Marta Minujín receives Americas Society Cultural Archievement Award
Americas Society honored Argentine contemporary artist Marta Minujín for her exceptional accomplishments throughout her rich and prolific five-decade artistic career.
Marta Minujín has influenced generations of artists and continues to do so through her sculptures, happenings, and monumental installations in Argentina and across the world. Minujín received the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award, which recognizes extraordinary creativity and artistic mastery among Latin American cultural figures, at a special ceremony on Thursday, March 22, at the society’s headquarters in New York. The evening featured a conversation between Minujín and prominent Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera.
“Over the years, Americas Society has been a preeminent venue in the United States for the most remarkable Latin American artists,” said Americas Society and Council of the Americas President and CEO Susan Segal. “We are delighted to honor Marta Minujín, a true pioneer and a creative force with a limitless imagination.”
“Minujín’s journey in the arts, which she never interrupted since the vibrant days of the Galería Lirolay and the emblematic Centro de Artes Visuales at the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella to the recent documenta 14, is inextricably associated to the history of our institution founded by David Rockefeller in the 1960s,” said Americas Society Visual Arts Director and Chief Curator Gabriela Rangel. “It is not unusual that Marta is celebrated back in New York, where she is not a stranger as her energy and forceful drive belongs to the city.”
Born in Buenos Aires, Minujín had her first solo show at the age of 18. In 1960, she traveled to Paris on a French National Foundation for the Arts grant, where she conducted her seminal action La Destrucción (The Destruction) and met artists such as Arman, Niki de Saint Phalle, Christo, and Jean-Jacques Lebel, who helped introduce happenings to France. In 1964 she won the Torcuato Di Tella Institute’s first prize with Revuélquese y Viva (Roll Around and Live), an inhabitable construction covered by different-colored mattresses. With a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship (1966), Minujín settled in New York, where she started a series of works clearly influenced by McLuhan’s theories and conceived of Minucode, the project which was revisited in the 2010 MINUCODEs exhibition curated by Rangel and José Luis Blondet at the
Americas Society. Minujín’s most enduring interventions include Obelisco de Pan Dulce (Obelisk in Sweet Bread), 1979; El Pago de la Deuda Externa Argentina con Maíz, “El Oro Latinoamericano” (Payment of the Argentine Foreign Debt with Corn, “The Latin American Gold”) with Andy Warhol, 1985; and Ágora de la Paz (Agora of Peace), 2013. Her work has been exhibited at such venues as Buenos Aires’ Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and Fundación Proa, and the São Paulo Biennial.
Proceeds from the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award dinner and ceremony will go toward fulfilling Americas Society’s mission to promote the visual arts and music of the Americas to a diverse audience in the United States. Previous recipients of the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award include Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco and Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel.