Fredo Rivera

Assistant Professor

Art and architectural historian Fredo Rivera ‘06 is Assistant Professor of Art History at Grinnell College, where they teach classes on modern and contemporary architecture and urban visual culture, as well as the art of the Americas, with a focus on the Caribbean. Professor Rivera’s current research includes art and architecture in modern Cuba, Haitian art, photography and visual culture, and the relationship of the art world and real estate development in contemporary Miami.

Rivera completed their dissertation “Revolutionizing Modernities: Visualizing Utopia in 1960s Havana, Cuba” in July 2015. They previously served as an Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (2011-2013). He was also a Research Affiliate at the University of Miami School of Architecture (Spring and Fall 2010) as well as a Social Science Research Council DPDF fellow (Summer 2008). Prior to arriving to Grinnell, Dr. Rivera was Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at Florida Atlantic University.

Professor Rivera has worked on a number of exhibition projects, including: The Elusive Master: Emmanuel Merisier, from Haiti to beyond (Little Haiti Cultural Complex), Edouard Duval-Carrié: Metamorphosis (Museum of Contemporary Art-North Miami), From Within and Without: The History of Haitian Photography (NSU Art Museum-Ft. Lauderdale), Nation on the Move – the Puerto Rican Diaspora: Photographs by Frank Espada (Duke University Libraries), and Building Broward: A Guide to a Century of Architecture (Florida Atlantic University & Broward Cultural Division). She also performs in drag as Lolita Cabrón, and Prof. Rivera has curated two major queer art happenings: Yo Soy La Mala: drag en el exilio (Centro Cultural Español-Miami) and Tidal Rage: drag en la frontera (Pérez Art Museum Miami with Creative Time). Their most recent publications explore the role of public art and architecture within the context of contemporary Miami as well as architecture within late modern and contemporary Cuba.

In addition to their Ph.D., Rivera has a Graduate Certificate in Latin American & Caribbean Studies from Duke University (2015), a Masters of Art in Art History from Duke University (2010), and a Bachelor of Arts (Africana Studies and Art History, with honors) from Grinnell College (2006).

Selected Publications

“Precarity + Excess in the latinopolis: Miami as Erzulie,” Cultural Dynamics (31: 1-2, 2019). 62-80.

“Incomplete Postmodernism: The Rise and Fall of Utopia in Cuba” [book chapter], Second World Postmodernisms: Architecture and Society Under Late Socialism (ed. Vladimir Kulic). London: Bloomsbury Press, 2019. 128-142.

“Preface” [exhibition catalogue essay], En Voyage: Hybridity and Vodou in Haitian Art. Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, 2018. 8-9.

“Constitutional Modernisms: Architecture and Civil Society in Cuba, 1933-1959 by Timothy Hyde” [book review]. CAA Reviews. September 2017.

"Revelations from the Past: Curiosités of Edouard Duval-Carrié" [exhibition catalogue essay], Metamorphosis: the Conjunctural Art of Edouard Duval-Carrié. Museum of Contemporary Art-North Miami, 2017. 21-28.

“Haiti Through a Contemporary Lens” [exhibition catalogue essay], From Within & Without: The History of Haitian Photography. NSU Art Museum - Ft. Lauderdale, July 2015.

“Edouard Duval-Carrié,” “Albert Mangones,” “Préfète Duffaut” and other entries. Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biographies (ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Franklin W. Wright). Oxford University Press, 2015.

“Mapping Narratives: Reconfiguring Haiti’s History” [exhibition catalogue essay], Haiti: History Embedded in Amber (ed. Fredo Rivera). Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University, September 2011.

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