North Miami museum to host Alice Rahon, Cecilia Vicuña exhibitions

Alice Rahon

Alice Rahon, ‘Next Morning,’ 1958 (detail). Collection of Frances and Don Baxter

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami will host two exhibitions showcasing women artists ― late artist Alice Rahon’s “Poetic Invocations,” and artist Cecilia Vicuña’s “Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen” ― during Miami Art Week in December. Both exhibitions will open on Tuesday, Nov. 26, and will remain on view through Sunday, March 29, 2020.

MOCA will host a Miami Art Week reception on Thursday, Dec. 5; VIP reception (invitation only) from 6–8 p.m., open to the public from 8–11 p.m. General admission is $20; it is free for MOCA members and North Miami residents.

“Poetic Invocations” marks the first solo show dedicated to Rahon’s work in the U.S. in 55 years. The exhibition aims to contribute to the scholarship and recognition of under-explored women artists, and to the intercultural influences on European artists in exile in the Americas, whose work was often deeply marked by indigenous and archaic cultures. Born in France and later nationalized as a Mexican, Rahon joined the Parisian Surrealist circle as a poet, but once in Mexico, she turned her creativity mainly to painting. She became an active a member of a group of European Surrealists artists in exile including Remedios Varo, Benjamin Péret, Leonora Carrington and Kati Horna. This exhibition examines a robust art-historical moment that emerged in 1940 as an international community of artists fled World War II in Europe and settled in Mexico. It will feature approximately 30 works including paintings, works on paper, as well as archival material to put an emphasis on Rahon´s oeuvre as a whole. The exhibition is guest curated by Mexico-City based art historian Tere Arcq. Arcq has worked as chief curator at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City, and as an independent curator has produced many high-profile exhibitions.

Alice Rahon

Cecilia Vicuña, ‘Quipu Viscera’ (detail), 2017. Mixed media, wool, bamboo. Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans. Photo by Alex Marks

The first major U.S. solo exhibition of influential Chilean-born artist Cecilia Vicuña: “Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen” traces Vicuña’s career-long commitment to exploring discarded and displaced materials, peoples and landscapes in a time of global climate change. It is comprised of Vicuña’s multidisciplinary work in performance, sculpture, drawing, video, text and site-specific installations created over 40 years. Vicuña’s work reflects the overlapping dialogs of conceptual art, land art, poetry and feminist art practices. For the first time in this traveling exhibition, the show will include painting, a practice which Vicuña began during the 1960s and to which she has recently returned―in some cases, repainting lost paintings from memory.

The exhibition will include an expansive presentation of Vicuña’s precario sculptures, which the artist began creating in 1966. Vicuña assembles these “precarious works” from bits of wood, thread and other found objects into temporary small sculptures that despite their modest scale have a surprising dynamism and energy. The exhibition also features the installation Burnt Quipu (2018), in which lengths of dyed wool hang floor to ceiling, connecting earth and sky, in tribute to the losses experienced in the recent forest fires in the greater West Coast region. Burnt Quipu is part of Vicuña’s long-standing artistic exploration of the ancient Andean writing tradition of record-keeping with knots, an advanced communication system inhibited during colonization.

“Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen” is organized by the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (CAC), and co-curated by Andrea Andersson, The Helis Foundation Chief Curator of Visual Arts at the CAC, and Julia Bryan-Wilson, Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley.

“Hosting these important exhibitions during Miami Art Week is one of our many great accomplishments at MOCA. Following the success of last year’s Miami Art Week exhibition being selected as an official Collateral Event of the Biennale Arte 2019, we are pleased to this year showcase these two impactful exhibitions that focus on women artists,” said Chana Sheldon, MOCA’s executive director.