Angela de la Cruz is a London-based Spanish artist. Using the language of painting and sculpture, her works often combine a sense of tension with the act of deconstruction. They convey a deep emotional presence, but this emotion is mixed with humour.Read More
De la Cruz was born in 1965 in A Coruna in Spain but moved to London in 1987. She holds a BA in Philosophy from University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths in London and an MA in Sculpture and Critical Theory from Slade School of Fine Art, also in London.
De la Cruz believes that although a painting is seemingly static, it embodies action and is never a finished product; it carries the tense dynamism of its making within it. This is why so many of her pieces use the language of painting but sit somewhere between painting and sculpture. Her exhibitions are almost always a collection of slashed, sagging, or crumpled forms. She often crushes her stretchers or pierces the flat surface of her canvases to unleash them upon three-dimensional space, sometimes incorporating collapsed furniture. By attacking the conventional notions of how a painting or a sculpture is perceived, she breaks social conventions and reflects the socio-political uncertainty of our times.
De la Cruz's series 'Everyday Paintings' (1995–1999) is a collection of glossy oil monochromes made with large horizontal brush strokes that have been transformed to create pieces that are nothing like traditional paintings. This approach to painting spilled over into the medium of sculpture as the artist began to incorporate found objects and furniture, a method that is still a core focus in her practice.
De la Cruz's painting, Larger Than Life—first shown at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 1998—is considered one of her most iconic works and introduced her unapologetically raw art-making approach to the wider art community, attracting the attention of many critics. The work is a vast painted installation created with the help of an army of skilful assistants. The artist likened the work to a huge woman who can't dance and who has fallen to the floor, and it later travelled to museums in Spain, Israel, and Germany.
In 2005, halfway through organising her exhibition tour of Europe, de la Cruz suffered a brain haemorrhage while pregnant. She was in a coma for weeks and spent months in the hospital, during which time she gave birth to her daughter. Relying on a team of production assistants ever since that incident, her 2010 exhibition, After, at the Camden Arts Centre in London got her nominated for the 2010 Turner Prize.
De la Cruz is the recipient of the 2017 Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Spain and a 2010 Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Artists. She has exhibited extensively around the world and has been part of numerous group exhibitions. Her previous solo exhibitions have been held at venues including Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao (2018); Peer, London (2016); Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm (2016); Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña (2015); CarrerasMugica Gallery, Bilbao (2014); Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville (2005); and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vigo (2004). Her artworks have been acquired for numerous public institutions such as Tate; British Council Collection; Contemporary Art Society, London; la Caixa, Barcelona; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Frac Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkirk; University of Brussels; as well as private and corporate collections in Australia, Europe, and the United States.
Leila Sajjadi | Ocula | 2019
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset...
Surface Work, a survey show of women abstract artists across Victoria Miro’s Mayfair and Wharf Road galleries, reveals an alternative history of how much women have already achieved. From the examples of the more than 50 artists in this show–some relatively unknown and others household names–it is obvious that women approached abstraction with...
On the occasion of her exhibition Layers at Galerie Thomas Schulte (26 October 2019 to 11 January 2020), Angela de la Cruz spoke to Louisa Elderton about her choice of a minimalist display mirroring the feeling of experiencing the end of a party when the guests are leaving and the feeling of being at the end of an era not knowing what's to come...