In the past few years I have been making work about our relationship to nature, in an increasingly manipulated and constructed environment, conditioned by culture.
City gardens, public parks and potted houseplants are re-creations of the natural world to suit a desire and/or need to reconnect to nature. They are domesticated and controlled to the extent that I call them artificial, no longer natural. Simultaneously, I am interested in the use of mediators such as technology and devices to gain access to wild places, aspiring to a more comfortable, safe, and beautiful experience of the great outdoors.
My interest in these large subjects is combined with a curiosity regarding structures and objects that collapse/ expand, open/close and which can be modified into portable objects. The association of the idea of portability with nomadism and movement inspires further the shape and concept of my work. My sculptures and drawings are foldable, light weight, portable and movable. I have been creating work in the book format, either in large scale or pocket size, incorporating pop-up structures, combining sculpture and drawing in one single object that encloses in itself.
Artist Bio / CV
Catarina Leitão, born in Germany, 1970, lives and works in New York and Lisbon. Recent solo exhibitions include “Invasive Species” at Carpe Diem Art and Research, Lisbon, Portugal, “Flatland”, at Pedro Cera Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, Number 35 Gallery in New York. Leitão has exhibited at P.S.1/MoMA, the Aldrich museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, Sara Meltzer Gallery, Wavehill, Glyndor Gallery and Grounds, and Andrea Rosen Gallery among others. In Portugal, Leitão had solo museum shows at the Berardo Collection and Gulbenkian Foundation. Awards and residencies include The New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, 2009, Center for Book Arts, 2007, The Triangle Arts Residency, 2006, Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, 2004, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, 2003, and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, 2001. Catarina Leitão has an MFA from Hunter College (2000), and a BFA by the University of Lisbon, Portugal (1993).