Bold and romantic, the oeuvre of Delia Cancela has the markings of a young artist. In her world, love and music live together in an impassioned vision. Delia is part of the generation of artists of the sixties connected to the Instituto Di Tella, the once epicenter of avant-garde contemporary Argentine art. Since that time, the idea of art that she has expressed and created in her work has been expansive. With this anthological exhibition and the important book that we publishing to accompany it, the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires celebrates her career.
The exhibition covers the different periods of her work with a broad selection that includes her first collages, such as Páginas Vogue / Vogue Pages (1962), and paintings that evoke the feminine universe and love, such as Corazón destrozado / Shattered Heart (1964), that form part of a series that Delia develops throughout her artistic life.
The poetics of Cancela has always been elusive in front of the canon of art, and this exhibition is oriented towards thinking of her work from a current perspective that revitalizes the reflections around it. Her oeuvre, dedicated to the feminine condition from a romantic vision, unfolds in space and manifests itself in an intimate and impassioned atmosphere.
Delia Cancela (Buenos Aires, 1940) studied art in the “Manuel Belgrano” and “Prilidiano Pueyrredón” schools. Starting 1964, she began to work together with her partner Pablo Mesejeán (Buenos Aires, 1937 - Paris, 1986), and both participate in numerous exhibitions, most notably Love and Life in the Lirolay Gallery (1965), the Bienal Americana de Arte in Córdoba (1966), and Experiencias visuales ‘67 and Experiencias ‘68 in the Instituto Di Tella. They won the Braque Prize in 1966 and undertake a residency in Paris. At the end of this decade they moved to New York and, in 1970, to London. There, their works were recognized immediately in the fashion world and are published in the Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Queen. They founded the British brand Pablo & Delia.
Afterwards, as an individual artist, Delia exhibited in the Centro de Arte y Comunicación in Buenos Aires and in various galleries in Paris, Europe and Asia. She also collaborated with other brands such as Hermès, Kenzo and Eres. Since 1999, she has resided in Buenos Aires and Paris. In 2000, she presented her retrospective show in the Centro Cultural Parque de España in Rosario, curated by María José Herrera, and then participated in collective exhibitions such as La Consagración de la Primavera in the Fundación OSDE (2010), Arte de contradicciones. Pop, realismos y política. Brasil – Argentina 1960 in the Fundación Proa (2012), The World Goes Pop in the Tate Modern (2015), and Mujeres radicales: arte latinoamericano, 1960-1985 in the Hammer Museum of Los Angeles (2017) and in the Pinacoteca do Estado of São Paulo (2018). Her work is in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Argentine Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes “Emilio Pettoruti”, the Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes “Emilio Caraffa” and the Museo Castagnino + Macro in Rosario.
She has received numerous distinctions such as the Premio Directorio a la Trayectoria given by the Argentine Fondo Nacional de las Artes (2004), the recognition of Personalidad Destacada from the Cultura de la Legislatura of the City of Buenos Aires (2013) and the Premio a la Trayectoria 2018 from the Argentine Secretaría de Cultura de la Nación.