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26 East 64th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10065
212 585 2400
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
Fanny Sanín

Works Available By:
Carmelo Arden Quin
Marcelo Bonevardi
Martín Blaszko 
Tarsila do Amaral
Agustín Fernández 
Edgar Negret
Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar 
Fanny Sanín
Feliza Bursztyn
Sergio Camargo
Santiago Cárdenas
Carlos Cruz- Diez
Marisol Escobar
Manuel Espinosa 
Gonzalo Fonseca
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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Current Exhibition

Rufino Tamayo, Diego Rivera, Fernando Botero, Ana Mercedes Hoyos, Agustín Cárdenas, Santiago Cárdenas, Luis Alberto Acuña, Armando Morales, Armando Villegas, David Manzur, Luis Arenal, Edgar Negret, Claudio Bravo, Juan Cárdenas, Enrique Climent

80 Years of Latin American Figuration

August 21, 2023 - October 2, 2023
"80 Years of Latin American Figuration" is an exploration of the evolution of figurative art across Latin America. Running until August 30th, this viewing offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the vivid world of figuration, where the boundaries of time, style, and technique blur to reveal the heart of artistic expression. At the heart of this exhibition lies a harmonious juxtaposition of renowned figurative visionaries Fernando Botero, Rufino Tamayo, and Diego Rivera, among many others. This collection unites these artists, despite their distinct stylistic hallmarks and the temporal spaces that separate them, in a symphony of human portrayal. Here, the canvas becomes a stage where individual voices resound, each articulating the human form in its distinctive rhythm. Walking through the gallery, visitors encounter an extraordinary visual dialogue as artworks from different epochs stand shoulder to shoulder, united by their exploration of the human figure. The chronological arrangement, commencing with the arresting works of Luis Alberto Acuña and culminating in the exuberant works of Ana Mercedes Hoyos, invites viewers to traverse through time and witness the vibrant evolution of figurative expression over the past eight decades. The diversity within the collection transcends geographical borders, presenting a rich tapestry of styles that have flourished across various Latin American nations. The collection reflects the myriad ways artists have portrayed human figures, both in reverence to tradition and as innovative departures from the norm. Each canvas tells a unique story, from Santiago Cárdenas' pioneering spirit to Hoyos' contemporary introspection. As the vibrant strokes of Negret's early works give way to the lush and voluptuous forms of Botero's subjects, visitors can witness how time has shaped the lens through which artists perceive the world. Tamayo's intricate interplay of color and emotion unfolds in dialogue with Rivera's monumental narratives, showcasing the nuanced spectrum of figuration across Latin America. "80 Years of Latin American Figuration" invites us to celebrate the plurality of voices and visions that have shaped the artistic landscape of Latin America. Through this exhibition, we honor not only the individual artists but also the shared human experience that has inspired them to create. Join us on this journey, where figures come alive, and time dances on canvas.

Upcoming Exhibition

Agustín Fernández

Agustin Fernandez: Navigating the Line

October 16, 2023 - November 30, 2023
Born in Havana in 1928, Agustín Fernández received classical artistic training from the Academy of San Alejandro, where drawing — particularly drawing from life — was of paramount importance. His later studies at the Art Students League of New York during the summers of 1948 and 1949, however, presented career-defining challenges to many of the techniques learned during these early studio lessons. Particularly relevant was the artist’s tutelage under the painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi, whose rejection of drawing what one sees, as well as his anti-academic advocacy of modeling from light to dark, Fernández later credited as important early cornerstones in the development of his practice. In 1953, Fernández continued his studies in Spain by auditing courses at the San Fernando Academy, Madrid, and through the rest of the decade exhibited his work widely, holding solo exhibitions at the Pan American Union, Washington, DC (1954); the Duveen-Graham Gallery, New York (1955); the Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas (1959); and participating in the IV and V São Paulo Biennials. A milestone for any young artist, one of Fernández’s early colorful canvases, Still Life and Landscape (1956), was acquired in 1958 for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The following year, however, brought with it a transition that proved fundamental for the artist; not only did Fernández move to Paris on a fellowship from the Cuban government, but his artistic style shifted as well: “I found my true self as a painter at the beginning of the 1960s,” the artist stated, “when I was more than thirty years old.” Far from restricting himself to one medium, Fernández produced drawings, collages, and found-object assemblages alongside his haunting oil-on-canvas compositions. Neither preparatory studies for paintings nor simple throw-away sketches, Fernández’s works on paper were parallel investigations into the space beyond representation. His mysterious objects, whether painted or drawn, remain convincing in volume, trompe l’oeil depictions of sinuous and sensual forms that convey the physical qualities of objecthood while remaining unnamable in language alone: razorblades become the scales of serpents; phallic protrusions approximate the shape of breasts; and scenes of apparent pain morph into flowers.

