Power 100

Most influential people in 2023 in the contemporary artworld


Cecilia Vicuña

Artist - Ecofeminist painter, sculptor and poet recognised for her work with textiles

55 in 2023

  • 202355
  • 202229
  • 202017
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
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  • 2012
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  • 2007
  • 2006
Photo: William Jess Laird. © and courtesy Cecilia Vicuña/Artist Rights Society (ARS) and Lehmann Maupin

If textiles, ecofeminism and an interest in Indigenous culture seem everywhere in art, Vicuña has been combining all three for five decades now. From penniless roots in a radical poetry collective, scraping through life on the streets of Santiago, to today’s endless stream of museum shows, the artist hasn’t stopped producing. Quipu menstrual (the blood of the glaciers) (2006; Quipu is the Spanish transliteration of the word for ‘knots’ in the Cuzco Quechua language of Peru) was the largest of the 200 works showing at Santiago’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, a homecoming show that will travel to Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires and Pinacoteca de São Paulo. Brain Forest Quipu (2022), her commission for Tate Modern, London, featuring knotted wool, sound, music and video, was packed up in April. Despite the recognition, Vicuña has resisted temptation to make her work slicker: at MOCA Tucson, the new installation, Sonoran Quipu (2023), was composed of debris gathered from local kitchens, gutters, gardens and streets.

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