Blanton Museum of Art: Adios, Pérez-Barreiro
Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, the Blanton's curator of Latin American art, is leaving UT to head the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Last week the University of Texas' Blanton Museum of Art announced the departure of Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, curator of Latin American art, marking a major shift in the curatorial staff on top of the upcoming retirement of longtime director Jessie Otto Hite next year. Pérez-Barreiro has accepted a position as the director of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, an internationally acclaimed Latin American art collection that has been engaged in a scholarly collaboration with the Blanton for several years. In fact, it was through this collaboration that Pérez-Barreiro led a five-semester graduate seminar that culminated in "The Geometry of Hope," an exhibition earlier this year that drew on abstract art from the Colección Cisneros. Pérez-Barreiro came to the Blanton in 2002 and guided the museum's expansion of and care for its already extensive collection of modern and contemporary Latin American art, including the acquisition of 215 new works. He worked alongside Annette Carlozzi, the director of curatorial affairs, to expand the definition of a teaching collection of contemporary art for the museum. Pérez-Barreiro's curatorial work for the Blanton included numerous group and solo exhibitions, most notably the aforementioned "The Geometry of Hope" but also "Fishing in International Waters," a 2004 exhibition of recent acquisitions; WorkSpace shows by artists Daniel Joglar and Josefina Guilisasti; and "Jorge Macchi: The Anatomy of Melancholy," the first comprehensive showing in the U.S. of work by this Argentinean artist, which opens Saturday, Dec. 15. With both Otto Hite and Pérez-Barreiro leaving at the end of March 2008, the Blanton has the potential to re-evaluate and strategize how to advance its position as one of the country's leading and largest university art museums. It will be interesting to see what the Blanton has in store in 2008 and how all this transition will affect its exhibition programs.
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