Glenda León is a Cuban conceptual artist whose work expands from drawings to video art, including installation, objects and photography. She is “interested in interstices between visible and invisible, sound and silence, and ephemeral and eternal.” Glenda was born in 1976 in Havana, Cuba and she graduated from the Academy of Superior Art and New Medias in Cologne, Germany.
León started her Visual Art studies when she was 12 years old and started showing at a professional level in 1999. She has also studied Classical Ballet and Philology at the University of Havana, where she got a BA in Art History. From the very beginning her work appeared new for the Cuban art context because of her peculiar approach to Conceptualism. The use of natural and artificial flowers, texts, sound and materials like hair and chewing gum where part of her first works. Some of her best known installations are Interpreted World, Lost Time and the videos Inversion, Every Breath and Destiny. Her 2012 show, Listening to Silence, focused on the passage of time and the silence between notes. She created many music boxes, each inscribed with the name of a different god or deity. Another of her famous installations is a large pile of sand with an hourglass at the top, representing lost time. In 2013 she was a part of the Cuban Pavilion in the 55th Venice Biennial, where she showed Music of the Spheres, a round light box showing a pentagram superimposed to a solar system image.
León’s work has been published and reviewed by different art magazines and newspapers such as Bomb Magazine, ArtNexus, ArtForum and ArteCubano. She has presented her work at an individual level in France, Montreal and across the U.S. and Europe. Events she was also a part of include the Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art in 2006, the Havana Biennial in 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012, and other various group exhibitions in Brazil, Colombia, Austria, Spain, Italy, Australia, Netherlands, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nepal.
León has been the recipient of significant prizes like The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award and residencies like Couvent des Recollets, in Paris and Fonderie Darling, in Montreal. Her works are a part of permanent collections of Georges Pompidou Centre, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA.