Cesar Cornejo

Profile

I am an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the relationship between art, architecture and society and who is influenced by having lived and worked in four different cultures: Peru, Japan, England and USA, having each of them influenced my way of thinking and working. As a result, I produce multi-layered pieces that challenge boundaries and conventions, that while may address issues that refer to my native Peru, are also open to broader interpretations. 

I have participated in exhibitions such as Art Positions, London Art Fair 2020, California Pacific Triennial 2017, XII Havana Biennial 2015, Busan Biennial 2008, Art Positions at Art Basel Miami 2011, the Biennial S-Files Museo del Barrio, NY 2007, and V Biennial Barro de America, Venezuela 2004, and I am selected to participate in the upcoming NY Latin American Art Triennial 2022. Have received awards and residencies from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, Fulbright Commission, Arts Council England, Creative Capital Foundation, Bellagio Center - Rockefeller Foundation, The Brown Foundation Fellows Program at Dora Maar House, The Howard Foundation, Sharpe Walentas Studio Program, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Art Omi International Artists Residency, British Council, the Vermont Studio Centre and the Ministry of Education of Japan amongst others. 

I received MA and PhD degrees in Fine Arts from the Tokyo University of the Arts and bachelor degree and professional license in architecture from the Ricardo Palma University in Lima Peru. I joined the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds in May 2022 and previously worked as senior lecturer Fine Art at the Manchester Metropolitan University, associate professor at the University of South Florida, Adjunct Professor at College University of New York amongst others. I am the founder of the community museum project Puno Museum of Contemporary Art (Puno MoCA) and I am represented by Gallery Ed Cross Fine Art in London. 

I joined the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds in May 2022, after having worked as Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the Manchester Metropolitan Universsity, Associate Professor at the School of Art and Art History at the University of South Florida and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Performing and Creative Arts at the City University of New York, Staten Island. 
 

Responsibilities

  • Programme Leader MA Fine Art

Research interests

I create work that comments critically on social events, structures of power, and that reflects on my own personal experiences, while exploring the relationship between art, architecture and society. In this regard I am particularly interested on investigating through art, the expressive potential of architecture as spatial representation of social, cultural and economic structures.

Growing up in Peru, I was struck by the local urban landscape, where a steep contrast between extreme poverty and wealth coexisted together, and as a consequence of the experience of growing in that environment, is that my artwork strives to bridge the gap between opposite realities, with the aim to create an alternative one. I do this through combining different medias, creating alternative conceptual models and through cross-cultural practices that articulate opposite and sometimes disparate aspects of reality, recomposing them in new settings that challenge our perception.

My body of work includes installation, sculpture, painting, photography, drawing, performance, architecture and community-based projects. I often combine these medias in multidisciplinary projects. The development of an expression that combines these different elements, is an ongoing process placed at the core of my studio practice. As a result, I produce multilayered pieces that, while addressing specific problems that while may refer to my native Peru, they are also open to multiple readings and interpretations, making them accessible to international audiences.

I am passionate about community work, and I strongly believe that art has the power to transform the lives and experience that people from every social and economical group have of their environment and of life in general. I also strongly believe that art that touches the lives of people, and is the most transcendental – while this does not necessarily mean most visible – it carries a weight that in this time and age is of urgency.

Also, since 2007 I have been working on a project to create a community-based museum in Puno, Perú. Puno MoCA redefines the concept of contemporary art museum by transforming it into a community based institution in terms of organization and infrastructure. Puno MoCA proposes to owners of homes located in underprivileged neighborhoods of Puno Peru, to carry out construction works in their homes for free, with the condition that in exchange they allow us to exhibit contemporary art in the repaired spaces for a period of time. During the time of the exhibition, visitors enter the homes to see the works and interact with the owners, and after the exhibitions are over, they keep the refurbished spaces, reintegrating them to the regular function in the houses. This project was featured in the XII Havana Biennial, 2015.

Relevant websites:

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • BA Architecture, University Ricardo Palma, Lima - Peru
  • MA Sculpture, Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan
  • PhD Fine Arts, Sculpture, Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan

Professional memberships

  • Royal Society of Arts
  • Advance HE
  • Royal Society of Sculptors
  • School of Architects of Peru

Student education

  • BA Fine Art

  • MA Fine Art

  • PhD Fine Art Practice

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>