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