B. 1983, Ayacucho, Peru. Lives and works in Amsterdam and Lima.

Claudia Martínez Garay’s works often reflect on indigenous artifacts, particularly from pre-Columbian cultures, and the ways that colonialist views engender false cultural narratives. Her research-based practice culminates in layered mixed-media installations that expose the violence and power struggles behind the creation of history.
In fall 2019, Martínez Garay’s work …imaywanpas quidakuwakmi… (…but you can stay with my stuff…) (2017) was included in the Aichi Triennale’s mini-exhibition “After ‘Freedom of Expression’?”—a show that had been censored around the world. After only three days, it was shut down due to safety concerns, leading Martínez Garay and over 70 other artists to speak out against its censorship. That year, she was also featured in the Istanbul Biennial and the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, and won the Emerging Artist Award from the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation.
Claudia Martínez Garay
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Claudia Martínez Garay
For her first solo show in the Netherlands, “A las revoluciones, como a los árboles, se les reconoce por sus frutos,” which opened in November 2019 at GRIMM, Martínez Garay transformed the space into an ever-changing installation. Between brightly painted walls, she created a mural that juxtaposed paintings of Peruvian plants—agave and maize—with a Pop art–inspired portrait of a white man dressed in a native headdress, making evident the aftermath of colonialism in her native Peru. Martínez Garay is due to have a forthcoming solo show at the Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, China.

The Artsy Vanguard 2020

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The Artsy Vanguard 2020 is our annual list of the most promising artists shaping the future of contemporary art. This year, artists are organized into two categories: Newly Emerging, which presents artists who’ve gained momentum in the past year, showing at leading institutions and galleries; and Getting Their Due, which identifies artists who have persevered for decades, yet only recently received the spotlight they deserve. Now in its third edition, the feature was developed by the Artsy staff, in collaboration with our network of international curators and art professionals. Explore more of The Artsy Vanguard 2020.
Sarah Dotson is Artsy’s Managing Editor.
Header and thumbnail image, from left to right: Claudia Martínez Garay, “Muy blanco para indio y muy poco para blanco / Too white for a cholo, not enough for a white man,” 2020; Claudia Martínez Garay, “Maiz,” 2020; Portrait of Claudia Martínez Garay by Rutger de Vries; Claudia Martínez Garay, “¡Kachkaniraqkun! / ¡Somos aún! / ¡We are, still!,” 2018. All images: courtesy of the artist and GRIMM.