Leoparda de Ojitos, 1977 (printed 2022) Serigraph on Fabriano paper 39.25 x 27.5 inches (paper) 99.7 x 69.9 cm Edition of 50 Signed, titled, and numbered on bottom
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Cecilia Vicuña was born in 1948 in Santiago, Chile and now lives and works in New York. Her critically-acclaimed work integrates poetry, performance, Conceptualism, and textile craft in response to pressing concerns of the modern world, including ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenization.
Born and raised in Santiago, she was exiled during the early 1970s after the violent military coup against President Salvador Allende. This sense of impermanence, and a desire to preserve and pay tribute to the Indigenous history and culture of Chile, have characterized her work throughout her career.
Vicuña’s surreal figurative paintings of the 1970s are explicitly personal and political and were created in direct response to the unrest in Chile and her subsequent exile. Leoparda de Ojitos (2022) uses the leopard, a common motif in Vicuña’s paintings, that often stands in as a self-portrait. Vicuña considers the leopardess the embodiment of feminine energy and power, describing her as an all-seeing, omniscient being whose every orifice is a sensory organ. The scene depicted here appeared to Vicuña in a vision, in which the leopardess, the human, and the tree became one—a single living force of feminine power.
This work is based on Cecilia Vicuña’s 1977 painting Leoparda de Ojitos which was exhibited in the artist’s presentation in the Central Pavillion at the 2022 Venice Biennale.
In 2023, Vicuña is the subject of solo exhibitions at Tate Modern in London, MOCA Tucson in Arizona, and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile. In 2022, she was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale.