review of a group exhibition at the Bonino Gallery, the critic John Canaday wrote in the New York Times that Bonevardi’s paintings show “an artist of imagination and a craftsman of skill”—this attention to detail resonates with equal force in his mysterious drawings. Executed in a variety of mark-making techniques, Bonevardi translates his interest in architectural spaces into haunting visions reminiscent of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s Imaginary Prisons. Deliberate and methodical linework betrays the artist’s past as a student of architecture, while scumbled, dark, and urgent marks are anxious and emotional accompaniments to the foreboding hooks and ropes that populate his buildings. The application of washes and subtle areas of color cultivate an atmosphere of metaphysical menace worthy of Giorgio de Chirico, an important figure in Bonevardi’s progression as an artist. Highlights include Stone 1 (1981), a tower of wood, stone, and spikes that was exhibited as part of Art and Alchemy during the 1986 Venice Biennial. Accompanying this presentation of Bonevardi’s drawings will be other exciting works on paper that bring together a rich selection of Latin America’s foremost draftsmen. Prominent among them is the Cuban artist Agustín Fernández, whose dreamlike graphite drawings pit organic shapes against apparatuses of control, and Tarsila do Amaral, who was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2018. Master Drawings runs from Saturday, January 25 until Sunday, February 1, with a preview on Friday, January 24 from 4-8 pm. The Gallery’s exhibition, Latin American Master Drawings, will remain on view through the spring.

 
Past Exhibitions

Marcelo Bonevardi

When the Cedar Bar Met the School of the South: Reconsidering Bonevardi

2 East 75th Street, 1A
New York, NY 10021

September 12, 2019 - December 20, 2019
Leon Tovar Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of When the Cedar Bar Met the School of the South: Reconsidering Bonevardi, the Gallery’s first solo presentation of Marcelo Bonevardi’s enigmatic paintings, drawings, and sculptures. A full appreciation of Bonevardi’s work must both highlight and celebrate the eclectic range of geographical and cultural references that informed the artist’s hugely syncretic practice. While Bonevardi’s metaphysical cosmopolitanism is often likened to that of his Argentinian compatriot, Jorge Luis Borges, and the great teacher of Constructive Universalism, Joaquín Torres-García, such relationships form only one connection among many others. He indeed shared the desire of these forebears for an art wide in scope, wryly illustrated in his rejection of an “Argentine” lens for viewing his work: “Nationalism has little or nothing to do with ART, and I can’t help but smiling at the thought of the possible, ‘subtle’ connections between Angels and Gauchos.” Bonevardi felt more indebted to the art of Italy, with its Renaissance art and architecture, than to the Argentine cowboys of the Pampas. Of equivalent but often-overlooked importance, however, was the birthplace of his mature practice: New York. Bonevardi arrived in the city in 1959 after receiving a Guggenheim fellowship and immediately began immersing himself in the currents of the newly christened art-world capital. Eager to develop his painting practice, Bonevardi visited the legendary Cedar Bar—home to aesthetic debates among the New York School of painters—and the artistic community on 10th street. It wasn’t until Bonevardi’s discovery of Joseph Cornell’s boxes at the Whitney Museum of American art, however, that he would begin to develop his principal artistic language: the painted construction. Cornell’s assemblages were critical for Bonevardi in both form and content, proposing an architectonic format in which objects could be collected, estranged, and—consequently—inscribed with new meaning. The painted constructions feature nooks that reference Cornell’s work, and bear a familial resemblance to Robert Rauschenberg’s likewise Cornellian Scatole Personali (1953). The aesthetic of assemblage is shared, but Bonevardi reoriented his practice toward largely different ends. The carved fetishes, instruments, and geometric objects that populate his constructions have no specifically identifiable cultural origin. They appear instead as recently unearthed traces of cultures long past, pointing to Bonevardi’s interest in archaeology and artifacts shared by friend and Torres-García disciple, Gonzalo Fonseca. Within the layers of strata composing the recent art historical past, Bonevardi’s practice might be uncovered somewhere between New York and the School of the South: The snakelike form in the bottom left region of Two Doors (1968) is a mysterious symbol not unlike those signs that populate Torres-García’s gridded paintings, while the free-floating letter “P” and niched target of Divination Object VI (1963) could very well be a nod to Jasper Johns, whose famous Target with Four Faces (1955) the artist saw on the cover of ARTnews shortly before embarking to the US. Among many other imminent names of mid-twentieth century North American abstraction, an example from this “Divination Object” series was featured in the private collection of the esteemed gallerist Betty Parsons. The title of the exhibition, When the Cedar Bar Met the School of the South: Reconsidering Bonevardi, reflects the trajectory of Bonevardi’s early years in New York, while also reiterating the profound syncretism of his artwork. Through the connections they foster between New York City assemblage and the legacy of Torres-García’s Constructivism, Bonevardi’s own constructions become powerful arguments for rethinking the respective histories of North and South American Modernism. When the Cedar Bar Met the School of the South further integrates Bonevardi into the context of New York by revisiting his major 1980 retrospective at the Center for Inter-American Relations (Now the Americas Society), which opened in New York before traveling through Mexico and South America. Culled from Bonevardi’s oeuvre from the 1960s and early 1970s, many of the seminal paintings to be presented in the Gallery’s exhibition were featured in this important show. Marcelo Bonevardi was born in Buenos Aries, Argentina, in 1929. He is best known for his painted constructions executed in a minimal color palette with notches that contain hand- carved objects. Bonevardi split time between Cordoba, Argentina, and New York City, practicing throughout his lifetime until his death in 1994. His art is represented in such prestigious collections as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; the Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal.

Outlines

2 East 75th Street, 1A
New York, NY 10021

May 4, 2019 - August 31, 2019