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A mountain of chairs piled between buildings. Shoes sewn behind animal membranes into a wall. A massive crack running through the floor of Tate Modern. Powerful works like these by sculptor Doris Salcedo evoke the significance of bearing witness and processes of collective healing. Salcedo, who lives and works in Bogotá, roots her art in Colombia’s social and political landscape—including its long history of civil wars—with an elegance and poetic sensibility that balances the gravitas of her subjects. Her work is undergirded by intense fieldwork, including interviews with people who have suffered loss and endured trauma from political violence. In recent years, Salcedo has become increasingly interested in the universality of these experiences and has expanded her research to Turkey, Italy, Great Britain, and the United States.

Published to accompany Salcedo’s first retrospective exhibition and the American debut of her major work Plegaria muda, Doris Salcedo is the most comprehensive survey of her sculptures and installations to date. In addition to featuring new contributions by respected scholars and curators, the book includes over one hundred color illustrations highlighting many pieces from Salcedo’s thirty-year career. Offering fresh perspectives on a vital body of work, Doris Salcedo is a testament to the power of one of today’s most important international artists.

See sample pages from the book (PDF format).

240 pages | 105 color plates | 8 7/8 x 11 | © 2015

Art: Art Criticism, Art--Biography, Art--General Studies


“Gives readers an inspirational look at this seminal artist. . . . Recommended.”


“[Salcedo’s] first major retrospective . . . is an important one for American audiences, collecting as it does decades of sculptures that explore dark psychic places.”

Village Voice, on the exhibition

“Salcedo presents an important, even essential, means of thinking about memorializing incomprehensible suffering, about speaking of and to loss, about remembering what victims are no longer present to remind us of.” 

Forward, on the exhibition

Table of Contents

Director’s Foreword

Madeleine Grynsztejn


Madeleine Grynsztejn and Julie Rodrigues Widholm


Madeleine Grynsztejn

Presenting Absence: The Work of Doris Salcedo

Julie Rodrigues Widholm

Seeing Things

Elizabeth Adan


Doris Salcedo’s Readymade Time

Helen Molesworth

The Muted Drum: Doris Salcedo’s Material Elegies

Katherine Brinson

A Work in Mourning

Doris Salcedo

Exhibition History


Compiled by Steven L. Bridges

Exhibition Checklist


Exhibition Sponsors

Lenders to the Exhibition


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