Get to know the main biography of Doris Salcedo

Who is Doris Salcedo | What is her relevance in the art world?

Many Colombian females have marked a before and after in the art world. One of them is Doris Salcedo, one of the Bogotá women who dedicated much of her work to the world of sculpture. Her works reflect a great social criticism of her local country in a unique way. We tell you everything you should know about her.

Who is Doris Salcedo?

As we have mentioned, Doris Salcedo is one of the most relevant Colombian sculptors today. She began studying Fine Arts at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Bogotá. By 1984, she decided to take a postgraduate course at New York University. In this place, she had a complete vision of art.

For example, in the USA she understood that any work of art should have the utmost care in its detail and aesthetics. However, that’s not all. In New York, she began to see that painting could be more than an artistic display. She understood Joseph Beuys‘ work as a “social sculpture”, that is, a critique of society through art (Magenta Magazine, 2020).

After this, Doris Salcedo already knew what she wanted to do. By 1987, she decided to return to Colombia, where she directed the Escuela de Artes Plásticas at the Instituto de Bellas Artes in Cali. Once this was done, she obtained a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation. Later, Salcedo decided to apply this concept of social sculpture in her own country.

To create her works, she decided to visit the poorest areas of Colombia. There she decided to create politically charged works, especially by criticizing violence and people’s suffering. She understood that art could not change things, but it was able to represent pain in an accurate way (Credencial Magazine, 2016).

What is her relevance in the art world?

Doris Salcedo is a very relevant woman in the artistic world. It all began in the 1980s, after her paramilitary incursions. There she tried to portray violence and massacres. For example, she created sculptures about the Honduras Massacre and La Negra, where you could see the artistic display and understand everything that had happened.

In that case, the police had dragged the peasants out of their beds. They had died in front of the doors of their houses. Therefore, the artist thought about what their beds looked like after that death. In her exhibition, she showed that these objects also represented the pain of the events (Semana, 2019).

Since then, her name has become synonymous with social denunciation. Throughout her career, she has won important awards. Among the most outstanding are:

  • Velázquez Prize of Plastic Arts, 2010.
  • Hiroshima ArtPrize, 2014.
  • Nasher Prize for Sculpture, 2015 (Exit Express, 2016).

However, that’s not all. Salcedo appears as one of the 400 most important women artists in history in the prestigious book Great Women Artists. That is a recognition given to her trajectory, especially regarding her sculptures with strong social criticism (Hipermedula, 2020). Undoubtedly, her art is perfect to understand the historical disasters of Colombian society. If you’ve ever wanted to appreciate incredible sculptures, it’s time to get to know her work. 


Exit Express. (2016, April 4). Doris salcedo, premiada con el Nasher de escultura.

Hipermedula. (2020, March 31). La guerra permea nuestra realidad, Doris Salcedo.

Revista Credencial. (2016, October 12). Doris Salcedo, la dueña del silencio.

Revista Magenta. (2020, June 30). EL REALISMO DE DORIS SALCEDO.

Semana. (2019, May 6). Doris salcedo: un recorrido comentado por su trayectoria.