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María Magdalena Campos-Pons | Cuba

Born in 1959 in Matanzas, Cuba,
Lives and works in Boston, USA
Photography, installation, performance, painting, video

Graduated in fine arts from the Escuela Nacional de Arte (1979) and from the Instituto Superior de Arte of Havana, Cuba (1985), she completes her training with a MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art (1988).

With her husband, the musician and composer, Neil Leonard, she foundes the studios and artistic laboratories GASP in Boston, USA.

Individual shows by María Magdalena Campos-Pons

Llegooo ! FeFa at the Centro de Arte Wilfredo Lam of Havana, Cuba (2012) ; 1478 MB at the Casa de las Américas of Havana, Cuba (2012) ; Journeys at the Frist Center for the Visual Art of Nashville, USA (2011-2012) ; María Magdalena Campos-Pons : MAMA/RECIPROCAL ENERGY at the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery of Nashville, USA (2011) ; Sugar at the Smith College Museum of Art of Northampton, USA (2010) ; Life Has Not Even Begun at the Glass Curtain Gallery of the Columbia College of Chicago, USA (2009) ; The Other Side (2008) and Backyard Dreams (2005) at the Julie Saul Gallery of New York, USA ; Dreaming of an Island at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta, USA (2008) ; Everything is Seperated by Water at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and at the Bass Museum of Miami, USA (2007) ; Sono Qui at the Galleria Pack of Milan, Italy (2006) ; Hope : yes we can (2009), New Work (2005) and Talking Pictures (2004) at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in Miami, USA ; Something New, Something Old at the Schneider Gallery of Chicago, USA (2004) ; Interiority or Hill Sided Moon at the Marrana in Montemarcello, Italy (2003) ; One Thousand Ways to Say Goodbye at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo, Norway (2003) and María Magdalena Campos-Pons at the North Dakota Museum of Art, USA (2002).

Collective Exhibition

Travelling exhibitions : Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art in Madrid, Spain (2013), Denver (2012) and Chicago, USA (2011), Oslo, Norway (2009) ; Queloides: Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art / Raza y Racismo en el arte cubano contemporáneo at the 8th Floor gallery in New York, at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh and in the Centro de Arte Wildredo Lam of Havana (2011-2012) ; Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban Art from The Farber Collection (2007-2010) ; NeoHooDoo : Art for a Forgotten Faith at the Miami Art Museum (2009), at the MoMA PS1 in New York (2008) and in other American cities and at least Unbroken Ties : Dialogue in Cuban Art in the USA (2006-2010).

Other collective exhibitions : Female Contemporary Art from Cuba: Feminine voices and poetics, 1990-2013 in San Francisco, USA (2013) ; Planetary Man at Rotaract/ Viltin Gallery in Budapest, Hungary (2013) ; Ajiaco. Stirrings of the Cuban Soul at the Newark Museum, USA (2011) ; Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic at the Tate Liverpool, UK (2010) ; Without Mask at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2010) ; Continents at the Spazio Paraggi in Trevise, Italy (2009) ; Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image since 1970 at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, USA (2008) ; Port City : On Mobility and Exchange in the UK (2007) ; Equatorial Rhythms at the Stenersenmuseet in Oslo, Norway (2007) ; The Color Line at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, USA (2007) ; Retratos: 2000 Years of Latin American Portraits organized by the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and El Museo del Barrio in New York (2005-2006) ; Getting Emotionnal at the Institute of Contemporary Art of Boston, USA (2005) and De lo que soy / Of what I am at the Lehman College Art Gallery in New York, USA (2003).


María Magdalena Campos-Pons participated to several Havana’s Biennial, Cuba (1st, 3d, 11th in 2012). She exhibited in the 3d Triennial of Guangzhou, China (2008) ; in the 2d Biennial of Sevilla, Spain (2006) ; in the Biennial of Dakar, Senegal (2004) ; in the 55th Venice Biennial (2013) and in the 49th Venice Biennial (2001), Italy and in the Liverpool Biennial, UK (1999).


María Magdalena Campos-Pons’ artworks are contained in the collections of the following institutions : Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and CDAV of Havana, Cuba, ; Museum of Fine Arts of Boston, MoMA of New York, Whitney Museum in New York, Museum of the National Center of African American Artists of Boston, Art Institute of Chicago in the USA ; Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK ; Museum of Contemporary Art of Tokyo, Japan ; Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Aachen, Germany…


In 2011, she receives the Women of Courage Honoree from the Alianza Hispana of Boston, USA and in 2007, María Magdalena Campos-Pons is recipient of the Rappaport Prize from the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation.

Exclusive Interviews with María Magdalena Campos-Pons & Neil Leonard

María Magdalena Campos-Pons & Neil Leonard answered newly to our questions on occasion of the 55th Venice Biennale, Italy, where they gave us a deep insight in their installation and performance 53+ 1 = 54+1 = 55. Letra del año.

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María Magdalena Campos-Pons & Neil Leonard answered to our questions during the 11th Havana Biennial, the couple shared with us more knowledge and experience on the “Llegooo! FeFa” project. Mixing installation and performance, Llegooo! FeFa honours the Cuban street vendors (the pregoneros) and gives pride of place to Cuban culture, and emphasizes on the unalterable relations between Cuban and the diaspora.

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