Angela de la Cruz disrupts the gallery with unruly works that sit between painting and sculpture. She engages with the discourse about the ‘problem’ with painting by targeting its basic anatomy: the stretcher, normally left to its job of keeping the canvas smooth and pliant. De la Cruz breaks convention, quite literally, by mangling the stretcher and piercing the flat edifice of the canvas to unleash it into three-dimensional space. Slashed, twisted and reformed into something approaching sculpture, there is a dark humour at play: “The moment I cut through the canvas I get rid of the grandiosity of painting”, she says. Convention punctured, her works seem to mimic aspects of human behaviour or states of mind – cowering, cringing, surviving – and, more recently, this sense of human scale has been bolstered by works incorporating items of domestic furniture, such as chairs and tables. Prostrate on the floor or hanging on the wall like macabre trophies, they are evidence of a violent process and, as such, confront it as something thrilling, fearsome and, whether soiled or slick, just beneath the surface. 

Angela de la Cruz was born in A Coruña in Galicia, northwest Spain in 1965 and lives and works in London. She studied Philosophy at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain (1987) before moving to London, where she obtained a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London, UK (1994) and an MA in Sculpture and Critical Theory from the Slade, London, UK (1996). Solo exhibitions include PEER, London, UK (2016); Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña, Spain (2015); Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2010); Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain (2005); Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo and Annex Space MARCO, Spain (2004). She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010.

Exhibitions