Delia Cancela (Argentina, 1940) studied at Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and participated in Instituto Torcuato Di Tella (ITDT) in the 1960s.
In 1965, together with her partner Pablo Mesejean, she held her first exhibition Love and Life in Galería Lirolay. After living in Paris during 1967 thanks to a French Government scholarship, Delia and Pablo took part in Experiencias 68 and held the Ropa con Riesgo fashion show at ITDT. At the end of the decade they left Buenos Aires to settle first in New York and finally in London in 1970. In London their pieces got immediate recognition and were published in Vogue, Harper´s Bazaar or Queen magazines. Since 1975, settled in Paris, they presented their collections at events where actresses, models and dancers combined fashion shows with performance. In the following decade, Delia Cancela held individual exhibitions at Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAyC) and several institutions in Europe and Asia.
Living in Buenos Aires since 1999, she presented her retrospective at Centro Cultural Parque de España in Rosario (2000) curated by María José Herrera. She has participated in numerous exhibitions such as La Consagración de la Primavera (2010) at Fundación Osde and Arte de contradicciones. Pop, realism and politics. Brazil – Argentina 1960 (2012) at Fundación Proa, The world goes pop (2015) at Tate Modern (London); International Pop (2015-2016) at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Dallas Museum of Art, and Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985 (2017-2018) at the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Brooklyn Museum (New York) and Pinacoteca de São Paulo, among others.
En 2018, her retrospective exhibition Delia Cancela. Reina de corazones 1962-2018 was presented at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, and her solo exhibition Los pies en la tierra, los ojos en el cielo was presented at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Neuquén (Argentina).
En 2022, she presented the installation Los pies en la tierra, los ojos en el cielo, pájaros en la cabeza in the frame of the exhibition Tesoro. Explorando la Colección #9, at the Colección de Arte Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat.
Her work is in institutional collections such as the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Argentina), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Rosario (Argentina) and The Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and in important private collections.
Cancela has received several awards, such as the Directorio award for her career, granted by the National Endowment for the Arts (2004), the City Legislature declared her Distinguished Personality of the Culture of the City of Buenos Aires (2013) and, in 2018, she received the prestigious Premio Nacional a la Trayectoria Artística (National Award for Artistic Career) in Buenos Aires.
Selected exhibitions solo or collective include : « Pablo and Delia London years 1970-75 » at Judith Clark Gallery (2001), « The World Goes Pop » at the Tate Modern (2015), « International Pop » at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Dallas Museum of Arts (2016), and at the Museum of Arts in Philadelphia (2017). She also participated in « Excentricos y Superilustrados » at the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires. In 2017, she was invited to contribute to « Radical Women » at the Hammer Museum of Los Angeles and in 2018 at the Brooklyn Museum.
In November 2018, she had a solo show at Museo De Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires intitled “Delia Cancela. Reina de corazones 1962-2018″.