Brazilian printmaker and conceptual artist. She was introduced to contemporary art and artists from an early age by her collector parents, Fulvia and Adolfo Leirner. She went on to study art at the College of Fine Arts, Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, São Paulo, between 1979 and 1984, and at the Licenciatura in 1984; she returned to teach at the Fundação from 1987 to 1989. From the 1980s Leirner made sculptures and installations using such products of modern life as devalued bank notes, airline tickets, cigarette packages and shopping bags. This involved a process by which these mundane items are removed from circulation and placed into the art world, often in a conscious inversion of the work of the Brazilian conceptualist cildo Meireles. To this end Leirner remade Meireles’s Zero Cruzeiro (1978) and the work of another Brazilian artist, Dinheiro para treinmento (‘Money for training’; 1977) by Waltercio Caldas (b 1946). Leirner carefully collected and categorized objects of no apparent value before submitting them to a process of reconstruction and presentation that distanced them from their basic function; the serial arrangements of the same or similar items imbues them with a hitherto unrecognised value (e.g. O Livro (Do Cem), screenprint, 647×241 mm, 1987; Colchester, U. Essex, Col. Latin Amer. A.). She was also influenced by Minimalism and Arte Povera. In 1990 Leirner was a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University as a guest of the British Council, and Artist in Residence at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. In 1991 she was Artist in Residence at the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, MN.
From Grove Art Online
© 2009 Oxford University Press