Hyundai Commission: Cecilia Vicuña

Tate
2022 - 2023
Hyundai Commission at Tate Modern
Cecilia Vicuña, Installation view of UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, July 11–October 14, 2018. Photo by Johnna Arnold. Courtesy Cecilia Vicuña; BAMPFA; and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London

Cecilia Vicuña, Installation view of UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, July 11–October 14, 2018.

Photo by Johnna Arnold. Courtesy Cecilia Vicuña; BAMPFA; and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London

About the Exhibition

Chilean artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña will create the next Hyundai Commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Her new site-specific work will be open to the public from October 13...

Chilean artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña will create the next Hyundai Commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Her new site-specific work will be open to the public from October 13, 2022 to April 16, 2023.

Cecilia Vicuña (born in Santiago, Chile, in 1948) is perhaps best known for her radical textile sculptures, combining natural materials and traditional crafts. A prolific multi-disciplinary artist, Vicuña explores the pressing concerns of ecology, community, and social justice. Born and raised in Santiago, Vicuña went into exile during the early 1970s after the violent military coup against former Chilean President Salvador Allende. This sense of impermanence, and a desire to preserve and pay tribute to the country’s indigenous history and culture have characterized her career, spanning half a century.

Vicuña’s ephemeral and environmentally conscious work combines the tactile ritual of weaving with assemblage, poetry, performance, and painting. Her creations include the ongoing series Precarios, tiny sculptures combining feathers, stone, plastic, wood, wire, shells, cloth and other human-made detritus, and Quipus, hanging textile installations which draw on an ancient Andean method of communication through knotting-colored strings.

Vicuña’s art has been acquired and exhibited at museums and galleries around the world, including retrospectives at Ex Witte de With/ Kunstinstituut Melly in Rotterdam; Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) in Mexico City and CA2M, Madrid, as well as exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago; and the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London.

Vicuña received her M.F.A. from the National School of Fine Arts, University of Chile in 1971 and went on to study at Slade School of Fine Art, University College London from 1972–3. She has received several awards, including the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (2022); 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), and in 2015 was appointed the Messenger Lecturer at Cornell University. Vicuña is the author of 27 internationally published volumes of poetry and was a founding member of Artists for Democracy. She divides her time between Chile and New York.

Hyundai Commission: Cecilia Vicuña will be curated by Catherine Wood, Senior Curator of International Art (Performance), Tate with Fiontan Moran, Assistant Curator, International Art, Tate.

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