The recipient of
The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme


Guadalupe Maravilla

Disease Thrower #4
EXVOTO Kambo Retablo
I want to thank the fire and water Retablo

Henie Onstad Kunstsenter has the pleasure to announce Guadalupe Maravilla as the recipient of The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award 2021.

Guadalupe Maravilla (b. 1976, El Salvador) is a visual artist working and residing in Brooklyn, New York. In 1984, aged eight, Maravilla immigrated to the United States as an undocumented, unaccompanied child, fleeing civil war in El Salvador. When as an adult, he was diagnosed with cancer, Maravilla was treated with radiation and chemotherapy alongside his own healing practices and became cancer free. Both events have had an impact on Maravilla’s artistic practice and are present in his artworks.

Guadalupe Maravilla is an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of The Arts in the Department of Sculpture and Extended Media, having received his MFA from Hunter College and his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. A solo exhibition, “Portals” was on view at ICA Miami in 2019, and in 2021 he presented the solo exhibition “Planeta Abuelx” at Socrates Sculpture Park, also offering a series of healing sound baths. His work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Nicaragua Biennial, Managua; and El Museo del Barrio, among other venues. He is a Guggenheim Fellow.

Awards and fellowships include Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship 2019, Soros Fellowship: Art Migration and Public Space 2019, Map Fund Grant 2019, Creative Capital Grant 2016, Franklin Furnace 2018, Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant 2016, Art Matters Grant 2013, Art Matters Fellowship 2017, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship 2018, Dedalus Foundation Grant 2013 and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation Award 2003. Residencies include LMCC Workspace, SOMA, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Drawing Center Open Sessions.


The jury says

Guadalupe Maravilla’s interdisciplinary practice constantly refers to his experiences of exile and illness, migration and healing, identity and displacement. Yet Maravilla’s work is also far more than his life. Building on personal narratives but venturing far afield into pre-Columbian mythologies, collective memory, geopolitical history, and material culture, the artist constructs artworks that act. His sculptures and elaborate constructions are also performative tools; he collaborates with others to create interactive wall drawings; he has choreographed a motorcycle gang chorus,and crossed the Rio Grande using one of his artworks as a flotation device. When New York became the epicenter of the corona virus pandemic, Maravilla organised mutual aid work across the city supporting undocumented immigrant communities with food and money, a continuation of his ongoing commitment to immigrant communities.

The composition of the jury

Tone Hansen

Leader of the jury

Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen

Founder / Jury Member

Caroline Ugelstad

Jury Member

Michelle Kuo

Jury Member

María Inés Rodríguez

Jury Member

Elvira Dyangani Ose

Jury Member

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  • Gaudalupe Maravilla, Disease Thrower #4, 2019. Courtesy of Guadalupe Maravilla and P·P·O·W, New York
  • Gaudalupe Maravilla, EXVOTO Kambo Retablo, 2021. Courtesy of Guadalupe Maravilla and P·P·O·W, New York
  • Gaudalupe Maravilla, I want to thank the fire and water Retablo, 2021. Private Collection. Courtesy of Guadalupe Maravilla and P·P·O·W, New York
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