Angela de la Cruz’s practice is elegantly situated between painting and sculpture. Her work engages with the very discourse of painting by targeting its basic anatomy – the stretcher, normally left to its job of keeping the canvas smooth and pliant – often twisted and bent out of shape. By breaking its form, 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 both the human body and behaviour – cowering, cringing, surviving – and, more recently, this sense of human scale has been bolstered by works incorporating items of domestic furniture, such as chairs, tables and filing cabinets. Prostrate on the floor or hanging on the wall like trophies or window dressings, they are evidence of a passionate and complicated process.
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 ‘Homeless’, Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, Spain (2018); 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 and is the recipient of the 2017 Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Spain.