Past Exhibitions

Francisco Salazar, Alejandro Otero, Julio le Parc, Eduardo Ramirez-Villamizar

Sublime Simplicity, White as a Medium of Expression

June 10, 2023 - August 5, 2023
Leon Tovar Gallery is proud to present an essential group exhibition featuring the works of key conceptual minimalist artists Francisco Salazar, Alejandro Otero, Julio le Parc, and Eduardo Ramirez Villamizar. "Sublime Simplicity, White as a Medium of Expression" invites you to immerse yourself in a captivating journey through the artists' unique expressions, where form and materiality intertwine to create striking visual narratives. At the heart of this exhibition are Francisco Salazar's works on corrugated cardboard and wood, showcasing his distinctive style and medium. Each piece carries its own story, inviting us to delve into a world where abstract shapes and vibrant colors dance across the surfaces. Un trou, Number 825 mesmerizes with its dynamic composition, while Deux vide et un plein, No 832 / 1987 beckons us to explore the delicate balance between negative and positive spaces, emptiness and fullness. Salazar's artistic practice, rooted in a profound understanding of materials, allowed him to breathe life into his works. Through his meticulous technique, he transformed humble mediums into works of art that strategically exude both strength and fragility. The rhythmic textures and tactile surfaces of No. 805 and Number 830 invite the viewer to sense the artist's energy and passion emanating from within.

Carmelo Arden Quin, Martin Blaszko, Marcelo Bonevardi, Eugenio Carmi, Manuel Espinosa, Gonzalo Fonseca, Maria Freire, Gego, Joao Carlos Galváo, Horacio Garcia Rossi, Ana Mercedes Hoyos, Enio Iommi, Nedo, Edgar Negret, César Paternosto, Rogelio Polesello, Omar Rayo, Luiz Sacilotto, Fanny Sanin, Jesús Rafael Soto, Luis Tomasello, Oswaldo Vigas, Eduardo Ramirez Villamizar


March 9, 2023 - April 19, 2023
Tsunami is a tribute to the wave of modern Latin American art that swept over the world, bringing with it a fresh and unique perspective on abstract expressionism, constructivism, geometric abstraction, and kinetic art. The exhibit will feature both painting and sculpture and will encompass the Argentine Madi Art and Concrete Art movements, Brazilian Constructivism, Geometric Abstraction, Kinetic Art and more organic abstract works that emanated from the region during the mid to second half of the 20th century. Leon Tovar Gallery has curated an immersive experience, with each work carefully selected to showcase the full range and depth of the featured art movements. The gallery prides itself in presenting pioneering artists and works that have transcended time, and will continue doing so.

Omar Rayo

Larutan atur al

November 3, 2022 - January 13, 2023
Leon Tovar Gallery is pleased to announce its new solo exhibition featuring the extraordinary works by newly represented artist: Omar Rayo – Larutan atur al This solo show is an homage to Omar Rayo’s work, to his travels and to his vision, inspired by ancient civilizations and numerous encounters with indigenous people, artifacts, symbols, and signs, that left an evident imprint on him. Per the exhibition title - a palindrome - one of Rayo’s favorite word structures, this exhibition conveys the natural route to our origins. This exhibition showcases paintings made from the 1960’s to the early 2000’s. These pieces show his refined technique, his exactitude and tremendous skill throughout his career. Some of these pieces will be shown to the public for the first time. This show has been possible thanks to the collaboration of the Rayo Museum and its entire team, especially its director, Águeda Pizarro de Rayo, and Sara Rayo.

Jesus Rafael Soto

Invisible: A Tale of Ethereal Lines

May 5, 2022 - July 9, 2022
Leon Tovar gallery is pleased to announce is latest show “Invisible: A tale of ethereal lines,” highlighting the work of Jesús Rafael Soto. In Paris, Soto questioned the tradition of geometric abstraction inherited from Piet Mondrian on the grounds that it did not break sufficiently with representation. In order to move “beyond Mondrian,” he brought painting into the realm of lived space and time by working in layers, at first by painting on and combining transparencies, then later working with wire, wood, and other materials placed in front of an alternating linear background. As viewers move in front of these patterned layers, they experience electrifying optical sensations, as foreground and background moves in a pulsing interplay. Unlike traditional painting, there are a multiplicity of vantage points for these works, and they exist in a state of constant change relative to the viewer’s position. Aesthetic creation becomes the work of the spectator, and no longer of an individual artist. In the late ’50s and early ’60s, Soto became close with members of Nouveau Réalism, particularly Yves Klein, as well as Group Zero. Intrigued by Klein’s desire to incorporate elements of daily life into his artistic production, Soto’s art from this period utilizes objects of a durable and rough materiality—wood, “twisted wires, rough stucco, fabric.” His mission, however, is precisely to overcome this materiality, to render the objects as immaterial through the power of optical effects. Soto described his endeavors as “taking the most insignificant but strongly formal objects—old wood, wire, needles, gratings, pipes—to integrate them into the work and bring them to a state of disintegration through pure vibration.” Thus, Soto was able to present the constant movement and flux of our universe, the essential energy of it. The artist explains his conception of the universe as follows: “...I have never sought to show reality caught at one precise moment, but, on the contrary, to reveal universal change, of which temporality and infinitude are the constituent values. The universe, I believe, is uncertain and unsettled. The same must be true of my work.” The show touches upon Soto’s own experiments with vibrations produced by this simple sequencing of black and white parallel lines to also prioritize the present moment of perception, but in doing so powerfully illustrate the constantly shifting nature of our universe and of matter itself.