Angel Otero

Photo: Javier Romero

Angel Otero was born in 1981 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, where he resided until moving to Chicago in 2004. He currently splits his time between New York and Puerto Rico. In 2009, Otero was included in the exhibition ‘Constellations’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, shortly after receiving his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Otero’s practice is known for employing highly innovative techniques that challenge the parameters of his materials, revealing the intrinsic qualities of paint. His works are rooted in abstract image making and engage with ideas of memory through addressing art history, as well as his own lived experience. Otero is best known for the Oil Skin works he began in 2010, an ongoing series that demonstrates the inherently transformative nature of the artist’s practice as well as his dedication to expanding the visual field of abstract expressionism. Using oil paint layered onto glass and peeled off at a partially dried state, Otero recomposes his ‘skins’ onto canvas to make entirely new images and patterns. This methodical process is extended to his Transfer Series (2013) which utilizes imagery from his own personal history. Referencing historical etchings, the artist traces images drawn from his family photographs into horizontal lines with silicone—he eventually transfers the composition onto a large piece of paper that becomes the plate he will cover in raw pigment. Otero then lays his canvas onto these mediums to create a distorted monotype of the original imagery.

His more recent works have continued to explore chance-based processes and their potential to convey memory and history through materiality. In 2017, Otero debuted a series of large-scale sculptural oil paintings that resemble tapestry. Hanging freely, these works incorporate salvaged materials from his studio, off-cuts of previous paintings, and found objects that are significant to his native Puerto Rico. The many fragments that make up his compositions become powerful meditations on past and present.

The artist’s early childhood memories are brought to the forefront in his most recent series of paintings which see a return to figuration combined with his hallmark style of abstraction. Otero paints and collages dreamlike scenes upon his vibrant structured canvases, depicting objects and spaces that are loosely based on personal memories associated with the domestic sphere. Probing the boundaries of figuration and abstraction, Otero’s most recent works continue to expand the possibilities of painting and materiality.

Otero’s work is in numerous public and private collections including the Berezdivin Collection, Puerto Rico; Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx NY; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago IL; Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City MO; Margulies Collection, Miami FL; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park KS; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York NY; Speed Art Museum, Louisville KY, UBS Art Collection, Chicago IL; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond VA.

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Angel Otero


Print Biography
Santurce, Puerto Rico 1981

MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL, 2009
BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL, 2007
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, 2004 

Lives and works in New York NY and Puerto Rico

Solo Exhibitions

Hauser & Wirth, 'Angel Otero. The Sea Remembers', Hong Kong
Hauser & Wirth, 'Angel Otero. Swimming Where Time Was', New York NY
Lehmann Maupin, ‘The Fortune of Having Been There’, New York NY 
Harper’s Books, ‘Angel Otero: Broken Record’, East Hampton NY  
Lehmann Maupin, ‘Angel Otero: Present Memory’, online
Lehmann Maupin, ‘Milagros’, New York NY 
Bronx Museum of the Arts, ‘Angel Otero: Elegies’, New York NY 
Contemporary Art Museum Houston, ‘Everything and Nothing’, Houston TX  
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, ‘Angel Otero: Murmurs’, Culver City CA  
Lehmann Maupin, ‘Born In The Echoes’, Hong Kong 
Lehmann Maupin, New York NY  
Kavi Gupta, ‘Lago’, Chicago IL  
Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, ‘Pintura Ascendente’, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Galería Leyendecker, ‘Nuevos Trabajos’, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain  
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, ‘Anachronic’, Los Angeles CA 
Lehmann Maupin, ‘Gates of Horn and Ivory’, New York NY  
Walter Otero Contemporary Art, ‘Angel Otero, recent work’, San Juan, Puerto Rico  
SCAD Museum of Art, ‘Material Discovery’, Savannah GA; SCAD Museum of Art, Hong Kong
Brand New Gallery, ‘The old lansquenet is laughing at us’, Milan, Italy  
Contemporary Art Museum, ‘New Works: Angel Otero’, Raleigh NC  
Galerie Isa, Mumbai, India  
Istanbul ’74, Istanbul, Turkey 
Lehmann Maupin, ‘Memento’, New York NY  
Kavi Gupta, ‘The Dangerous Ability to Fascinate Other People’, Chicago IL 
Chicago Cultural Center, ‘Touch With Your Eyes’, Chicago IL 
Kavi Gupta, ‘Angel Otero’, Chicago IL 
Contemporary Art Workshop Gallery, ‘Cooking Boogaloo’, Chicago IL  
Union League Club of Chicago, ‘Angel Otero: Recent Paintings’, Chicago IL 
Galeria Prinardi, ‘Revelando Enigmas’, San Juan, Puerto Rico 
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Group Exhibitions

