The Argentine artist Elda Cerrato (92 years old, Asti, Italy) has received this Friday the Prize for Plastic Arts2022. This award is endowed with 100,000 euros and is awarded each year to an Ibero-American artist. The jury has highlighted Cerrato “for a broad and sustained experimental artistic work, until recently little recognized.
Apparently unconnected territories intersect in his work: spiritual searches, esoteric inquiries, radical politicization, anticipatory capacity of art, and a special call for attention to the fragility of democratic institutions in Latin America”. He has also pointed out that he “speaks of memory on the edges to account for a trajectory that is illuminated from the margins of hegemonic artistic movements, institutions and trends.”
Born in Italy in 1930, Cerrato is a visual artist, teacher, and researcher who lives and works in Buenos Aires. The theme of personal and collective memory has always been present in her work, developed through searches for esoteric, political territories or reflection on absence and presence.
Together with his partner, the experimental musician Luis Zubillaga, he joined the first groups of the mystical master Gurdjieff in Latin America since the 1950s and initiated other alternative spiritual and philosophical searches. In the sixties she was very close to the psychoanalyst Oscar Masotta.
She was linked to the cultural research center Instituto Di Tella and later to the CAYC (Center for Art and Communication of Buenos Aires). She was part, along with Juan Carlos Romero, of the foundation of the SUAP (Single Union of Plastic Artists). She lived in Venezuela in that decade and during the Argentine military dictatorship of Videla . There she was actively integrated into the cultural environment of Caracas and, in particular.
After the dictatorship, his work focused on denouncing the threats that hang over democratic life, in the continuous context of economic, political and social crisis that Argentina is experiencing.
In 2015, the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Buenos Aires, where she taught, published Memory on the Edges , which brings together her archives, along with texts by different authors and researchers. In 2021, the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires organized an anthological exhibition of his work under the title.
The Wonderful Day of the Peoples in which goes through a personal, political and social search. In an interview for the magazine the artist stated in 2021 “I find it difficult to differentiate my life from my painting because through it I find myself and myself with others.” She now works together with her son Luciano in the audiovisual project Family Reunion.