Best known for his large-scale installations, Pepón Osorio merges conceptual art and community dynamics. His work emphasizes the exhibition space as an intermediary between the social architecture of communities and the mainstream art world. Osorio has worked with well over 25 communities across the U.S. and internationally, creating installations based on real-life experiences. For more than a decade Osorio has been presenting work in unconventional places prior to showing it in a museum setting, thus exploring the subjectivity of meaning in art and the nuance that these installations achieve depending on their location.
Osorio is a professor at the Tyler School of the Arts at Temple University. He is the recipient of numerous distinctions including the 2001 Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, the Whitney Biennial (1993), an Alpert Award in the Arts-Visual Arts (1999), and the John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation Fellowship. Osorio was featured in the inaugural PBS Art21 series. In 2016, he received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from The Maryland Institute and College of Art. In 2017, received the Pennsylvania Governor’s Distinguished Arts award.
His work has appeared in El Museo del Barrio, New York (retrospective); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; Bronx Museum of Art, New York; Institute of Contemporary Arts, Philadelphia; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico; Africus Institute for Contemporary Art, Johannesburg Biennale, South Africa; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wilfredo Lam, Bienal de Cuba; the 27th Sao Paulo Biena, Brazil, to name a few.
Portrait photo by Sam Fritch.