Leading Latin American art foundation commissions resistance through art

An Emphasis on Resistance, the 2019 CIFO Grants & Commissions Program Exhibition is at El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem, NYC, Wednesday to Sunday, October 30, 3029 through February 2, 2020. From $5

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 ~ The CIFO Resistance Exhibition opens with a panel discussion with many of the participating artists and Rodrigo Moura, Chief Curator and Susanna Temkin, Curator at 6pm. FREE with rsvp

An Emphasis on Resistance

Waves of colonization, decolonization, and the never-ending struggle for true independence puts a great emphasis on “resistance” in the Latin world.

Resistance is something to be wary of. It’s easy to tear things down, but hard to build things up. Resistance itself must not be the end. It is a means to an end.

Perhaps the word should be “survival.” I want to survive and I want my family to survive. Having had everything taken, all I have left are my traditions. I will hold them dearly. I will hide them in plain sight and teach my children every day. My family traditions will survive.

Surviving and passing our knowledge to the next generation has to be the goal.

The end game is thriving. It’s about full engagement in our new home societies, while guarding our heritage cultures.

CIFO supports engagement with society through art commissions.


CIFO, the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural exchange and enrichment through the arts. It was founded in 2002 by Ella Fontanals-Cisneros.

The Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection is one of the world’s most important collections of modern and contemporary Latin American art. Fontanals-Cisneros was collecting at a time when the art world didn’t see any value in Latin America. Now many of the works in the collection are almost priceless. She had vision when nobody else did.

In addition to managing the legacy of its collections, CIFO grants commissions to make new art.

2019 CIFO Grants & Commissions Program Exhibition

This 17th CIFO exhibition brings together a recognized artist with mid-career and emerging artists.

Basically, the world’s leading collector of Latin American modern and contemporary art is commissioned these artists to see what they will do.

Achievement Award

The recipient is Cecilia Vicuña (Chilean). She is known for her work in quipu, the ancient knotted cord writing and reading system of the Indigenous Andean peoples.

Mid-Career Artists

  • Leyla Cárdenas (Bogotá, Colombia, 1975)
  • Ana Linnemann (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1955)
  • Yucef Merhi (Caracas, Venezuela, 1977)
  • Nicolás Paris (Bogotá, Colombia, 1977)

Emerging Artists

Let’s not discount these artists just because they are early in their careers. They represent the future.

  • Susana Pilar Delahante (Havana, Cuba, 1984)
  • María José Machado (Cuenca, Ecuador, 1984)
  • Claudia Martínez Garay (Ayacucho, Peru, 1983)
  • Oscar Abraham Pabón (Barcelona, Spain, 1984)

For more information, visit elmuseo.org

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