Blanton hosts international artist

Matthew Adams

The Blanton Museum of Art hosted artist Doris Salcedo for a lecture Friday and to celebrate the opening of an exhibit of Salcedo’s work. 

According to museum director Simone Wicha, the Blanton is featuring an exhibit with Salcedo’s work now through Feb. 22. Wicha said Salcedo spent much of her time in the morning talking with graduate art students at UT during her visit Friday. 

“Today has been a unique and exciting day for those students and for all of us here tonight to have Doris here in Austin to give us her perspective on art,” Wicha said.

Since the mid-1980s, Salcedo has worked on sculptures and installations that depict political violence, persecution and racism. Salcedo’s pieces focus on the contemporary works of her native country of Colombia and look more broadly at conflicts around the world.

“When it comes to talking about art, I have a hard time talking about it,” Salcedo said. “But when it comes to my art, I find it even more difficult.”

Within her works, Salcedo said trying to depict mourning is sometimes a frontier that people cannot penetrate, and, although it may not be clear, violence always makes an image for itself. 

Out of her art works, some of the pieces she talked about at the lecture included “A Flor de Piel” and “Noviembre 6 y 7.” In “A Flor de Piel,” Salcedo sewed thousands of petals together to represent lingering between life and death and how vulnerable the petals are. “Noviembre 6 y 7” depicts the 1985 Colombian Supreme Court hostage situation when a guerilla group held the supreme court for two days. 

Salcedo said she cannot see herself doing any other kind of art. 

“I am thankful for everything I have,” Salcedo said. “I am especially thankful for those who allowed me to tell their story. Without them, I would not be here.”