Past: November 10 → December 23, 2011
Marian Goodman Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by Cristina Iglesias, with three large silkscreens as well as the sculpture “Vers la Terre” (Towards the Ground) in the first floor gallery, and three other sculptures from the same series titled “Pozos” (Wells) downstairs. The film “Guided Tour III” projected in the back gallery, leads the viewer through the sites of different works by the artist around the world, in cities, in nature and in museums.
In her recent silkscreens, Iglesias continues to explore the intersection of sculpture, drawing and photography. She begins by constructing a sculptural model from cardboard on which she has drawn. She photographs this model, and then again draws her sculpture project on the photographic print. The image is finally enlarged and silkscreened on big sheets of stainless steel.
This series presents her studies for a sculpture destined for the Souk in Beirut. The works offer an unprecedented and original access to the artist’s project, and her imagination, her writings, her practice and the genesis of her sculptures. Here she worked principally on the play of shadows and light created by the hanging structures.
The silkscreen print process gives a slightly blurred effect, which combined with the reflective metallic surface and the representation of imaginary spaces all contribute to a dream-like atmosphere.
The central sculpture “Vers la Terre” (2011) and the “Pozos” (2011) first appear as large square blocks of granite. Upon approach, they reveal a surprising interior world, deep recesses covered in a thick tangle of roots and leaves in bronze or stainless steel covered in water running at different speeds and movements, recalling a spring, a waterfall or a well. The granite and the bronze are in fact high-tech imitations made from industrial materials that the artist often works with. The cubes contain a complex universe, which is also extended outside by the mirrors around the bas-reliefs that create an infinite landscape.
These works exploit several interactions: the shiny and smooth surface of the geometric structure is opposed to the organic and crawling forms of the interior topography, and the artificial vegetation is juxtaposed to the real water. The result is a mixture of emotions: the sound of running water sooths while the vision of the petrified nature and the dark holes gives a sense of foreboding. The artist plays with this simultaneous attraction and repulsion.
The film screened in the lower gallery is the third in the “Guided Tour” series, which proposes a tour around the world to discover some of the artist’s works. “Guided Tour III” is mainly concerned with the public sculptures installed in cities or in nature. It illustrates the profound dialogue between Iglesias’ works and their environments. The film shows, for example, the monumental entrance door made in bronze for the extension of the Prado museum in Madrid, and her recent sculpture “Estancias Sumergidas” (2010), submerged 15 meters under water off the coast of Baja California in Mexico, which has become a monument to the protection of the underwater world.
Working since the late 1980’s Cristina Iglesias expanded and enriched the sculptural vocabulary by incorporating her interests in literature, architecture and geology. Her sensual works play with space, light and the juxtaposition of different materials like cement, alabaster, bronze, glass, resin, raffia, water or mirror, that she often associate with vegetation patterns (leaves, branches, bamboo). Iglesias also makes large silkscreens on silk, copper or stainless steel, representing models of her sculptures, where the scale is altered and manipulated. The artist’s sculptural environments are particularly inspired by grottos, labyrinths and gardens, which give the spectator an experience between the visible and invisible, distance and detail.
Cristina Iglesias is preparing a project for the 2012 Sydney Biennial and a large travelling retrospective exhibition, which will debut at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid in January 2013. She is also working on two important commissions: a garden labyrinth for INHOTIM (Institute for Contemporary Art and Botanical Garden) in Minas Gerais in Brazil, and a work for the city of Toledo in Spain, which will celebrate the city’s Christian, Jewish and Muslim cultural traditions, in collaboration with Artangel.
Numerous solo shows of her works were organized in institutions such as the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan (2009-2010), Pinacoteca Sao Paulo (2009), Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2006), Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2003), Whitechapel Gallery, London (2003), Museo Serralves, Porto (2002). She represented Spain at the 1986 and 1993 Venice Biennales.
Among her recent group shows we can mention the Folkestone Triennial, United-Kingdom (2011), “elles@centrepompidou”, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2009), “On History/Sobre la Historia”, Foundation Santander Central Hispano, Madrid (2006), “Big Bang”, Centre Pompidou (2005-2006). As well as her commissions for the Prado Museum door (2007) and the submerged sculpture in Mexico (2010), she created a sculpture to honour the victims of terrorism for the Basque Parliament in Spain (2008) and a fountain for the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium (Deep Fountain, 2006).