Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons work of the last 20 years covers an extended range of visual language investigations. Campos-Pons’ work emerges from the early 1980s focus on painting and the discussion of sexuality in the crossroads of Cuban mixed cultural heritage to incisive questioning, critique and insertion of the black body in the contemporary narratives of the present. Installation art, performative photography and cultural activism define the core of Campos-Pons’ practice of the last two decades. A cross collaboration with musician composer and husband, Neil Leonard, that started in 1988, has complemented and enriched the scope of Campos-Pons’ work. Together they founded GASP, a lab and studio for the 21st century. She has lectured from the Tate Modern to the Brooklyn Museum and the School of Art in Dakar.
Campos-Pons has been exhibited internationally since 1984 when she won the Honorable Mention at the XVIII Cagnes-sur-Mer Painting Competition in France, and the Bunting Fellowship in Visual Arts at Harvard 1993; solo shows followed at MoMA, the Venice Biennale 2001, Johannesburg Biennial, the First Liverpool Biennial, the Dak’ART Biennial in Senegal; most recently the Guangzhou Triennial in China hosted her work. A 20-year retrospective of Campos-Pons’ work, Everything is Separated by Water: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, opened in Indianapolis in 2006 and traveled to the Bass Museum in Miami. A new museum show will open in Nashville in 2010.
Campos-Pons was celebrated as one of upcoming young leaders of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by the Women’s Chapter, among the 100 Most Influential Latinos, and honored in 2008 as Harvard launched its Campaign to build the new Harvard Art Museum, as well at the Indianapolis Museum of Arts’ 125th Anniversary Gala in 2008. Campos-Pons was selected to receive the Rappaport Prize in 2007.