Lehmann Maupin, New York recently announced its representation of multidisciplinary Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña (b. 1948, Santiago).
Cecilia Vicuña’s work addresses critical issues of the modern era such as ecological destruction, feminism, human rights, and cultural homogenization through her genre-bending projects that unite poetry, performance, painting, and site-specific installations spanning more than four decades. The artist’s inaugural exhibition with the gallery will commence from May 19, 2018. Lehmann Maupin founder, Rachel Lehmann, noted, “[Cecilia Vicuña] is a prolific artist of singular vision, and we look forward to contextualizing her within the larger canon, where her contributions have been seminal, yet underassessed.”
Vicuña has worked to rewrite historical inaccuracies, expose the continued effect and violence of colonization, and has visualized the bodies of those who have been systematically erased or ignored over the course of time. Her visual practice is deeply connected to and often originates from her poetry. The lyricism of her writing is evident in the multidimensional realms she constructs from suspended or draped unspun raw wool, commonly described as visual poetry. Vicuña herself refers to some of her best-known work as “QUIPOems”: a portmanteau of poem and quipu (khipu), the pre-Columbian system of tied knots used by Andean cultures for record keeping and communication. The artist’s work is characterized by a desire to preserve and pay tribute to the indigenous culture of the Americas, and often addresses the fragility of these communities.