Cecilia Vicuña, renowned multi-dash artist and awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2022 Venice Biennale, joined Xavier Hufkens in Brussels. Her first presentation with the gallery will be in 2023. She will continue to be represented by Lehmann Maupin in New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and London.
In a statement, Hufkens called Vicuña “a visionary artist as well as a pioneering activist… Her work responds to global issues that are particularly urgent today, a relevance that is reflected in the institutional recognition she has deservedly earned. I am proud to start working with a vigorously sensitive, aware and singular artist like Cecilia “.
Born in Santiago de Chile, but a long-time resident in the United States, the 74-year-old artist has received a wave of acclaim at the end of her career in recent years: in 2019 she was nominated for the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize of the Guggenheim Museum and is was awarded the most important artistic prize in Spain, the Velázquez de Artes Plásticas Prize. Her work has a prominent place in the rehang of the Museum of Modern Art and is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim, “Cecilia Vicuña: Spin Spin Triangulene”, her first in town.
Vicuña has a prolific and wide-ranging body of work, with an affinity for ephemeral materials with an impromptu affection, which made it difficult to classify. In an unusual move, the Guggenheim exhibit primarily features his exuberant paintings and painted screens, though many of his ethereal mixed media furniture dominates a first-floor gallery.
Before her visual art was welcomed by institutions around the world, Vicuña was best known as a poet and, since the 1960s, she has been an ardent activist driven by the intersection of environmental danger and uncontrolled capitalism.
In 2019, more than 1.2 million people protested on the streets of Santiago against class disparities and the rising cost of living in Chile. Vicuña was among the artists to rally publicly on the side of the protesters and, in a statement a ARTnewshe said that “the beauty of this movement is that it feels like an awakening expressed in massive joyful and peaceful protests emerging in every corner.”
In March, she received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement alongside Katharina Fritsch, making her the first Latin American-born artist to win the award in years. (Both artists are included in the biennial’s main exhibition.) Cecilia Alemani, the curator of the biennial’s main exhibition, said in a statement that Vicuña has “walked her path, stubbornly, humbly and meticulously, anticipating many recent ecological debates and feminists and imagining new personal and collective mythologies “.