In the Loop
Art Installation

[On View: Curatorial Studies] Valerie Brathwaite. Works on Paper.

  • Date & Time
    • Thursday, September 21, 2023 12:00am — through
      Saturday, November 18, 2023 12:00am
  • Cost
    • Free
  • Description

    Valerie Brathwaite. Works on Paper presents drawings by the Trinidad and Tobago-born artist that transformed the history of Venezuelan art. Curated by Macarena Deij Prado, this exhibition is part of the [On View: Curatorial Studies] series and will be held at the Gary R. Libby Focus Gallery between September 21 and November 18, 2023. The exhibition is part of the ISLAA Artist Seminar Initiative supported by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) in collaboration with the University Galleries and the School of Art and Art History. ISLAA’s Artist Seminar Initiative supports academic institutions in fostering intimate exchanges between students and living artists from Latin America. The parallel exhibition Vital and Veiled: Valerie Brathwaite and José Gabriel Fernández will be on view at the Gary R. Libby University Gallery from October 27, 2023, to January 26, 2024.

    The exhibition showcases a selection of Brathwaite's drawings that highlight her unique approach to organic abstraction. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the artist's profound connection to the environment and her ability to capture the essence of nature through her drawings. Born in 1938, Valerie Brathwaite is primarily known as a sculptor. However, her drawings are equally impressive and embody a radical commitment to the energy and infinite possibilities of free form and unrestrained volume. 

    Inspired by fellow immigrant artist Gego (Gertrude Goldschmidt), who was a central figure of modernist abstraction in the country, Brathwaite moved to Venezuela in 1969, where she has lived and developed her career since. Most of the drawings included in this exhibition were created in the 1970s, a prolific decade that would mark a pivotal moment in Brathwaite’s career and in the history of art in Venezuela. This was the time when she explored living matters in a variety of media and materials in her characteristic organic abstraction style, consolidating her career. Her works on paper are a testament to her ability to capture the essence of nature and translate it into a visual language that is both captivating and thought-provoking.

    Drawing from her background as a sculptor, her drawings also incorporate a sense of tactile materiality to create texture and depth, adding a sculptural quality to her two-dimensional works. Unlike her sculptural works, however, Brathwaite’s drawings offer a different visual experience, allowing her to experiment uniquely with composition, coexisting planes, lines, texture, and color. To this date, the artist's keen eye for detail and her fascination with the intricate growth patterns of plants and the textures of the landscape has driven her to experiment on a smaller scale with new materials such as fabric and porcelain. Valerie Brathwaite. Works on Paper is an opportunity to connect with drawings where lines and forms coexist in a continuous state of metamorphosis and infinite exploration of the picture plane.

    Additional support for the exhibition was provided by Henrique Faria and Anilu Gómez. This exhibition is part of the series [On View: Curatorial Studies], which features art exhibitions curated by School of the Art and Art History students. 


    Additional information

    The Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) advances scholarship and public engagement with art from Latin America through its program of exhibitions, publications, lectures, and partnerships with universities and art institutions. For more information, please visit:

    The graduate program in Art History at the University of Florida offers a global art history program covering a breadth of content from across time and space. The program also offers a graduate certificate in curatorial studies. For more information, please visit: 

    About University Galleries
    The University of Florida University Galleries’ mission is to be a platform for relevant and experimental art research and a place where pressing contemporary conversations are amplified and shared with the university and expanded communities. The UG advances the School of Art + Art History’s commitment to the visual arts by offering an experimental space to bring people together around art and ideas, improving accessibility and inclusivity through direct student and community engagement; increasing the school’s visibility as a center for critical discourse around artistic research, production, and scholarship, leading with preeminent programming.

    University Galleries are comprised of three art galleries. The Gary R. Libby University Gallery (GRLUG) provides the greater Gainesville community with a contemporary venue that explores new directions in visual art, incorporating historical perspectives. Exhibitions feature nationally and internationally known artists, studio art faculty, and MFA graduating thesis projects. The Gary R. Libby Focus Gallery and the Constance and Linton Grinter Gallery of International Art present art exhibitions that are organized by graduate student curators, in conjunction with the director of the galleries, allowing students to learn experientially about curation, organization, and exhibition making.

    Parking Information
    Daytime parking is available in reserved spaces on the west side of 13th Street, between Inner Road and Museum Road. For more information, please contact the University Gallery at (352) 273-3000 or visit our website at

    About the College of the Arts
    The College of the Arts is one of the 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. The College of the Arts offers baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its three institutionally-accredited schools — the School of Art + Art History, School of Music and School of Theatre + Dance. The college is home to the Center for Arts in Medicine, Center for Arts and Public Policy, Center for World Arts, Digital Worlds Institute, University Galleries and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. More than 100 faculty members and approximately than 1,200 students work together daily to engage, inspire and create. The college hosts more than 300 performances, exhibitions and events each year. Faculty and students also exhibit and perform at other local, national and international venues. To learn more, visit

  • Links
  • Venue
    Gary R. Libby Focus Gallery
    1370 Inner Road
    (352) 273-3000
    Gary R. Libby Focus Gallery Website