Hauser & Wirth, 'Escape', Southampton NY
David Kordansky Gallery, ‘The Beatitudes of Malibu’, Los Angeles CA 
David Zwirner, ‘Artists for Biden’, online 
Hauser and Wirth, ‘Artists for New York’, New York NY  
University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, ‘Life During Wartime: Art in the Age of Coronavirus’, online  
Lehmann Maupin, ‘be/longing’, Hong Kong 
Pérez Art Museum Miami, ‘The Other Side of Now: Foresight in Contemporary Caribbean Art’, Miami FL  
Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, ‘Cut: Abstraction in the United States from the 1970s to the Present’, Miami FL  
Elmhurst Art Museum, ‘With a Capital P: Selections by Six Painters’, Elmhurst IL  
Museum of the African Diaspora, ‘Coffee, Rhum, Sugar & Gold: A Postcolonial Paradox’, San Francisco CA 
Lehmann Maupin, ‘Gridology’, Hong Kong  
Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, ‘Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago’, New York NY  
Wexner Center for the Arts, ‘Inherent Structure’, Columbus OH  
American Academy of Arts and Letters, ‘Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts’, New York NY 
Chaos Theory, Sag Harbor NY  
Makasiini Contemporary, ‘Art Goes Logomo’, Turku, Finland 
Sperone Westwater, ‘Splotch’, New York NY  
Studio Museum in Harlem, ‘Surface Area’, New York NY  
DePaul Art Museum, ‘Nexo / Nexus: Latin American Connections in the Midwest’, Chicago IL 
Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ‘Civilization and Its Discontents: SAIC Alumni Exhibition’, Chicago IL  
BRIC, ‘Inherited’, New York NY  
Galería Leyendecker, ‘The Fire Next Time’, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain  
Lehmann Maupin, ‘Future Seasons Past’, New York NY  
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘Piece by Piece: Building a Collection Selections from the Christy and William C. Gautreaux Collection’, Kansas City MO  
Lehmann Maupin, ‘Horizon’, Hong Kong  
PKM Gallery, Seoul, South Korea 
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, ‘Fusion: Art of the 21st Century’, Richmond VA  
Galerie ISA, ‘Between Worlds’, Mumbai, India  
Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo’, Chicago IL  
Paradise Row, ‘Mystic Fire’, London, UK  
Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Houston TX 
10 Under 40, Istanbul ’74, Istanbul, Turkey  
Pioneer Works, ‘Amor Fati’, New York NY  
Dodge Gallery, ‘A Pinch of Saffron, Dash of Vermouth’, New York NY  
The Hole, ‘Xtraction: A Survey of new approaches in abstraction’, New York NY  
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, ‘Transforming the Known: Works from the Bert Kreuk Collection’, The Hague, Netherlands
6th Prague Biennale, Prague, Czech Republic  
Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, ‘On Painting’, Les Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain  
Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel  
Contemporary Art Museum Houston, ‘Outside the Lines’, Houston TX 
Sotheby’s, New York NY  
Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana, ‘The Sound of Painting’, Turin, Italy  
Luce Gallery, ‘Surface in Volume’, Turin, Italy  
Istanbul ‘74, Istanbul, Turkey  
Queens Museum, ‘Queens International 2012: Three Points Make a Triangle’, New York NY 
Galería Leyendecker, ‘The Second Seating for the Last Supper’, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain  
Oh Wow Gallery, Miami FL  
El Museo del Barrio, ‘El Museo’s Biennial: The (S) Files’, New York NY  
Kreëmart, ‘American Patrons of the Tate and W Magazine’, New York NY  
Brand New Gallery, ‘NY: New Perspectives’, Milan, Italy  
Soho House, New York NY  
The Arts Club, London, UK
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park KS 
Prism, ‘Misericordia’, Los Angeles CA  
Lehmann Maupin, ‘Touched’, New York NY  
Walter Otero Gallery, ‘Circa Art Fair’, San Juan, Puerto Rico 
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, ‘Constellations’, Chicago IL  
Kavi Gupta, ‘Variations on a Theme’, Chicago IL  
Walter Otero Gallery, ‘Circa Art Fair’, San Juan, Puerto Rico 
Galería Leyendecker, ‘New Wave’, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain  
Normal Projects Gallery, ‘Fridge’, Chicago IL  
University Museum at Southern Illinois University, ‘Latino Nation, USA,’ Carbondale IL  
Art Chicago, ‘New Insight Exhibition’, Chicago IL  
Bucket Rider Gallery, ‘Group Painting Exhibition’, Chicago IL 
Gallery G2 and Project Space, ‘You Are In My Space’, Chicago IL  
Contemporary Art Workshop, ‘Open and Closed’, Chicago IL 
Galeria Prinardi USA, ‘Universality of Art’, West Palm Beach FL  
Galeria Prinardi at Hotel Normandie, ‘Tributo a Basquiat Puerto Rico’, San Juan, Puerto Rico 
New Space, ‘Visions of Excess’, Chicago IL 
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Commission Projects and Special Projects

