Shaun El C. Leonardo earned his BA from Bowdoin College (2001) and his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (2005). He has received awards and residencies from the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Drawing on superhero and sports imagery, his works examine issues of stereotype, masculinity, and societal expectations
Leonardo’s solo exhibitions include Champion of the World, Praxis International Art, New York (2013); Battle Royal, Videodromo, Ancona, Italy (2012); Sleeping Giant, Praxis International Art, Miami (2011); El Debut de El Conquistador, La Curtiduria, Oaxaca, Mexico (2008); Self-Portrait Fight, Performa 07, El Museo del Barrio, New York (2007); Shaun El C. Leonardo, Rhys Gallery, Boston (2007); and The Steel Cage Match, LMCC Swing Space Performance, New York (2006). His group exhibitions include superHUMAN, Central Utah Art Center, Ephraim (2012); Greater New York: Five-Year Review, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2010); Mixed Signals: Artists Consider Masculinity in Sports, Independent Curators International, traveling exhibition (2009–11); Hard Targets: Masculinity and American Sports, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2008); The S-Files, Museo del Barrio, New York (2007); Emergency Room, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY (2007); Black Alphabet: Contexts of Contemporary African American Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2006); The Masculine Box and Beyond, LAB, San Francisco (2006); and God Complex: Images of Power, Rush Arts Gallery, New York (2006).
One-on-Ones, Leonardo’s newest performance, will take place at 5:30pm, Friday, February 28th, on Memorial Hall Lawn (between the Queen’s Head Pub and the Science Center) at Harvard University. This piece will draw on the artist’s experiences with American football, and feature players from the Harvard Crimson football team. The outdoor performance will last from approximately 5:30-6:00pm, and it will be followed by a discussion and reception in room B04 at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.
Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art
MoMA PS1 Studio Visit