José Lerma was born 1971 in Seville, Spain, and grew up in Puerto Rico. He earned an MFA from the University of Wisconsin Madison (2002) and a BA from Tulane University, and also attended the CORE Residency Program, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skohegan, ME. He is currently a professor of art at the Art Institute of Chicago. He lives and works in Chicago and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Lerma has presented solo exhibitions at Andrea Rosen Gallery, Galeria Roberto Paradise, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Galerie Xavier Hufkens, Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Green Gallery, Gallery Loock, Galeria Marta Cervera, Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de San Juan, Puerto Rico, Arario Gallery in Seoul, Korea, Galleria Il Capricorno in Venice, Italy, and a two-person exhibition with Josh Reames at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. He has shown in group exhibitions at Lehman Maupin Gallery, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Institute Valecia d’art Modern in Spain, Innova, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Deste Fountation for Contemporary art, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Museum of Contemporary art Detroit, Museo del Barrio, Josh Lilley Gallery, ZieherSmith Gallery in NYC, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, and Loyal in Stockholm. His work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Art Forum, Time Out NY, The L Magazine, Die Welt, ABC and Flash Art, among others.