Cover Image: Mira Schendel, Objeto grafico (detail), 1967. Courtesy of Ada Schendel. Photo by Oriol Tarridas.



  "Art will not be beauty and novelty,
but efficiency and agitation."

- Excerpt from “The Art of Meanings” - León Ferrari, 1968


The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 by Ella Fontanals-Cisneros to foster cultural exchange and enrichment of the arts. Over the years, CIFO has earned the respect of the international art world; and is recognized for its rich history in promoting Latin American contemporary art.


The foundation’s mission is to support and advance cultural understanding and educational dialogue among Latin American artists and global audiences. CIFO is a platform for emerging, mid-career and established Latin American artists through the Grants & Commissions Program, Traveling Exhibitions Program, The CIFO Collection, and other related art and cultural projects in the U.S. and internationally. Since 2002, CIFO has granted more than $1.5 Million to over 140 artists from Latin America and has exhibited their work.


CIFO is also the guardian of the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, one of the most important international collections of modern & contemporary art in the world. Many pieces of the EFC Collection are on long-term loan to such prestigious museums as the Tate Modern in London, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and others.

At CIFO, we believe in forging relationships within the art community. We strive to inspire Latin American artists, nurture their creativity and help them transcend as artists.



  Meet the CIFO Board of Directors

CIFO Founder & Honorary President
Board of Directors

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros




CIFO President


Manuel de Santaren


Claudia Cisneros
Mariela Cisneros-Mestre
Mayi de la Vega
Adriana Gomez Roca
Marianne Hernández
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Cuauhtémoc Medina
José Roca
Gloria Sesana


Emeritus Members


Manuel González

Lisa Phillips



The Advisory Committee


The Advisory Committee is a broad composition of internationally-recognized leading art professionals, curators, and artists from Latin America, the United States, and Europe-working in specific areas of emphasis and specialization.  This honorary committee selects the most challenging and innovative artists working in Latin America and nominates them for the Grants & Commissions Programs. After a rigorous review process, the annual recipients of CIFO grants and commissions are chosen by the Selection Committee and ratified by the CIFO Board of Directors. Click here for the complete Advisory Committee List.