Doris Salcedo

© doris salcedo

Fondation Beyeler
Until September 17

The Fondation Beyeler will devote a large solo exhibition to internationally acclaimed Colombian artist Doris Salcedo (*1958), featuring key works from the different phases of her career. It will be Salcedo’s first museum exhibition in Switzerland. In her objects, sculptures, and site-specific interventions, she explores the ever-repeating cycle of violence, outrage, grief, remembrance, and oblivion. Salcedo ranks among the most important artists of our time. Her large-scale installation “Palimpsest” (2013-2017), which is concerned with the fate of refugees and migrants who have drowned in the Mediterranean or the Atlantic, has been on view at the Fondation Beyeler since October 9, 2022 and will remain on display until the end of this exhibition.

Salcedo’s compelling works are the outcome of years of socio-political research, experimentation with techniques and materials, and questing for artistic form. Salcedo’s interest centres on cross-cultural emotions and sensations such as empathy and grief, as well as our handling of the ever-repeating cycle of forgetting and remembering in the context of violent conflicts. Even though her works often take specific events as their starting point, their reach is universal and their impact inescapable. Rather than simplistic depictions, Salcedo searches for viewers’ shared emotions and sensations. Salcedo works with a wide range of materials: stone and cement, wooden furniture, needles, items of clothing, silk, grass, water, flower petals or hair. Her unusual transformation of these materials allows her to «represent violence without violence» and to make pain and suffering palpable without showing them explicitly.

The approximately 100 works on display, from eight major series of works, comprise key pieces on loan from museums and private collections, and provide a comprehensive insight into the practice of this significant artist.