Latin Loves: Top 5 Latin American Artists

Beatriz Milhazes

With its diverse cultures and rich history, Latin America has been widely recognized for its music, film, and fine art. Here’s a snapshot of some of Lofty’s favorite contemporary Latin American artists – a group you need to know about in order to fully appreciate the vibrant and complex art from south of the border.


Leandro Elrich

97 Photo: Leandro Erlich, Window and Ladder – Too Late For Help, 2008

Born in Buenos Aires in 1973, Leandro Erlich is an Argentinian conceptual artist who gained worldwide recognition when he represented his country at the 2001 Venice Biennial. Elrich’s work explores themes of urbanism and community and he often uses optical illusions to create fictional worlds through large scale installations. Notable projects include his swimming pool installation at MoMA PS1 in 2008, Dalston House in East London in 2013, and Pulled by the Roots in Karlsruhe in 2015. Elrich lives and workins in Buenos Aires.


Glenda León

7_jardin-interior (1) Photo: Glenda León, Jardín interior | Inner Garden, 2002

With recently restored relations between Cuba and the United States, the Cuban Art scene is becoming more and more accessible to American collectors of Latin American art. Born in Havana in 1976, Glenda León is one of the leading Cuban conceptual artists who is already enjoying international recognition with exhibitions at the 2013 Venice Biennial and the Georges Pompidou Centre. León is a multi-media artist combining techniques in drawing, photography, video, and sculpture to create extraordinary works that mix natural elements, like flowers, with unexpected materials, like chewing gum. She is based in Havana and Madrid.


Lygia Pape

obra00_15a Photo: Lygia Pape, Web #1, C, 2008 (Venice Bienalle)

A superstar of the Concrete and Neo-Concrete art movements, Brazilian Lygia Pape was one of the most influential Latin American artists of the 20th century. Her work is still celebrated in her native Brazil as well as the international art scene. Pape experiments with light, color, and shape within rather regimented configurations. Popular projects include Ttéia IC from 2002 at Inhotim, a vast contemporary art center in Brumadinho, Brazil. Pape passed away in 2004.


José Parlá

Udaipur Photo: José Parlá, Udaipur, 2013

José Parlá is a Cuban-American artist raised primarily in Miami, Florida. A former street artist, Parlá has enjoyed a surge of popularity over the last decade for his colorful, large-scale murals. His work in graffiti art includes both refined and gritty pieces, as well as compelling landscapes of color and form. Parlá is continually inspired by gestural movement and dance, portrayed through a mixture of paint and ink. Notable works such as Autobiographical Dance of Combined Stories (2010) speak to these themes. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


Last but not least!…Beatriz Milhazes

MILHAZES_Maracorola_2015_JCG8019_small1 Photo: Beatriz Milhazes, Maracorola, 2015, Source: James Cohan Gallery

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1960, Beatriz Milhazes commands much attention from collectors, curators, and art enthusiasts. She deftly composes rich, kaleidoscopic collages, installations, and prints that showcase a unique merge of style between Latin American influence and Western culture. Her patterning and coloration is drawn from intense study of Brazilian ceramics and lacework, while her compositional structure speaks to the age-old tradition of European Masters. Milhazes represented Brazil in the 2003 Venice Biennale. Her notable works include Canela of 2009 and Gamboa of 2010. She lives and works in Rio de Janerio.


Featured Image: Detail of Beatriz Milhazes Pierrot e Colombina, 2009/2010, Image Source: James Cohan Gallery