NYX, Milton Raggi Vinueza (2020) on view at MARCO. Photos by: German&Gerardo, Courtesy of CIFO 


Habitar (Inhabit)

CIFO's 2020 Grants & Commissions Program Exhibition



Museo De Arte Contemporáneo De Monterrey

March 9, 2023 - June 4, 2023



Photo: Adan Vallecillo, ‘Filograma’, 2020 on view at MARCO


The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey is pleased to host the exhibition of award-winning artists from the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Habitar. The exhibition brings together unpublished works by nine Latin American artists selected for the 18th edition of the 2020 Grants & Commissions Program, organized in 2020. The artists recognized in the program and participating in the exhibition are Martha Araújo ( Brazil), Tania Candiani (Mexico), Simone Michelin (Brazil), Adán Vallecillo (Honduras), Paloma Contreras Lomas (Mexico), Rolando López (Mexico), Lucas Lugarinho (Mexico), María Noujaim (Brazil) and Milton Raggi Vinueza (Cuba).


The works created especially for this call will be exhibited for the first time and their venue will be MARCO, under the curatorship of Taiyana Pimentel, director of the Museum, who in some cases selected additional works to the award-winning ones. The works coincide in an exploration of the body and performative practice. Another relevant interest in the works is the investigation between art and technology, as well as attitudes towards technological supports.


In 2004, CIFO founded the Grants and Commissions Program to support and recognize contemporary Latin American artists. Since then, each edition has been exhibited at the collection's Miami headquarters, but since 2018 it has traveled to other venues. That year it was exhibited at the Metropolitan Cultural Center of Quito (metQUITO), in Ecuador; In 2019 it was presented at the Museo del Barrio in New York City, in the United States.


The production of the artists that make up the exhibition have in common research, field work and historical and social questioning of the problems of Latin America. They also explore the body, the installation and the image from a contemporary perspective.


The Cisneros Fontanals Foundation for the Arts (CIFO) is a non-profit organization founded by Ella Fontanals-Cisneros in 2002. The mission of the foundation is to support and promote cultural understanding and educational exchange between Latin American artists and the public. international.



simone micheline marco


PhotoSimone Micheline, ‘Caiçara #1, Safe Room’, 2020 on view at MARCO 



The 2020 CIFO Grants & Commissions Program Award recipients are as follows:


Grants & Commissions: Achievement Award


The art of Martha Araújo (Brazil) emerged during the last years of the military dictatorship in Brazil. These adverse circumstances shaped an existential artistic discourse focused on the limits of the body, the play between repression and freedom, and the relationship between the “self” and the “other.” “The main issue for me has always been the “other.” My works are only complete through the “other.” Such is my problem and my redemption.” ---- Martha Araújo 


Nominated by: Jesús Fuenmayor (Venezuela).



Grants & Commissions: Mid-Career Artists


The artistic strategy of Tania Candiani (Mexico) is based on the reinterpretation of elements found in ritual and artisanal traditions. In her work we see a negotiation between the past and the present, a poetics of memory that relies on the persistence of knowledge. “I find interest in translating the different elements of traditional dance, where a living and changing syncretism can be revealed, into the language of contemporary art, in order to stimulate a bridge between two artistic thoughts of a different nature.” ---- Tania Candiani


Nominated by: Carlos Garaicoa (Cuba).




The work of Simone Michelin (Brazil) is located halfway between the physical and the virtual. As part of her ongoing technological experimentation, virtual reality (VR) allows the artist to recreate aspects of the instability and violence of everyday life in Brazil. “The goal is not to represent reality, but to present possible realities, to provide encounters, diversified approaches to the Real”. ---- Simone Michelin


Nominated by: Berta Sichel (Spain)




Adán Vallecillo’s recent creative practice is based on a relationship between raw and manufactured materials. Field investigations are the starting point of his work, in which the symbolic value of the material is key to understanding the historic and social substrate of his conceptual premise. “I take art as a tool of knowledge and an excuse for spurring reflection and critical debate.” ---- Adan Vallecillo


Nominated by: Michy Marxuach (Puerto Rico) and Cecilia Fajardo-Hill (U.S.A).


Grants & Commissions: Emerging Artists


Field investigation is essential for Paloma Contreras Lomas (Mexico), whose work focuses in the creation of fictions that allow her to question imposed narratives. This practice of “fiction as resistance” (the artist’s terminology) is based on an expansion of writing into other media and in the positioning of the viewer as active agent in the narrative.


Nominated by: Yoshua Okón (Mexico)




Through the photo-essay, Rolando López (Mexico) reflects ironically on the contradictions that exist between the lucrative activities of the Guggenheim family businesses, and the noxious environmental impact of these industries in Mexico.


Nominated by: Yoshua Okón (Mexico) 




Operating from a multidisciplinary methodology, Lucas Lugarinho (Mexico) proposes the image as a living and self-sufficient organism that functions within a sort of postmodern digital ecosystem, in which human beings and machines participate.


Nominated by: Guillermo Santamarina (Mexico)




The recent work of Maria Noujaim (Brazil) has focused on the origins of language and its connections with drawing and calligraphy. In an attempt to fuse form and language through the body, Noujaim articulates sculpture and performance in her creative discourse.


Nominated by: Kaira Cabañas (U.S.A)




Milton Raggi Vinueza (Cuba) focuses on the recycling and repurposing of objects as a narrative of Cuban socio-cultural behavior. Within his project, the process and the context are two fundamental variables that contribute to the construction of meaning.


Nominated by: Cristina Vives (Cuba)


 maria noujaim elliptical writing


Photo: Maria Noujaim, ‘Elliptical Writing’, 2020 on view at MARCO



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