Cecilia Vicuña, Velázquez Plastic Arts Award






The jury of the Velázquez Prize for Plastic Arts, meeting today at the Ministry of Culture and Sports, has proposed to Cecilia Vicuña Ramírez to be awarded the Velázquez Prize for Plastic Arts, corresponding to 2019, «for his outstanding work as a poet, visual artist and activist, who has displayed a multidimensional art in which he interacts with the earth, written language and tissues» .

The jury, according to the note made public by the Ministry, has added in its motivation that it is «creator of a special poetics in which the ecological conscience, the city and the artistic institution intersects. His work is indebted to a millenary knowledge updated through performances, installations, sculpture, books and gestures of everyday life ».

This award is granted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports since 2002 to grant institutional recognition to a creator whose work stands out with special significance in the field of plastic arts. The meritorious work of the winner is thus rewarded through the awarding of an award aimed at highlighting his outstanding contribution to Spanish and Latin American culture for all his work. It is endowed with 100,000 euros.


Cecilia Vicuña (Santiago, Chile, 1948) is a poet, artist, filmmaker and activist. Exiled since the early 1970s, after the military coup against President-elect Salvador Allende, she has resided in New York since 1980. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts at the University of Chile and completed a postgraduate degree at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London.

Vicuña began to create in the mid-1960s in Chile. His multidimensional works begin as a poem or an image and become a film, song, sculpture or collective installations. These ephemeral installations are specific to spaces such as nature, streets or museums and combine rituals and assemblies. She calls her work "the precarious."

Vicuña has published art and poetry books, including "Kuntur Ko" (2015), "Spit Temple": "The Selected Performance of Cecilia Vicuña" (2012), "Instan" (2001), "Cloud Net" (2000) or «Selected poems» (2017). In 2009 he co-published "The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry: 500 Years of Latin American Poetry"; and has edited "ÜL: Four Mapuche Poets" (1997). It was named Messenger Lecturer 2015 by Cornell University (New York), a distinction granted to authors who contribute to the evolution of civilization with the special purpose of raising the moral standards of politics, business and social life.

Among others, his works are exhibited at the Tate Gallery (London), the National Museum of Fine Arts (Chile), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chile), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), at the Berkeley Museum of Art (California); at the Whitney Museum of American Art or at MoMA (New York).


The jury has been chaired by the general director of Fine Arts and Cultural Heritage, Román Fernández-Baca and the deputy general director for the Promotion of Fine Arts, Begoña Torres González, has participated as secretary. They have acted as members: Marina Vargas Gómez, artist, for the Union of Contemporary Artists of Spain (Unión AC); Tania Pardo Pérez, deputy director of the Dos de Mayo Art Center, by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando; Nuria Enguita Mayo, director of Bombas Gens, by the Association of Directors of Contemporary Art (ADACE); Jose María de Francisco Guinea, director of Stampa, by the Institute of Contemporary Art (IAC); Maria José Magaña Clemente, head of the Visual Arts Area of ​​the Cervantes Institute, for Women in the Visual Arts (MAV); Iván de la Nuez Carrillo, essayist, art critic and curator, appointed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports; and José Luis Blondet, professor, curator and researcher, appointed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Award Chronology

In previous years, Velázquez Ramón Gaya, Antonio Tapies, Pablo Palazuelo, Juan Soriano, Antonio López, Luis Gordillo, Cildo Meireles, Antoni Muntadas, Doris Salcedo, Artur Barrio, Jaume Plensa, Esther Ferrer, Isidoro Valcárcel, Marta were awarded this award Minujín, Concha Jerez and Antoni Miralda i Bou.

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