Lisson Gallery

Angela de la Cruz

London, 5 June – 3 July 2004

Angela de la Cruz

“The first time I cut the canvas, which was in 1996, I hung it in the corner and it became like an animated object, but it retained all the characteristics of painting. The painting was called Ashamed. So even though the paintings have got this object-like quality they still remain paintings. It’s very important that painting is stationed within the parameters of tradition, otherwise it has no meaning. I am trying to research the language of painting.”

- Angela de la Cruz

At first glance, de la Cruz’s paintings appear to have been vandalised or flagrantly abused. Mangled stretchers, slashed canvases, twisted and violated, are hung on the wall like macabre trophies, and yet it is this deliberate and systematic desecration of the canvases, which informs the end result. Emotionally raw, yet canny and sharply ironic, de la Cruz confronts the ‘problem’ with painting by incorporating its very destruction into the work itself. “The moment I cut through the canvas I get rid of the grandiosity of painting.” Violent, unapologetic and often darkly humorous, her work unabashedly exposes a visceral emotionalism, breaking the barriers of the established norms of painting. Implicit is the sense that a scene of frenetic violent activity has just taken place leaving in its wake the strangely paradoxical feeling of spent energy and a sense of calm; a visual catharsis.

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Works on view

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52 Bell Street

Opening Times:
Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am – 5:00pm

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