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Luis Pérez-Oramas was born in 1960 in Caracas, Venezuela, and currently lives in New York. A writer, a poet, and an art historian, Pérez-Oramas received his PhD in Art History under the direction of Louis Marin and Huber Damisch at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, France, in 1994. He was Professor of Art History at the Université de Haute Bretagne-Rennes 2, Rennes, France (1987-1991); École régionale supérieure des beaux-arts de Nantes, France (1992-1994); and at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Artes Plásticas Armando Reverón, Caracas, Venezuela (1995-2002). Additionally, Pérez-Oramas was a member of the Board of Directors at the National Gallery of Art of Venezuela (1995-2001) and Curator of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Caracas (1995-2002). In 2003 he became Adjunct Curator in the Department of Drawings at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. Shortly thereafter, in December 2006, Pérez-Oramas was appointed The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art at MoMA. Most recently, Pérez-Oramas has been assigned as the Director for the 30th Bienal de São Paulo scheduled for 2012.
Among the exhibitions Pérez-Oramas has curated include The Faces of Reverón. A Commemorative Exhibition of the 40th Anniversary of Armando Reverón’s Death (Armando Reverón Museum, Macuto, 1994); Analogies and Confrontations, Venezuelan Art in the Collections of The Galeria de Arte Nacional (Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, 1996); Armando Reverón: Anthropophagy of Light (Historical Section at the 24th Bienal de São Paulo, 1998); Armando Reverón: The Place of Objects (Galería de Arte Nacional de Venezuela, Caracas, 2002); Images of Armando Reverón: The Building of a Character (Proyecto Armando Reverón, Centro Cultural Trasnocho Arte Contacto, Caracas, 2004); Transforming Chronologies: An Atlas of Drawings (MoMA, New York, 2006); New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930-2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions (MoMA, New York, 2007); Latin American and Caribbean Art: Selections from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art (New York State Museum, Albany, 2008); and most recently Tangled Alphabets: León Ferrari and Mira Schendel (MoMA, New York, 2009), a traveling exhibition with venues at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (November 24, 2009-March 1, 2010) and Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre (April 8-July 11, 2010).
Among the exhibitions Pérez-Oramas has co-curated or served as curatorial advisors include Armando Reverón 1989-1954. An Anthological Review (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Velázquez, Madrid, 1992); The Invention of Continuity. Contemporary Venezuelan Art 1968-1997 (Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, 1997); Dynamic Oppositions: Geometric and Constructive Art In The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection (Jack S. Blanton Museum, University of Austin, Texas, 1999); Geometric Abstraction: Latin American Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection (Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2001); Venezuelan Contemporary Art from the Colección Cisneros, 1990-2004 (Museo Soto, Ciudad Bolívar, 2004); MoMA at El Museo. Latin American and Caribbean Art from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art (El Museo del Barrio, New York, 2004); The Rhythm of Color. Alejandro Otero and Willys de Castro. Two Modern Masters in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (The Aspen Institute, Aspen, 2006); Armando Reverón (The Museum of Modern Art, 2007); and most recently the 6th Mercosul Biennial (Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 2007).
Pérez-Oramas is the sole author of six books of art and political criticism, including Armando Reverón, de los prodigios de la luz a los trabajos del arte (Caracas, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Sofía Imberas, 1990); La década impensable y otros escritos fechados (Caracas, Museo Jacobo Borges, 1996); Mirar Furtivo (Caracas, National Culture Council, Art and Critique Collection, 1997); La cocina de Jurassic Park y otros ensayos visuales (Caracas, Polar Foundation, 1998); Gego: Anudamientos (Caracas, Fundación Gego-Sala Mendoza, 2004); and An Atlas of Drawings: Transforming Chronologies (New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2006). Additionally, he was the editor and a contributing author to León Ferrari and Mira Schendel: Tangled Alphabets (New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2009). Pérez-Oramas has also published six books based on his poetry, including Poemas (Caracas, Editorial Arte, 1978); Salmos y boleros de la casa (Caracas, Monte Avila Editores, 1986); La Gana Breve (Caracas, Fondo Editorial Pequeña Venecia, 1992); Doble Siesta (Limoges, Sixtus, 1994); Gacelas y otros poemas (Caracas, Editorial Goliardos, 1999) and most recently Prisionero del Aire (Valencia, Pre-Textos Poesías, 2008).