November 22, 2007 - Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) - Fortunate Objects
November 22, 2007

Fortunate Objects

Olafur Eliasson
Blue double kaleidoscope, 2005 (detail)
Stainless steel, color effect filter glass, mirror
88 1/2 x 67 x 122 inches
(2.25 x 1.70 x 3.10 m)
Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
Photo: Jens Ziehe


December 5, 2007 – February 24, 2008

Exhibition Drawn from the
Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection
to Coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach 2007
in December

The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, known as CIFO, has announced the presentation of Fortunate Objects: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, an exhibition curated by CIFO Chief Curator Cecilia Fajardo-Hill showcasing contemporary art inspired by seemingly ordinary, everyday objects. On view from December 5, 2007 to February 24, 2008, the exhibition will coincide with the international art fair Art Basel Miami Beach (Dec. 6-9 2007). It will feature works by leading artists such as Ai Weiwei, Damien Hirst and José Antonio Hernández-Diez, drawn from the exceptional collection assembled by international patron and arts advocate Ella Fontanals-Cisneros.

Since the early twentieth century, contemporary artists have incorporated the use of everyday objects–such as readymades, Dada assemblages, collages, and contemporary installations–in an ever-increasing attempt to bridge the distance between art and life. Fortunate Objects is about the space explored between art and life; about the processes taking place within this gap, and in some cases, the merging of the two. The exhibition surveys the many possibilities that exist in contemporary art through the reuse and reinterpretation of everyday things, be they found, constructed, bought, appropriated, instrumental or invented. The show features 59 works in various media by international emerging and established artists from different generations, ranging in scale from the monumental to the intimate.

Fortunate Objects proposes a playful, imaginative, curious and unexpected approach to objects used in daily life,” said Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Chief Curator of CIFO and the curator for the exhibition. “This show celebrates and investigates the nature of the objects surrounding us, and in doing so, encourages us to reexamine our environment and ourselves.”

CIFO’s founder Ella Fontanals-Cisneros added, “Fortunate Objects is an expression of CIFO’s commitment to showcasing contemporary art of the highest caliber that will excite, inspire and engage audiences in Miami. This exhibition offers a wide-ranging view of an enduring artistic practice–and through these artists’ work, we gain a new way of seeing our world.”

Fortunate Objects is structured around three main themes: the appropriated object, the surrogate object, and the object utilized. The appropriated object refers to the reuse of mass-produced objects in the form of assisted readymades, such as ‘Forever’ Bicycles by Ai Weiwei, Móvil by Marcela Astorga, and Mobile Home by Moris. The surrogate object features work that re-invents common objects, such as Einstein Table Upset or Blue Double Kaleidoscope by Olafur Eliasson, The Body of Christ by Damien Hirst (pill cabinet), El Gran Patriarca by José Antonio-Hernandez-Diez (billiard table), and Favela by Jon Kessler. The third section, the object utilized, involves the use of objects to ascribe meaning or produce new forms or themes, such as the chalkboards by Priscilla Monge, Mona Hatoum’s frottages, José Damasceno’s Durante o Caminho Vertical (an installation with shoe soles), and Donna Conlon’s video Espectros Urbanos. This particular section also includes photography revolving around the tradition of the still life, including modernist works by Paulo Pires and Geraldo de Barros, and more contemporary photographers such as Gabriel Orozco, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Peter Fischli and David Weiss.

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros began collecting contemporary art in the 1970s, and today her collection includes important and cutting-edge pieces by some of the leading artists of our time. Collection highlights include photography by Barbara Kruger, Ana Mendieta, and Thomas Struth; abstract works by Barbara Hepworth, Jesús Soto, and Gego; and video installations by Bill Viola, Chantal Akerman, and Julian Rosenfeldt.

Art Basel Miami Beach Special Events & Hours
Wed., Dec. 5 – Sun., Dec. 9, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

CIFO will host a series of special events during Fortunate Objects in celebration of Art Basel Miami
Beach 2007:

Wednesday, December 5
9 a.m. to Noon: Breakfast at CIFO
10:30 am: Fluxus Concert featuring Descarga with Robert Chambers

Friday, December 7
Opening Brunch for Fortunate Objects: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection
9:00 a.m. – Noon: By Invitation Only

Friday, December 7
Book Launch: CIFO and Charta release the new exhibition catalogue, Fortunate Objects and the second edition of Sites of Latin America Abstraction.

Saturday, December 8
9 a.m. to Noon: Breakfast at CIFO
10:30 am: Contemporary Art: Technology, Interactivity and the Object:
A panel discussion moderated by Dan Cameron and including Leandro Erlich, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and
Jon Kessler.

Sunday, December 9
9 a.m. to Noon: Breakfast at CIFO

Exhibition Catalogue and Brochure
Fortunate Objects: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 160-page catalogue.This catalogue can be purchased in paperback and hardcover.

Visitors to the show are provided with a variety of education materials, including a free, illustrated brochure designed to provide information concerning the exhibition and its related programs and events. The exhibition and programs brochure and the catalogue will be available in the admissions desk.

About CIFO
The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2002 by Ella Fontanals-Cisneros and her family to foster cultural and educational exchange within the visual arts. CIFO has three primary initiatives:
• CIFO Art Space — a permanent venue for the presentation of engaging and provocative contemporary art exhibitions highlighting works from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, works by its grantees and commissioned artists, and experimental, challenging art programs;
• Grants and Commissions Programs supporting emerging and mid-career contemporary artists from Latin America; and
• Foundation-initiated support for other arts and culture projects.

CIFO is located at 1018 North Miami Avenue. The galleries are open to the public Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment. Special hours during Art Basel Miami Beach week: Wed., Dec. 5 – Sun., Dec. 9, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Public information is available online at or by calling 305.455.3380.

# # #

Media in Miami contact:
(English and Spanish)

Maria Elena Useche, Communications Manager, CIFO

National and international media contact:
Resnicow Schroeder Associates
Lily Mitchem, 212.671.5155;

Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO)
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