Nicholas Leiva is renowned for his exuberant sculptures and paintings that capture a staggering range of expressive personal vision. But he is best known for his phantasmagorical ceramic creations. Vessels, boats, abstract forms, flying carriages and human heads are transformed to ceramics in an explosion of lush primary colors embossed with silver and gold. Animal and vegetable commingle in a garden of flowers amidst otherworldly human heads, places of shelter are replicated as box-like reliquaries, and plate-like medallions in miniature close up show territories transitioned from his works on paper. Like a Klein bottle or a Möbius strip, his imaginative world unfolds before us in infinite realms. Highly gestural, organic or geometric, Leiva presents a host of archetypes in his emblems of flight, safety and delight. This is theatre.
Born in 1958, in Tucumán, in northwest Argentina, Leiva graduated from the Fine Arts School of the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán. He continued his studies in Buenos Aires and moved to Miami in 1990. In 1996, he extended his practice to sculpture and ceramic. He lives part-time in Faenza, Italy, where he works with a variety of materials at the workshops of Bottega Gatti. He has had many important solo and group exhibition in the US and internationally and his works are in the permanent collections of the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA); The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana; the Berardo Collection in Lisbon, Portugal; the Gollinelli Collection in Bologna, Italy and the collection of the Museum of Art of Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
Selected Exhibitions 2014. Infinite Cycle Under Fire, Ruiz-Healy Art, San Antonio, Texas, USA. 2011. Mi paraiso / My paradise – Ruiz Healy Art, San Antonio, Texas, USA. 2011. Giants in the City – Miami Beach Botanical, Miami, Florida, USA. 2010. Nicolás Leiva – Accent Alternative Art Space, Miami, Florida, USA. 2009. Heavenly Terrain – Ruiz-Healy Art, San Antonio, Texas, USA. 2004. Paolo Marcolongo Gallery, Padova , Italy. 2004. Para chuparse los dedos – Gary Nader Fine Art, Florida, USA. 2003. Beijing International Biennial of Art, Beijing, China. 2002. Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa, San Barnaba, Venice, Italy. 2002. The Von Leibig Art Center, Naples, Florida USA. 2001. Art Miami – Gary Nader Fine Art, Coral Gables, Florida, USA. 2000. Arti Sacro – Centro Italiano per le Arti e la Cultura, Rome, Italy. 1999. McCabe Contemporary Art, Cape Town, South Africa. 1999. Ceramic -Italian Edition, Gary Nader Fine Art, Coral Gables, Florida, USA. 1998. Legacy Gallery, Panamá, Panamá. 1997. Only Ceramic, Gary Nader Fine Art, Coral Gables, Florida, USA. 1996. Tomás Andreus Gallery, Santiago de Chile, Chile. 1996. David Pérez Mc Collum Gallery, Guayaquil, Ecuador. 1995. Gary Nader Fine Art, Coral Gables, Florida, USA. 1994. Intar Gallery, New York, New York, USA. 1993. Gary Nader Fine Art, Coral Gables, Florida, USA. 1991. Bank United by Opus Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA. 1990. Atma Gallery, Director Jacob Karpio, San José, Costa Rica. Prizes: 2000. Florida Individual Fellowship, Florida, USA. 1996. Fellowship Southern Arts Federation, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 1992. Fellowship South Florida Cultural Consortium, Miami, Florida, USA. 1989. Honorary Mention, International Art Biennial, Valparaíso, Chile.
“Illustrious Visitor” Honorary Distinction from National University of Tucuman “Orgullo Tucumano ” Distinction From Ministry of Education , Tucuman, Argentina Florida Individual artist Fellowship, Florida Department of State NEA Southern Arts Federation, Atlanta, Georgia South Florida Cultural Consortium, Miami, Florida International Art Biennial, Valparaíso, Chile
MUSEUM AND PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA Museum Texas University, San Antonio, Texas Berardo Collection Modern Art, Lisboan, Portugal Casa Golinelli , Bologna, Italy Marble Museum of Carrara, Carrara, Italy Museo Maria Zambrano, Malaga, Espana MALBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA Museum “José Luis Cuevas”, Mexico City, Mexico Molaa, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA Miami- Dade Community College Mitchell Wolfson Campus, Miami,Florida.USA Metro- Dade Cultural Resources, Miami, Florida, USA Museum of Fine Arts of Tucumán, Argentina Fundación García Lorca, Madrid, Spain Empresas Líneas Marítimas Argentinas. Buenos Aires, Argentina Fondo Nacional de las Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina Municipalidad de la Ciudad de Aguilares Collection, Tucumán, Argentina.
ART IN PUBLIC SPACE
2015 Royal Caribbean: Anthem of the Sea: “What Makes Life Work Living”