photo jomar bragrança
The sculptor Leopoldo Martins was born in 1961 in Brazil.
His uncle Meschesse, founded the Sculpture Department of the Fine Arts School at the State Federal University during the 1960’s and signed important monuments in the city, influencing the beginning of Martins’ artistic interest and trajectory. Young, Leopoldo Martins started studying art and design and soon developed his drawing techniques. He graduated 1982 in Industrial Design at the Fine Arts School at the same State Federal University founded by his uncle.
He was always fascinated by three-dimensional forms and started researching how to better express himself and how to transform his drawings into three-dimensional-objects bringing it to reality. It was in the beginning of the 90’s when Martins met the Brazilian modernist sculptor Sonia Ebling. Leopoldo Martins worked as her pupil during almost ten years to finally feel encouraged to cast his first sculptures and to dedicate his complete carrier to Fine Arts as an sculptor.
The artist detailed observation of nature and his passion for wild animals resulted in the development of his first prestigious series “Felines”, exhibited at The National Museum of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro in 2003 supported by his tutor Sonia Ebling that has guided him to his first pieces. The success of the “Felines” series was then immediate and naturally promoted his evolution on the national contemporary art scene building up his approval into the selective national and international contemporary art market, confirming his great talent. Later on, as a result of his trajectory, he started many new artistic projects, consolidating himself as a sculptor.
In 2016 he was commissioned by the Jesuit Order of Minas Gerais State, Brazil, to create the (diptych) sculpture Saint Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio, a gift to Pope Francis, that will be installed at the Vatican City in Europe. His works also belong to important collections in Brazil like The Brennan Art Collection in Recife, Brazil. His works are also part of the collection of The National Museum of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro, one of the most respected art institutions of the country where he first introduced his art creations to the public together with his tutor, Sonia Ebling.
Today Leopoldo Martins is one of the most important contemporary sculptors of the country, having followed the historical saga of great professionals of his State, historically started with the Master of Baroque Art of Brazil, Aleijadinho (1730 - 1814). Leopoldo Martins contemporary work is a blend of all interesting aspects of Brazilian Art, influenced by Baroque, Modernism and internationalism that helps us to understand the History of this melt pot called South America.
Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC), NY, USA
International Association of Art Critics (A(CA), Paris, France
Association for Art History (AAH), London, UK
In 2009, he released his book, "A Invenção da Semelhança" (The Ivention of Resemblance), at the of Paula Inimá Museum in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, in conjunction with a major exhibition featuring a profile of his artistic career, starting with jewelry design and ending with his large sculptures of cats in marble, bronze, and orthophthalic acid.
In 2009, he participated as guest sculptor at the Salon Du Louvre, Paris, France, exhibiting also in London, England at the Nayla Gallery. In the same year, he was honored by the French Academy of Arts, Science, and Literature, in Paris, France with the Silver Medal in recognition of his work.
He exhibited at the Christiane Peugeot Cultural Center, Paris, France in 2010, as artist of honor during the International Animal Art exhibition, then at the Guangzhou International Luxury Exhibition, Guangzhou, China, and at the XIV International Art Exhibition in Shanghai, China.
Two exhibitions stood out in 2011, one at the Cloitre des Billettes Cultural Center, Marais Lutheran Church (individual) and another at the Bagatelle Garden at the invitation of the Montparnasse Museum and Frans Krajcberg Cultural Space in Paris, France.
In 2013 Leopoldo Martins surprises once again with his meticulous style, creating a unique universe to launch its new series of contemporary sculptures: "Muses".