Julia Csekö


Julia was born in Colorado and grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2011, Csekö moved to Boston, Massachusetts to pursue a MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. Graduating in 2013, she mounted her thesis exhibition at Laconia Gallery in Boston. Csekö is the recipient of a 2016 Walter Feldman Fellowship, awarded by the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston resulting in her 1st solo exhibition in the USA. Csekö divides her time between being a practicing artist and an independent curator, presently serving as the Arts Program Coordinator at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts (IBA Boston). In her role at VVCA she is implementing an exhibitions program at La Galleria, showcasing contemporary art by artist of Latin American origin/heritage, including artists working within Latin American subjects and aesthetics. Csekö has been selected for the MASS MoCA residency program to take place in May 2018 where she will further explore her multi-disciplinary practice as a sculptor, painter and performer. Her most recent work gravitates around video performances exploring her experience as a Brazilian immigrant in North America and the existential shenanigans that ensue. Her trajectory as a curator and organizer focuses on diversity, inclusion, community building, innovation, political engagement, experimentation and risk-taking. Csekö has participated and organized numerous group exhibitions at national and international venues as well as in unconventional spaces such as houses under construction and a Ferry Boat. Her work is featured in collections including the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro and Centro Cultural São Paulo, Brazil, as well as private collections in the United States and Brazil.

Curatorial Practices

My practice embraces diverse media, encompassing painting, sculpture, and performance. While my projects involve many solitary hours in the studio, I increasingly court the participation of viewers in the presentation of my work. I’m interested in moving past the concept of the viewer as passive bystander, toward a more active role in experiencing art.
For my most recent solo exhibition, I created a large soft sculpture composed of plush fabric hearts. Viewers were invited to bring objects that held emotional value for them in exchange for these hearts. The exhibition evolved as my sculpture slowly transformed and the gallery filled with a collection of personal belongings.
Currently, I’m producing a series of paintings titled Straight from the Heart, the Rant Series that utilizes text to directly address the viewer. While the first three canvasses question the necessity of art making, the next three tell the story of how I became an artist. The final canvasses will provide an honest heartfelt answer to the insecurities and faltering faith posed by the first two triptychs.
The use of written language in my paintings allows me to share ideas that I find extremely beautiful—of the utmost social, philosophical and emotional importance—ideas that would otherwise reside only the privacy of my mind. Inviting the viewer to ponder my provocations, my text-based paintings allow me to engage the viewer while in the presence of the work, yet aspire to create an experience that will resonate internally long after they leave the gallery.
In the near future, I intend to take the participatory element of my work a step further, welcoming people into the preliminary stages of my creative process. My paintings and sculptures require careful mapping and planning. I want to invite people to collaborate in this process, so they may directly influence the final physical form of the work. I’m interested in diversifying my work method, as well as broadening my exploration of the relationship between art and the viewer.
The way people engage with art is informed by myriad factors. No matter how disparate, I strive to incorporate these various levels of understanding, attraction, and effect into my creative process.

Master of Fine Arts, Tufts University, Medford, MA and School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Specialization in Art and Philosophy, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Escola de Dança Angel Viana, technical course for dancers, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Straight from the Heart - the Rant series
Piano Craft Gallery, Boston, MA. Made possible with the generous support of the Walter Feldman Fellowship.
YOU/ME (VOCÊ/EU) MUV Gallery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A Coney Island of the Mind (Um Parque de Diversões para a Cabeça), Galeria Oscar Cruz, São Paulo, Brazil
Velvet Screw (Parafuso de Veludo), Galeria TAC, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Uncanny Home of Our Imagination, Nave Gallery Annex, Somerville, MA
On the Body, Gallery 263, Somerville, MA (juried by Ruth Erickson, Assistant Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston)
One Language is Never Enough: Latino Artists in Southern New England, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA
Nonspace, GRIN Gallery, Providence, RI
Satellite, Khaki Gallery, Boston, MA (School of the Museum of Fine Arts International Student and Alumni Group Exhibtion)
Aftermath: MFA Thesis Exhibition, Laconia Lofts Gallery, Boston, MA (two person exhibition)
MUV Gallery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Vestments, 17 Cox Gallery, Beverly, MA (three person exhibition)
Nova Escultura Brasileira (Panorama of Brazilian Sculpture), Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Vênus Terra, Galleria TAC, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
Generation Next 4, Emerson College Gallery, Boston, MA (14 x 12 foot site specific mural)
(Causos Casos Ou) Quase Casais, Maus Hábitos, Porto, Portugal
Com Afeto Rio, Oscar Cruz Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil
Nova Arte Nova, Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil, São Paulo, Brazil
Idyll, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Poética Têxtil, Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade, São Paulo, Brazil
Educação, A Gentil Carioca Gallery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bandeiras do Brasil, Galerie Mansart, Centre Culturel Brésil-France, Paris, France
Brazilian Flags, Gallery 32, London, UK
New Acquisitions of the Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection (Novas Aquisições da Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand), Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
13o Salão da Bahia, Museum of Modern Art of Bahia, Bahia, Brazil
Brazilian Flags, Marcantônio Vilaça Gallery/Casa do Brazil, (Brazilian Embassy), Brussels, Belgium
Um Século de Arte Brasileira: Uma Retrospective da Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand (100 Years of Brazilian Art: A Retrospective of the Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection), traveling exhibition originating at Pinacoteca de São Paulo, SP, Brazil; traveling to Oscar Niemeyer Museum, Curitiba, Brazil; Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Abre Alas, A Gentil Carioca Gallery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Projeto Respiração (guest artist at Ernesto Neto exhibition), Fundação Eva Klabin (Eva Klabin Foundation), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Emerson College, 40 x 7 foot mural at entrance of Walker Building, 120 Boylston Place, Boston, MA. Planned, designed and executed the project.
A Gentil Carioca Gallery, 23 x 13 foot mural on the external wall of the gallery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Inauguration of the Gentil Parede project, supported by the Paulo A.W. Vieira collection.
Walter Feldman Fellowship for Emerging Artists, juried by Liz Munsell, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Short-listed for inclusion in 100 Painters of Tomorrow, Thames & Hudson publication
President’s Award, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
MFA Merit Grant, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Nominee, Art Matters Grant Program, New York, NY

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection, Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Private Collections in the United States and Brazil