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b. 1980

Donna Huanca - Artists - Sean Kelly Gallery

Courtesy the artist, photographed by Tobias Willmann

Donna Huanca (b. Chicago, 1980) is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice explores the human body and the natural world, through mark-making, raw materials, immersive environments, and singular topographies. Encompassing painting, sculpture, and live performance, as well as sound and scent works, Huanca’s installations are characteristically created for, and integrate with, the specific architectural spaces in which they are presented. Her art is deeply invested in communal practice, exploring ritual at large as a means for transcendence, meditation and transformation. Since 2012, Huanca has collaborated with performers, inviting them to improvise and interact with her surrounding sculpture and installations, their painted skin a major element in the composition.

Interested in the transformation and fluidity of earthly cycles such as birth, decay, and renewal, Huanca layers multiple temporalities, transforming each work into the next. Her impermanent paintings on bodies become paintings on walls, once they have been photographed, collaged and partially covered with a new tactile layer. 

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Huanca attended The University of Houston before studying at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and Städelschule, Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Germany. She has had solo exhibitions with Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Mexico and Marfa Ballroom, Texas, and Belvedere Museum, Vienna. Her work has been exhibited at prominent institutions including Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen, DK; Museum of Modern Art PS1, NY; Yuz Museum, Shanghai, CN; Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao, ES; Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, FL; Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome, IT; Shiomonoseki Art Museum, Yamaguchi, JP; Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, FI, and Arnolfini, Bristol, UK. 

Concurrent with her inaugural exhibition at Sean Kelly, November 9–December 23, 2023, Huanca will be the subject of a major exhibition at the Faurschou Foundation, Brooklyn, New York, October 21, 2023–July 14, 2024.