The work of Doris Salcedo (b. 1958, Bogotá) is deeply rooted in her country’s social and political landscape, including its long history of civil conflicts. Her sculptures and installations address these fraught circumstances with elegance and a poetic sensibility that balances the gravitas of her subjects with subtle formality. Rather than making literal representations of violence or trauma, Salcedo’s artworks convey a sense of an absent, missing body and evoke a collective sense of loss. The resulting pieces engage with multiple dualities at once—strength and fragility, the ephemeral and the enduring—and bear elements of healing and reparation in the careful, laborious process of their making.
Salcedo grounds her art in rigorous fieldwork, which involves extensive interviews with people who have experienced loss and trauma in their everyday lives. This process imbues her work with an intimate connection to the personal that speaks to collective experiences and universal emotions. In more recent years, Salcedo has created large-scale, site-specific installations around the world, including in Turkey, Italy, England, and her native Colombia.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website