First Solo Exhibition in a UK Public Gallery for Angela de la Cruz Opens at Camden Arts Centre
LONDON.- London-based artist Angela de la Cruz presents new and existing work in her first solo exhibition in a UK public gallery. Situated in-between painting and sculpture, de la Cruz’s works hide in corners, bully each other and fall from the wall as they fight against the physical constraints of gallery spaces.
Angela de la Cruz’s practice stems from a feeling of exhaustion with painting as a medium and from a desire to escape the illusion of the picture-plane. “My starting point was deconstructing painting. One day I took the cross bar out and the painting bent. From that moment on, I looked at the painting as an object.”
De la Cruz questions the status of painting, its solemnity and its authority, by employing and subverting the language of Modernism. Monochromes and Minimalist abstract works are disrupted physically; torn, broken, folded and taken from their stretchers. Given anthropomorphic titles such as “Homeless”, “Ashamed” or “Deflated”, the works do not attempt to convey emotions but demonstrate the emotions they themselves are feeling. De la Cruz’s work is nonetheless rooted within the tradition of painting. She explains that “by using the rules of painting it is then possible to subvert, revert and break them.”
Human-like in their situations and often referring openly to the body, de la Cruz’s works frequently have the artist’s height and body proportions as parameters for their own dimensions. She has in a letter directly addressed to the paintings, referred to them as “the bodies to love or to hate or to suffer.”
Although treated with a certain humour and even a cruelty, de la Cruz’s work is not a vessel for painful, emotional catharsis, but is rather an expression of an indefatigable determination in a hostile world, where even the gallery space seems unsympathetic; crushing works, or lodging them in doorways.
Angela de la Cruz was born in 1965 in La Coruna, Spain. She studied Philosophy in Santiago de Compostela (1985-87), then came to the UK to study Fine Art BA at Chelsea College of Art (1989-90) before completing a BA at Goldsmiths University of London (1991-94). She then studied Sculpture and Critical Theory MA at Slade School of Art (1994-96). She has exhibited throughout the world with solo exhibitions Trabalho Work at Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal (2006); Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (2005); Lisson Gallery, London (2004); Clutter at Gallerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria (2003); Anthony Wilkinson Gallery, London (2001); John Weber Gallery, New York, USA (2000) and Larger Than Life at Royal Festival Hall, London (1998). She has been included in group shows such as Soft Sculpture at National Gallery, Canberra, Australia (2009); Altered States of Paint at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland (2008); Global Feminisms at Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, USA (2007); Manifesta V at San Sebastian, Spain (2004) and Life is Beautiful at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle (2002). Angela de la Cruz won the John Moores Painting prize in 1999 and is included in 100 Artistas Espanoles Space/ 100 Spanish Artists edited by Rosa Olivares, published by EXIT Publications, Madrid, Spain. This is her first solo exhibition in a UK public gallery.