Exhibition - Shaun Leonardo: The Breath of Empty Space

Thursday, Apr 22, 2021 at 1:00pm

The Bronx Museum of the Arts
1040 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451

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Shaun Leonardo: The Breath of Empty Space presents drawings by the Brooklyn-based artist that critique how mediated images of systemic violence against Black and Brown young men in contemporary American history have shaped our fear, empathy, and perception. Created between 2014 and 2019, the works trace high profile stories of lives ended or forever altered by systems of law enforcement from the 1970s to today.

Leonardo encourages a new and nuanced way of looking at the content—and ourselves. Through his intimate drawings based on images widely circulated in popular media, the artist calls on the additive nature of drawing to explore the reductive nature of memory, examining how time and circulation affect what is recalled, forgotten, or ignored. The use of mirrored tint, blurring, highlight, negative space, and semi-opaque die-cut, redirects the eye in order to question what and how we see while reframing the embodied knowledge we bring to the images before us.

A call for empathetic witnessing, The Breath of Empty Space aims to create a space for quiet contemplation. The artist, curator, and The Bronx Museum of the Arts acknowledge the impact that the content may have on viewers. We believe the gallery experience and accompanying programming encourages reflection, conversation, and critique of the systems and issues explored. As we mourn the magnitude of Black and Brown lives lost, we honor the necessary, ongoing work within communities to seek justice. Thank you for your openness, willingness, and presence.

This exhibition is organized by independent curator John Chaich and previously traveled to the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Support for this exhibition has been generously provided by SRI Fine Arts Services and the Director’s Circle, the Bronx Museum’s premier support group. 

Exhibition Date: January 21, 2021 - May 30, 2021 

Museum Admission: Free

Tickets can be reserved HERE for time slots between 1:00 and 6:00 PM, Wednesday to Sunday.  The 1:00 PM time slot is reserved for seniors and high-risk individuals only, and the Museum is closed between 3:00 and 4:00 PM for cleaning. 

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