Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña is a recipients of the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement of the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia - The Milk of Dreams.


The decision was approved by La Biennale's Board of Directors chaired by Roberto Cicutto, upon recommendation of the Curator of the 59th International Art Exhibition, Cecilia Alemani.

The awards ceremony was held during the Biennale’s inauguration on April 23rdat Ca' Giustinian, the headquarters of La Biennale di Venezia.


About her recommendation, Alemani shared: "Vicuña is an artist and a poet, and has devoted years of invaluable effort to preserving the work of many Latin American writers, translating and editing anthologies of poetry that might otherwise have been lost. Vicuña is also an activist who has long fought for the rights of Indigenous peoples in Chile and the rest of Latin America. In the visual arts, her work has ranged from painting, to performance, all the way to complex assemblages. Her artistic language is built around a deep fascination with Indigenous traditions and non-Western epistemologies. For decades, Vicuña has travelled her own path, doggedly, humbly, and meticulously, anticipating many recent ecological and feminist debates and envisioning new personal and collective mythologies. Many of her installations are made with found objects or scrap materials, woven into delicate compositions where microscopic and monumental seem to find a fragile equilibrium: a precarious art that is both intimate and powerful."

"It is a great honor and a joy for me to receive the Golden Lion Award” - said Cecilia Vicuña – “at a time when humanity is trying to keep peace and justice against all odds. I believe our art and consciousness can play a role in the urgent need to move away from violence and destruction, to save our environment from impeding collapse. Venice is particularly meaningful to me. Some of my paternal ancestors came to Chile from Northern Italy in the 19th century, so I learned to love its history and art as a child. My grandparents would be honored to know of the Award. My maternal line is indigenous, so I am very proud to be part the Venice Biennale curated by Cecilia Alemani, that highlights ‘artists imagining a posthuman condition challenging the presumed Western condition using the white man as a measure of all things.’  I am joined by an extraordinary set of artists sharing in the spirit of The Milk of Dreams we badly need to find a new way of being in this Earth." 


Cecilia Vicuña received her M.F.A. from the National School of Fine Arts, University of Chile and continued with postgraduate studies at Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Recent solo exhibitions include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (forthcoming 2022); Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M), Madrid, Spain (2021); MUAC, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico (2020); and Kunstinstituut Melly Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2019). Her work is in numerous private and public collections, including Tate, London; MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Guggenheim Museum; The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Santiago; MALBA, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL.

Vicuña is the author of 27 volumes of art and poetry published in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. Her filmography includes documentaries, animation, and visual poems. Vicuña has received several awards, including the Premio Velázquez de Artes Plásticas, Madrid, Spain (2019); Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, Santa Monica, CA (2019); Anonymous Was a Woman Award, New York, NY (1999); and The Andy Warhol Foundation Award, New York, NY (1997). In 2015 she was appointed The Messenger Lecturer at Cornell University, and in 2017 her work was part of Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece, and Kassel, Germany.