Art Exhibition—Belkis Ayón “Ya Estamos Aquí”

Just a reminder that “Belkis Ayón: Ya estamos aquí (We’re Here Already)” is on view at Ludwig Forum Aachen (located at Jülicher Straße 97–109, Aachen, Germany) until March 19, 2023.

Description: The Ludwig Forum Aachen is pleased to present Ya Estamos Aquí (Spanish for: We’re Here Already), the first survey exhibition of the Cuban artist Belkis Ayón (Havana, 1967–1999) in the German-speaking world. With a selection of around seventy works created in the period from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, the exhibition introduces key creative periods of the artist’s career.

The figures, symbols, and rituals in her collagraphs are borrowed from the Afro-Cuban secret society Abakuá, reserved exclusively for men, which Ayón studied intensively throughout her life. In her personal adaptations of Abakuá mythologies, she brings together concepts of syncretism, meaning the fusion of different belief systems, with questions about gender equality and hierarchical power structures. For her updated depictions of this myth, the artist used the process of collagraphy—a printing technique in which collaged and textured materials are painstakingly layered onto a cardboard matrix. Ayón already discovered collagraphy during her studies at the Academie Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro and developed it to mastery with great precision in the course of her short career.

The exhibition takes visitors from the early, to some extent still colored works from the artist’s student days (1982–1991), through the multi-part series Via Crucis (Way of the Cross), made in 1995 for an exhibition in nearby Breinig, to the increasingly spatial and abstract collagraphs of the second half of the 1990s. Starting with nineteen prints and three matrices from the early 1990s, which are part of the Peter und Irene Ludwig Collection at Ludwig Forum Aachen, the exhibition was expanded by loans from the Belkis Ayón Estate, as well as a selection of ephemera and archive materials. In her own words, Belkis Ayón always sought to question “the human, the fleeting feeling, the spiritual”—themes now opened up to a broader audience in the exhibition Ya Estamos Aquí.

Curated by Eva Birkenstock and Annette Lagler
Assistant Curator: Ana Sophie Salazar
Exhibition Design: Studio Manuel Raeder, Berlin

The exhibition project was organized in collaboration with the Belkis Ayón Estate, Havana, with the generous support of the Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung, STAWAG, the Landschaftsverband Rheinland, and the Friends of the Ludwig Forum.

For more information, see https://ludwigforum.de/en/event/belkis-ayon-ya-estamos-aqui/ and https://www.e-flux.com/announcements/479976/belkis-aynya-estamos-aqu-we-re-here-already/

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