The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in Miami has named the nine recipients of its 15th annual Grants & Commissions Program, including an achievement award to the post-conceptual artist Daniel Joseph Martinez.
Martinez, an American artist based in Los Angeles, is perhaps best known for his contribution to the controversial 1993 Whitney Biennial, in which he designed the admission buttons, which when read together read I CAN’T IMAGINE EVER WANTING TO BE WHITE. His 2012 text-based sculptures of police riot shields received much attention and praise during the 2017 Armory Show, where they were on offer by his L.A. gallery Roberts & Tilton.
“Daniel Joseph Martinez has got a very clear voice. He’s an amazing artist,” CIFO president Manuel de Santaren told ARTnews. “Because of his ability and reputation, it became a really important work to have in the exhibition. The work will speak strongly and for itself.”
He declined to provide further details about the work, which is still in production before its debut at a Grants & Commissions exhibition to September 7 at the CIFO Art Center in Miami. A press release hints that Martinez’s proposal will look at recent photographs he took featuring historical borders of West Berlin and “iconic images of German left-wing militant Ulrike Meinhof.”
In the release, Martinez said, “I have constructed my current art practice to respond to the inquiry: How is it possible to arrive at a mode of art making that offers freedom and autonomy to the artist? I am trying to search out and create a language of intervention appropriate to our time and to the emerging crises of the human condition in the 21st century.”
Founded by prominent collector Ella Fontanals-Cisneros in 2002, CIFO has sought to bring wider attention to artists working in Latin America and Latinx artists with its exhibition space in Miami. Among its programs is the annual Grants & Commission Program, for which artists, nominated by a network of CIFO-affiliated curators and artists, submit proposals for new work to be debuted at an annual exhibition in September.
“The one thing that’s always important in my mind is our ability to give emerging, mid-career, and established artists a venue and a voice, whatever their message is,” de Santaren said. “It’s important to put that out there so everyone can see what’s happening in that part of the world.” That the foundation supports artists from Latin America, he added, “doesn’t mean what we do is regional—the message is universal.”
The full list follows below.
Ilich Castillo (Ecuador)
Alana Iturralde (Puerto Rico)
Juan Carlos Osorno (Colombia)
Celia y Yunior (Cuba)
Katherinne Fiedler (Peru)
Ulrik López (Puerto Rico)
Richard Garet (Uruguay)
Fredy Alzate (Colombia)
Daniel Joseph Martinez (United States)