Thursday, 20 February 2020 21:50

February 28, 2020 | CIFO Announces the Recipients of the 2020 Grants & Commissions Program Award


















Photo: Left to right first row: Mid-Career Artist - Tania Candiani (Mexico); Emerging Artist - Rolando López (Mexico); Emerging Artist- Lucas Lugarinho (Mexico).

Left to right second row: Emerging Artist - Maria Noujaim (Brazil); Achievement Artist - Martha Araújo (Brazil); Mid-Career Artist- Simone Michelin (Brazil). 

Left to right third row: Mid-Career Artist - Adán Vallecillo (Honduras); Emerging Artist - Milton Raggi Vinueza (Cuba); Emerging Artist- Paloma Contreras Lomas (Mexico).





Madrid, Spain (February 28, 2020) — The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 CIFO Grants & Commissions Program Award. The accompanying exhibition of new works by the awarded artists will be presented in the fall of 2020. The 2020 Grants & Commissions Program Award recognizes nine (9) Latin American artists representing four (4) different countries, across three (3) categories: The Achievement Award recipient Martha Araújo (Brazil); Mid-Career Artists —Tania Candiani (Mexico), Simone Michelin (Brazil) and Adán Vallecillo (Honduras); and Emerging artists— Paloma Contreras Lomas (Mexico), Rolando López (Mexico), Lucas Lugarinho (Mexico), Maria Noujaim (Brazil) and Milton Raggi Vinueza (Cuba).


The Grants & Commissions Program, CIFO’s signature initiative now in its 18th itineration, has presented its accompanying exhibition at international partnering institutions since 2018. In 2018 the exhibit took place at the Centro Cultural Metropolitano (MetQUITO) in Quito, Ecuador; in 2019 the awardees presented their work at El Museo del Barrio in New York City. Further details on the upcoming exhibition will be announced at a later date.


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.”

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.”

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”.

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.”

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)


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About CIFO

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 dialog 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, 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, please visit and follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.




Gabriela Borja

CIFO | Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation  

Marketing and Communications Manager

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