Five artists have been selected as recipients of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) Awards, marking the 20th anniversary of the Foundation and its 17thiteration of the initiative.
The Awards advance the practices of Latin American artists at every level of their careers through grants that enable the creation of major new commissions. The 2023 CIFO Award recipients are Andrés Ramírez Gaviria (Colombia), Adrian Melis (Cuba), and Alba Triana (Colombia), awarded at the emerging level; Jhafis Quintero (Panama), awarded at mid-career level; and Rosemberg Sandoval
(Colombia), recipient of the Achievement Award, which recognizes the innovative practice of an established artist. Together these artists represent a sampling of the boundary-pushing art being produced by artists from Latin America, working around the world, both at home and abroad.
A pillar of CIFO’s Grants and Commissions Program, the CIFO Awards have been granted to more than 150 artists since their inception. Awarded artists receive funding to create new artworks which will join the CIFO’s renowned collection of contemporary Latin American art. In addition to entering the CIFO collection, these new works will be exhibited internationally at leading partnering institutions, promoting appreciation and visibility for the artists’ works among a global audience.
“We founded CIFO twenty years ago to create visibility for the voices of Latin American artists worldwide and enable major new works to come to fruition,” said Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, Founder and Honorary President of CIFO. “We mark our 20th year by recognizing an incredible group of artists, whose works reflect some of the most exciting and important art coming from Latin America today.”
CIFO’s Honorary Advisory Committee comprised of leading art professionals, curators, and artists from Latin America, the United States, and Europe, nominated artists for consideration. A smaller Selection Committee reviewed proposals from the nominated artists detailing concepts for the creation of a major new work that actualizes concepts from the artists creative practice on a new scale. Artists were awarded in the following categories: Achievement, Mid-career, and Emerging.

AWARDED ARTISTS

ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Rosemberg Sandoval (1959, b. Colombia) is a pioneer of performance art in Colombia. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Cali and at the Universidad del Valle where he worked as a teacher in the Department of Visual Arts of the Faculty of Integrated Arts from 1995 to February 2016. He has exhibited since 1981 in important museums and cultural centers in Germany, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Canada, Uruguay, France and Colombia. His work can be found in private collections such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA), Daros in Zurich, Prometheus in Italy and modern art museums in our country such as: El MAMBO in Bogotá, Museo de Antioquia in Medellín, La Tertulia in Cali, MAM in Cartagena and Barranquilla and in galleries such as Casas Riegner in Bogotá.
Jhafis Quintero (1973, b. Panama) is a plastic artist and writer who began his career as an artist while serving 10 years in prison in Costa Rica, at the hands of artist Haru Wells, who was determined to show that art is an effective substitute for crime. His prison experience plays a prominent role in his work, with a unique perception of the passage of time and its implications for a body immersed in that particular time frame, and a constant reflection on death that slides over the lives of inmates. His artistic practice arises from his personal experiences in the prison world, silence, insecurity, but also imagination and creativity aimed at finding means of survival. He has had solo and collective exhibitions in museums in New York, Texas, Madrid, London, Barcelona, Istanbul, Brazil, Argentina and Tazmania, among others, and his work is part of private collections such as Daros (Switzerland), Cisneros and the National Center of Fine Arts in Paris. He is the author of ‘Maxims of Security’, ‘The owners of the world’ and ‘The House of Geckos’.
Andrés Ramírez Gaviria (1975, b. Colombia) studied media theory at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and earned a BFA from Boston University and an MA from the Winchester School of Art – University of Southampton. He lives and works in Vienna. His work has been exhibited in the Kunsthaus Graz; Kunsthaus Dresden; BA-CA Kunstforum and BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna; Ar/Ge Kunst, Italy; Caribbean Biennial and Museum of Modern Art, Santo Domingo; Museum of Modern Art (Mambo), Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, Bogotá; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; and Sonambiente and Transmediale, Berlin, among others. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Museums Quartier, Vienna and at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York. He was also the recipient of the Transmediale.06 Award. Two monographs of his work Between Forms of Representation and Interpretation and A Line, However Short, Has An Infinite Number of Points, have been published by Onomatopee in 2012 and Triton in 2016, respectively. His writing has appeared in Leonardo, #Errata, Flash Art International, among others. Together with Norbert Pfaffenbichler, he co-founded Sigmund in 2014 and Anna in 2016, two non-profit exhibition spaces in Vienna. He is also co-editor of the annually published journal Agency.
Adrian Melis (1985, b. Cuba) is a multidisciplinary Cuban artist based in Europe. Between 2014-2015 he attended the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten of Amsterdam. His work has been shown in several renowned museums and institutions including, among others, the Kunsthalle Basel (Basel, Switzerland); museum of modern artWarsaw (Warsaw, Poland); Wiels Brussels (Belgium); Pompidou Center (Paris, France); Pinchuk Art Center (kyiv, Ukraine); Pori Art Museum (Pori, Finland); From Apple Center (Amsterdam, the Netherlands); Queens Museum (NY, USA) and the 10th Shanghai Biennale (Shanghai, China). Since 2010 his work is represented by ADN Galería (Barcelona, Spain) where two of his solo shows in 2012 and 2013 were awarded by ‘Art Nou’ and the Association of galleries of Barcelona and ‘GAC Award’
(MACBA) for the best exhibition in a private gallery, respectively. His work has been shown in different art fairs including ARCO Madrid, LOOP Barcelona, Art Brussels, Artissima, FIAC Officielle. His work is in private collections and institutional, including Pori Art Museum (Finland); MAS Santander (Spain); MACBA Barcelona (Spain); Alain Servais Collection (Belgium); Lemaitre Collection (France); A. de Galbert Collection (France) and Teixeira de Freitas Collection (Portugal).
Alba Triana (1969, b. Colombia) is a Colombian-born sound and intermedia artist. Through immersive installations, sound and light sculptures, and vibrational objects, Alba’s work explores the relationship between the essence of the natural world and our human condition. Delving into vibration, energy, interconnectedness, and nature’s self-organization, Triana’s oeuvre probes how the vitality of everything, the alive and inert, greatly determines who we are and what emerges from ourselves. Alba has received the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship (Italy/US), South Arts State Fellowship (FL, US), and was the winner of awards in Colombia such as IDCT National Composition Contest, National Electroacoustic Music Contest, “Otto de Greiff” National Contest, and Alliance Française Best Exhibition 2008. She has obtained commissions, residences, and grants from Pro Helvetia (Switzerland), Kronos Quartet, Oolite Arts (US), GMEB (France), and the Ministry of Culture (Colombia). Her work has been shown at Centquatre-Paris, Biennale des Arts Numériques (France), Orange County Museum of Art (CA, US), CMMAS (Mexico), International Symposium of Electronic Arts, and Museum of Modern Art of Bogota (Colombia), among others. Her oeuvre belongs to art collections in Europe, Latin America, and the US, including the Otazu Collection and the Banco de la República de Colombia collection.
Ella Fontanals-Cisneros established the non-profit Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in 2002. The foundation’s mission is to support and foster cultural understanding and educational dialogue among Latin American artists and global audiences. CIFO serves as a platform for emerging, mid-career and established Latin American artists through the Grants & Commissions Program, including the new CIFO
Ars Electronica Award; the CIFO Collection; and other related art and cultural projects in the United States of America and internationally.
For more information about CIFO exhibitions, and other programs, visit cifo.org.
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