new-york

Cecilia Vicuna, Leoparda de Ojitos (Leopard of Little Eyes), 1976, oil on canvas, 55 3⁄8 × 35 1⁄2".

Cecilia Vicuña

Lehmann Maupin | New York, W 22 Street

Entering “La India Contaminada” (The Contaminated Indian), Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña’s first survey in New York, the viewer encountered Quipu Viscera (Visceral Quipu), 2017. Numerous swaths of unspun wool—dyed various shades of pink, peach, and heliotrope—cascaded from the ceiling, amassing in a fibrous, flesh-colored forest. While the first word of the work’s title refers to the intricate system of knotted cords used by pre-Columbian Andean cultures for accounting and record keeping (a concept that has motivated much of Vicuña’s fiber-based art since the mid-1960s), the second accurately describes the work’s intestinal appearance and bodily appeal. Immersive but not overtly interactive, the long and linty filaments simultaneously provoke and frustrate the desire to touch.

Vicuña’s Quipus have been characterized as “poems in space.” In fact, she is better known as a poet in

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