Belkis Ayón, Sin título (Sikán, Nasakó y  Espíritu Santo [Ohne Titel (Sikán, Nasakó  und Heiliger Geist)], 1993, Collagrafie auf  Papier, 89 x 70,8 cm, Ludwig Forum für  Internationale Kunst Aachen, Leihgabe der  Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung, Foto:  Simon Vogel   © Belkis Ayón Estate,  Havana, Cuba

Belkis Ayón. Ya Estamos Aquí

Belikis Ayòn, 10/22/22 - 02/26/23 (extended until 03/12/2021)

The Ludwig Forum Aachen is pleased to present Ya Estamos Aquí (Spanish for: We’re Here Already), the first survey exhibition of the Cuban artist Belkis Ayón (Havana, 1967-1999) in the German-speaking world. Starting from a selection of around seventy works created in the period from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, the exhibition introduces key creative periods of the artist’s career. The figures, symbols, and rituals in her collages are borrowed from the Afro-Cuban secret society Abakuá, reserved exclusively for men, which Ayón studied intensively throughout her life. In her personal adaptations of Abakuá mythologies, she brings together concepts of syncretism, meaning the fusion of different belief systems, and hierarchical power structures. For her updated depictions of this myth, the artist used the process of collagraphy—a printing technique in which collaged and textured materials are painstakingly layered onto a cardboard matrix.

Starting with nineteen prints and three matrices from the early 1990s that are part of the permanent loans from the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation to Ludwig Forum Aachen, the exhibition is significantly extended and includes loans from the Belkis Ayón Estate and a selection of ephemera and archival materials. This comprehensive presentation of her practice highlights, not least, the links between the artist and Peter and Irene Ludwig’s collection as well as the broader Aachen region, where she first exhibited in 1995. Now, Ya Estamos Aquí opens up to a broad audience the themes that Belkis Ayón always sought to question: the human, the fleeting feeling, the spiritual.

Curated by Eva Birkenstock and Annette Lagler
Assistant Curator: Ana Sophie Salazar

Exhibition Design: Studio Manuel Raeder, Berlin
The exhibition project was organized in collaboration with the Belkis Ayón Estate, Havana, with the generous support of the Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung, STAWAG, the Landschaftsverband Rheinland and the Friends of the Ludwig Forum.

A corresponding collection presentation was conceived on the occasion of the exhibition. Under the title Palmipeda, a selection of Latin American graphic art, installation and painting of the 80s and 90s from the collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig will be presented. Curated by Ana Sophie Salazar.


Fr October 22, 2022, 8 pm
During the opening day the museum will be open from 10am to 10pm.

Sat October 22, 2022
Matinée with talks by Cristina Vives and Yolanda Wood
In Spanish, simultaneous translation into German will be provided

12 pm: Belkis Ayón in 5 Moments, lecture by Cristina Vives (curator and art historian, Havana).

2 pm: Belkis Ayón at the Threshold of the New Millenium, lecture by Yolanda Wood (Professor of Art History, University of Havana).

Sun March 23, 2023, 3 pm
Itinerant Afro-Diasporic Spiritual Technologies
Lecture by Gabi Ngcobo


Ludwig Forum Aachen
Jülicher Straße 97–109
52070 Aachen
Tel. +49 (0)241 1807-104
Fax +49 (0)241 1807-101

Opening hours
Tue-Sun 10am-5pm
Thu 10am-8pm
Closed on Monday

Tue-Fri 1pm-5pm

Guided tours and workshops
+49 241 432 4998

Regular € 6.00
Reduced € 3.00

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