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Cecilia Vicuña

Cecilia Vicuña (born 1948, Santiago, Chile) is a poet, artist and filmmaker who has moved between her native Chile and New York City for almost four decades. The author of more than 20 books of poetry, Vicuña exhibits and performs widely in Europe, Latin America and the United States.

Vicuña's multi-dimensional works begin as a poem, an image or a line that evolves into a film, a song, a sculpture or a collective performance. In 1966, she began creating her sculptural interventions – her precarios – combining ritual with the creation of assemblages using ephemeral, found materials. She is also renowned for the monumental installations she creates from raw wool – her quipus.

Vicuña first exhibited with England & Co in 2012, participating with the gallery in the Pinta Latin American Art Fairs in London and New York, and at Photo London. Her solo exhibition, Cecilia Vicuña, at England & Co (2013) was accompanied by a publication with an essay by Dawn Ades. That exhibition primarily focused on the artist's time in London in the 1970s, and included significant early paintings: Vicuña's painting of Violetta Parra (1973) was subsequently acquired from England & Co by Tate in 2017. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York acquired her portrait of Karl Marx (1973) from England & Co in 2018.

The exhibition also included the surviving works from the series Precarios: A Journal of Objects for the Chilean Resistance (1972-74) made in response to General Pinochet's military coup against President Salvador Allende. These works were acquired in 2014 from England & Co by Tate, London.

Vicuña's visual work has been exhibited at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Santiago; the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London; Brooklyn Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York; and documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel.

Read Thread – The Story of the Red Thread was published to coincide with Vicuña's installation at documenta 14 in Athens in April 2017. (See News.)

In 2014, a major exhibition, Artists for Democracy: El archivo de Cecilia Vicuña, was held at the Museu Nacional de Bellas Artes; Museu de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, Santiago, Chile. In 2017, the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, originated a traveling exhibition entitled Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen. In 2018, the exhibition, Cecilia Vicuña: Disappeared Quipu, opened at the Brooklyn Museum, NY. Vicuña is also represented in Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985, an exhibition that commenced at the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Los Angeles, and toured to Brooklyn Museum, New York, and to the Pinacoteca de São Paulo.



Constructions & mixed media   Drawings & works on paper   Performance   Photography   

Paintings



'Cecilia Vicuña' at England & Co - Details


'Cecilia Vicuña' at England & Co 2013

Installation view (detail)

Fidel y Allende - Details


Fidel y Allende 1972
28.5 x 23 inches
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, 2013; PINTA London 2013, England & Co.
Private collection, Brazil.


Violeta Parra - Details


Violeta Parra 1973
22.75 x 19 inches
Oil on canvas
Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, 2013.
Acquired by Tate, London.


Karl Marx - Details


Karl Marx 1972
36.25 x 28.25 inches
Oil on canvas
Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, 2013.
Acquired by Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY.


Lenin - Details


Lenin 1972
22.25 x 20.25 inches
Oil on canvas
Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, 2013.

Muerte de Allende - Details


Muerte de Allende 1973
22.5 x 15.75 inches
Oil on canvas
Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, 2013.

Martillo y Repollo - Details


Martillo y Repollo 1973
35.75 x 28 inches
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: PINTA London 2014, England & Co.
Acquired for Juan Yarur Collection.


Angel de la Menstruación - Details


Angel de la Menstruación 1973
22.75 x 19 inches
Oil on canvas
Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, 2013.
Private collection, London.


Frente Cultural - Details


Frente Cultural 1973
25 x 30.75 inches
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: PINTA London 2012, England & Co. Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, 2013.
Private collection.


La Mano Poderosa - Details


La Mano Poderosa 1979
20.5 x 17 inches
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, 2013; PINTA London 2014, England & Co.

Sueño - Details


Sueño 1971
23.5 x 25.25 inches
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: PINTA London 2013, England & Co.
Acquired by MALBA, Buenos Aires.


Keep the River to the Right - Details


Keep the River to the Right 1973
19 x 25 inches
Oil on canvas
Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, 2013.
Private collection, London.


Poet at Work - Details


Poet at Work 1973
50.25 x 26.75 inches
Oil on canvas
Private collection, London.

Autobiografia - Details


Autobiografia 1971
23.5 x 25.25 inches
Oil on canvas
Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, 2013.

El Enano Nelson Ned - Details


El Enano Nelson Ned 1979
18 x 14.75 inches
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: PINTA London 2013, England & Co.