Ñande Róga: The Feliciano Centurión Archival Collection is an exhibition exploring the work, communities, and context of Paraguayan artist Feliciano Centurión (1962–1996).
During his career, Centurión developed a body of work inspired by folk art and queer aesthetics, often incorporating household textiles, references to the natural world, and poignant phrases through which he reflected on personal and universal experience.
Ñande róga means “our home” in Guaraní, which has been the primary language spoken in Paraguay since before the Spanish colonial conquest. There are two ways of addressing the first-person plural in Guaraní: ñande refers to an inclusive “we,” where everyone participates, while ore implies that some member of a social group has been excluded. This difference, which is absent in Spanish and English, reveals an insightful understanding of community and belonging.
Inspired by this notion of collectivity, this exhibition reflects on the life and work of Centurión through his archival collection at ISLAA. Centurión’s practice was profoundly influenced by the countryside of Paraguay, the underground cultural scene of Buenos Aires in the 1990s, and the LGBT liberation movements of postdictatorship Argentina. Resulting from the resonances of these various communities and his deep interest in Paraguayan crafts such as ñandutí textiles, his works are evocative of domesticity, care, healing, and spirituality.
The exhibition brings together drawings, textiles, and sculptural objects with materials from Centurión’s archival collection at ISLAA, many of which have never been published or shown publicly. These items offer insight into Centurión’s studio practice and his relationships with other artists and thinkers working in Buenos Aires and Asunción in the 1990s. For Centurión—a gay man living through the most tumultuous years of the ongoing AIDS epidemic in Latin America—the bonds of friendship he made during this period were a powerful grounding force in both his art and his life. It is clear from the works and archival ephemera presented in Ñande Róga that Centurión’s work existed within the inclusive Guaraní “we.”
Ñande Róga will open with a reception on Thursday, March 16 from 5 to 8 PM. Guests are asked to sign up in advance using this online form.
ISLAA will offer free in-person tours of Ñande Róga, led by exhibition curators and ISLAA staff, on April 14, April 21, and May 5. To find out more and register, please visit this link.
Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA)
50 East 78th Street
New York, NY 10075
Tue–Fri: 12–6 PM