2019, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘Angel Otero: Diario, Kansas City MO 

2013, Locust Projects, ‘Commuter Rail Project, Miami FL 


2017, Vannucci Artist Residency, Umbria, Italy

2013, Anderson Ranch, Aspen, Colorado

Honors and Distinctions

The Leonore Annenberg Fellowship for the Performing and Visual Arts 
Trustee Scholarship, School of the Art Institute of Chicago  
First Place Award and Members Choice Award, Visual Arts Competition  
Civic and Arts Foundation, Union League Club of Chicago  
Art Institute of Chicago, BFA Fellowship Award 
Recognition Merit Scholarship, School of the Art Institute of Chicago 
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Selected Publications

Viveros-Fauné, Christian, ‘Angel Otero: Elegies’, New York: Bronx Museum of the Arts, 2018 (exh. cat.)
Cassel Oliver, Valerie, Myers, Terry, Otero, Angel, and Viveros-Fauné, Christian, ‘Angel Otero: Everything and Nothing’, Italy: Skira / Houston: Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2016 (exh. cat.)
Castillo, Omar-Pascual, Viveros-Fauné, Christian and Schum, Matthew, ‘Angel Otero: Pintura Ascendente / Painting From the Bottom Up’, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, 2015 (exh. cat.)
‘Between Worlds: Ali Banisadr, Marius Bercea, Angel Otero, Fiona Rae’, Mumbai: Galerie Isa, 2014 (exh. cat.)
Borowy-Reeder, Elysia, Viveros-Faune, Christian, and Lerma, José, ‘Angel Otero’, Chicago: Kavi Gupta, 2012 (exh. cat.)

Artoni, Margherita, ‘The Sound of Painting: Theaster Gates, Rashid Johnson, Angel Otero, Tim Rollins and K.O.S.,’ Turin: Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana, 2012 (exh. cat.)
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Selected Press

Woolbright, Andrew Paul, 'Angel Otero: Swimming Where Time Was' [review], on:, December 2022, ill.
Pérez Rivera, Tatiana, 'Ángel Otero: el señor de los "skins". El artista boricua presenta una nueva exposición en la galería Hauser & Wirth en Nueva York', in: El Nuevo Día, 12 November 2022, pp. 24-25, ill.
Tauer, Kristen, 'Studio Visit With Angel Otero', in: Women's Wear Daily, 21 November 2022, p. 19, ill.
Pérez Rivera, Tatiana, 'Ángel Otero: el señor de los “skins”', on:, 11 November 2022, ill.
Di Liscia, Valentina, ‘Angel Otero’s Exquisite Domestic Interiors’, on:, 16 February 2021, ill. 
Newell-Hanson, Alice, ‘The 19th-Century Church One Artist Calls Home’, on:, 11 February 2021, ill. 
Di Liscia, Valentina, ‘Painter Angel Otero on Solitude and What It Means When You Can’t Go Home’, on:, 14 August 2020, ill.
Dafoe, Taylor, '"Act First and Then Think": Artist Angel Otero on How to Turn Failure Into Fuel for Creativity', on:, 10 April 2019, ill.
Dafoe, Taylor, ‘Act First and Then Think: Artist Angel Otero on How to Turn Failure Into Fuel for Creativity’, on:, 10 April 2019, ill.
Viveros-Fauné, Christian, 'After the Storm, Rebuild: Angel Otero’s Milagros’, on:, 2019, ill.
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Public Collections

Berezdivin Collection, Puerto Rico
Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York NY
DePaul Art Museum, Chicago IL
Istanbul Modern, Istanbul Turkey
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Margulies Collection, Miami FL
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York NY
Speed Art Museum, Louisville KY
UBS Art Collection, Chicago IL
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond VA

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