Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, the founder and president of Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), has named curator and critic Eugenio Valdés Figueroa as the foundation’s new director and chief curator, succeeding Jesús Fuenmayor.
An expert on Latin American and contemporary art, Cuban-born Valdés Figueroa previously served as art and education director of Casa Daros, Daros-Latinoamérica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There, he worked with artists including Ernesto Neto, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Julio Le Parc, Oscar Muñoz, Juan Manuel Echavarría, Vik Muniz, Betsabee Romero, Pablo Helguera, and René Francisco Rodríguez, and curated exhibitions for artists such as Carlos Cruz-Diez, Rubens Gerchman, Lazaro Saavedra, Iole de Freitas, and Antonio Caro.
Together with Luis Camnitzer, he organized the group exhibition “First International Meeting of Art-based Education: Art and Functional Illiteracy” in 2008. He also founded a series of public talks and events that joined two Latin American artists from different generations and countries to investigate a common idea.
Before that, he worked as a co-curator of the Havana Biennial and a contemporary African art researcher and curator of international contemporary art at the Wifredo Lam Center of Contemporary Art in Havana from 1990 to 1997. During this time, Valdés Figueroa also co-curated and lectured at international biennials in Dakar, Tirana, Istanbul, Johannesburg, and Houston.
Said Valdés Figueroa, “CIFO is a remarkable, activist resource that fosters appreciation of contemporary Latin American art around the world, both through its exhibitions and its support of ambitious, groundbreaking works from some of the region’s most exiting artists. I’m looking forward to working with CIFO to elevate the profile of Latin American art internationally and to continue to provide a dynamic platform for artists and their work.”
Fontanals-Cisneros said in a statement:
Eugenio Valdés Figueroa’s depth of knowledge in the field of Latin American contemporary art and his pioneering vision make him an ideal person to lead CIFO as we look towards the future. His long-standing relationships with artists across the region, history of mounting groundbreaking exhibitions, and his global perspective will allow us to create exhibitions that continue to raise the profile of Latin American artists worldwide. We are thrilled that Eugenio will join and lead our team as CIFO expands its exhibition program both regionally at the CIFO Art Center in Miami, across the US, and internationally.