ÁngEla DE la Cruz: trabalho Lisbon Culturgest
Painting under Question
empathy, but also because of the spatial relation he establishes with the work. Removing the painting from the flat center and putting it in a corner, Ángela de la Cruz questions the notion of the wall as a steady, natural place for painting to be put, turning the latter into a threedimensional object whose relation to surrounding space becomes an aspect that defines its own nature.
FILIPA OLIVEIRA Owner of an enviable international career, Galician artist, Ángela de la Cruz (A Coruña, 1965), presents her first anthological exhibition in Portugal -curious as it is, de la Cruz is virtually unknown in this country. This is also the first show of a new contemporary art program in Culturgest, now under the aegis of Miguel Wandschneider, and it reveals how eager this institution is to join international artistic networks. Comprising thirty-five pieces, the exhibition follows a chronological path across this artist’s oeuvre, ranging from her first paintings made in the mid-90s to the most recent ones, consecrating a voice that, in the most original way, reflects about conceptual and physical boundaries of painting in contemporary world. A painter for vocation, de la Cruz chose this medium as a field for reflection and destabilization. Her work includes a diversified joint of references to the history of painting, for instance, to her fellow countryman Goya (in her simultaneous use of humor and tragedy) as well as the legacy of Minimalism (in her daring questioning of flat and limited surface of canvass on the wall in order to open a new aesthetical field in which three-dimensional objects General view of exhibition © Photo: Folha may establish a common ground between such conventional areas as sculpture and painting). On the other hand, we Similarly evident are the violence and aggressions underwent by can find some autobiographical references assumed in the subjective the works, a violence that doesn’t seem to have been caused by the qualities that de la Cruz instills in her canvasses. artist but perhaps by the rest of elements in space –other paintings, A work that synthesizes the artist’s central concerns, Ashamed furniture, the exhibitional space. Every “wound” incarnates into a scar (1995) –which belong to the series Everyday Paintings (1995-1999)– caused by a trivial, quotidian accident, a kind of unhappiness anyone welcomes the visitors as it serves as a reference for the rest of the could eventually experience. show. Ashamed is a little monochromatic white painting that has been Her most recent works seem to abandon this humanization of put in a corner –discrete and almost invisible. The frame is broken and artistic objects so as to deal with such topics as merchandising of the piece’s edges are wore out. The title works here as a semantic artworks and, consequently, the recycling of excess. The integration of device that confers a subjective dimension to the painting, vernacular objects (along the line of Duchamp’s ready-mades) such as anthropomorphizing a simple surface into a new reality. The painting is chairs, tables and pianos, gives rise to a greater complexity as for the not anymore an ordinary painting hanging on the wall but a painting relations between the physical limitation of the flat canvass and threethat’s ashamed of itself, embarrassed both when compared to the rest dimensionality of sculptural objects. of paintings and, in the same way, when confronted to its own All through a career that is yet relatively short, Ángela de la Cruz historical heritage. It is also ashamed to confront the spectator, who’s has developed an idiosyncratic and innovative style, a language for thus directly implied in the work, not only because of his eventual crossbreeding painting and sculpture. 102 · ARTECONTEXTO · REVIEWS
Dossier: COMIC WORLD / MUNDO CÓMIC 2006