Photo: Christian Tunge / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
On the occasion of the second Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award, for the first time in Europe, a selection of works by Guadalupe Maravilla will be presented in a solo exhibition.
A powerful experience!
Guadalupe Maravilla (b. 1976, El Salvador) is a visual artist working and residing in Brooklyn, New York. The exhibition presents more than 30 works by Guadalupe Maravilla, bringing together pieces from four major series of his body of work: Tripa Chuca; Embroideries; Disease Throwers; and Retablos.
The exhibition title, Sound Botánica, is a reference to botánicas, small stores that sells herbal and other traditional remedies, together with charms, incense, candles, and other items used for religious or spiritual purposes.
Several personal events in Maravilla's life have had an impact on his art. In 1984, at the age of eight, Maravilla immigrated to the United States as a single, undocumented child. He was fleeing the civil war in El Salvador. As an adult, he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy. To alleviate the side effects, he combined the treatment with other healing practices such as sound baths. The artist's interdisciplinary practice constantly refers to experiences with exile and illness, migration and healing.
The exhibition in Norway presents a survey of Maravilla’s considerable body of work:
A series of freestanding sculptures entitled Disease Throwers, which are created from found objects and materials collected while Maravilla retraces his migration journey, will be on display in the exhibition. At the heart of each sculpture is a gong that is activated during sound baths; a collective, ritual, and meditative healing experience created by the artist.
Tripa Chuca (Dirty Guts) is a reference to a Salvadorian game that Maravilla played during his childhood and along his migration route. The series is also represented in a site-specific work at the Henie Onstad, in which Maravilla “plays out” the game in collaboration with a previously undocumented person. In these drawings, Maravilla directly treats the topic of migration and his own immigration history.
In his Embroideries series, Maravilla condenses the thematic elements of his drawings. On each embroidered work, disembodied limbs, hands, and clenched fists are stitched with dripping blocks of ice (a reference to ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), skulls, and a hand sowing seeds. These are fictive, contemporary emblems created by the artist to symbolise resistance against the persecution of and political pressure on undocumented immigrants.
Retablos are devotional “ex-voto” paintings, a popular art form traditionally used to express gratitude for surviving dangerous events. In Maravilla’s retablos, and in the long inscriptions he has inscribed on each of them, the artist gives thanks and expresses gratitude for, among other things, a new chance in life after his cancer treatment, which has made it possible for him to continue as artist and healer.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated exhibition catalogue. One of the first publications presenting Guadalupe Maravilla's work, it features new essays by Michelle Kuo, danilo machado and Allie Tepper, a curatorial essay by Caroline Ugelstad, a foreword by Tone Hansen and by Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen, as well as a conversation between the artist and Diya Vij.
Guadalupe Maravilla is the recipient of The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award 2021.
Guadalupe Maravilla is Professor of the Practice at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, having received his MFA from Hunter College and his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. A solo exhibition, “Portals” was on view at ICA Miami in 2019, and in 2021 he presented the solo exhibition “Planeta Abuelx” at Socrates Sculpture Park, also offering a series of healing sound baths. His work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Nicaragua Biennial, Managua; and El Museo del Barrio, among other venues. He is a Guggenheim Fellow.
Awards and fellowships include Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship 2019, Soros Fellowship: Art Migration and Public Space 2019, Map Fund Grant 2019, Creative Capital Grant 2016, Franklin Furnace 2018, Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant 2016, Art Matters Grant 2013, Art Matters Fellowship 2017, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship 2018, Dedalus Foundation Grant 2013 and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation Award 2003. Residencies include LMCC Workspace, SOMA, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Drawing Center Open Sessions.
The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award is a partnership between the Lise and Arne Wilhelmsen family and the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. It was established in order to continue and honour Lise Wilhelmsen’s (1936–2019) commitment to the visual arts. The family’s commitment with the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter is confirmed for the next 16 editions, spanning 32 years, with the intention of a further extension.
The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award presents 100,000 USD in prize money to a distinguished artist whose work will inspire and motivate future generations to active participation and social responsibility.
Presented biennially, the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award is intended to mark a significant milestone in an artist's career and represents a financial commitment that places the art award among the most significant internationally.
In addition to the prize, there is an acquisition budget for the inclusion of the artist’s work in the Henie Onstad Collection, and the recipient will feature in a dedicated exhibition.
Alexandra Lenore Ashworth
Alexandra Lenore Ashworth
Martine Hoff Jensen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award
Mark DiConzo & KMDECO Creative Solutions
Edit, Color & Sound Design
Socrates Sculpture Park
Daniel Marcellus Givens
Rigoberto Lara Guzmán
Anonymous players of Tripa Chuca
Friends & loved ones of the artist
Guadalupe Maravilla and P·P·O·W, New York