BRUSSELS.- Xavier Hufkens
announced that Cecilia Vicuña (b. 1948, Santiago, Chile) has joined the gallery. Vicuña has dedicated her life to reclaiming the ancient indigenous knowledge of her homeland and positioning it in dialogue with the contemporary world. Through poetry, painting, installations and ritualistic performances, she aims to awaken a spirit of collective activism in her audiences and to disrupt the negative forces that are destroying both the planet and humanity.
Vicuña is particularly known for two ongoing bodies of work that she has been making since the 1960s: precarios and quipus. Both have their origins in ancient Andean traditions. The former are diminutive spatial poems crafted from feathers, stone, plastic, wood, wire, shells, cloth, and other artificial detritus, which are often looped together into organic constellations. The quipus are based on an ancient Andean method of communication and record-keeping involving the knotting of coloured strings.
Xavier Hufkens: A visionary artist as well as a pioneering activist, Cecilia Vicuñas transcultural and multifaceted practice is deeply intuitive and forward-looking. Her work responds to global issues that are particularly urgent today, a pertinence which is reflected in the institutional recognition she has earned so deservedly. I am proud to begin working with such as vigorously sensitive, aware and singular artist as Cecilia and cannot wait to present her work at the gallery in autumn 2023.
Born and raised in Santiago, the artist was forced into exile during the military coup against President Salvador Allende in the 1970s. This experience brought the precarious nature of human existence into ever sharper focus. The loss of natural elements and resources, especially water, is a significant theme in her oeuvre. Vicuña is also the acclaimed author of almost thirty volumes of art and poetry and a skilled filmmaker.
Cecilia Vicuña lives and works between Santiago and New York. She received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale, Italy in 2022. Other awards include the Premio Velázquez de Artes Plásticas, Madrid, Spain (2019); Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, Santa Monica, CA (2019); Anonymous Was a Woman Award, New York, NY (1999); and The Andy Warhol Foundation Award, New York, NY (1997). The artist will continue to be represented by Lehmann Maupin in New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and London.