Pozo V (III) (Well V [III])

Cristina Iglesias

San Sebastián, Spain, 1956
  • Date: 
  • Material: 
    Bateig stone, stainless steel, pronze powder, electric motor and water
  • Technique: 
  • Descriptive technique: 
    Steel relief with bronze powder, a stainless steel structure and Bateig stone, water and an electric engine
  • Dimensions: 
    129,3 x 188,3 x 85 cm
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 
  • Long-term loan of Fundación Museo Reina Sofía, 2018 (Donation of María Antonia Escapa García)

Pozo V (III) (Well V [III]) is one of four works in a series displayed in the Sabatini Building’s Cloister during Metonymy, a solo exhibition on the practice of Cristina Iglesias held in 2013. The work is raised on a parapet built from Bateig limestone slabs, a minimalist structure shaped by a rectangular parallelepiped which grants access to an inside form alluding to a force — both real and potential — of nature which passes through the inside of the earth. The realist figuration with a plant imprint is intense and intricate, and the real presence of water that sinks and springs from the surface confers a poetic and fictional aspect.
Since the mid-1990s, Cristina Iglesias has gained international recognition with an artistic approach which, beyond a formal definition of sculpture, centres on the visual rendering of metaphors inspired by cultural heritage. Rejecting the concept of unitary sculpture on its pedestal and space to be traversed by certain post-minimalist works, her sculptures are shaped as parts of architectural elements the spectator can “read” in heterodox sites: hanging or placed against a wall, suspended from the ceiling or on the floor of hallways or rooms; sculptures which require attention and time from the viewer for a complete lived experience, and with an awareness of changes to light and the textures and materials that structure them.
Therefore, the artist employs traditional materials such as metal and cement, combining them with newer ones such as glass and alabaster, characterised by how they reveal light and, in the case of glass, the ductility of the manufacturing process. A seemingly non-sculptural element such as water appears for the first time in her work Deep Fountain (1997–2006), a large pool located in Leopold De Waelplaats, Antwerp, in front of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. Water, which in nature is an element of life capable of moulding or sculpting the landscape, is adopted as a mobile, living material which flows on an abyss of plant forms, harnessing its sonority and hypnotic capacity to configure forms in a temporal sequence.
Since 2010, Cristina Iglesias has worked on this concept, applying it to a long-standing architectural typology, the well, which, as in her rooms, works with the element of surprise in the minimalist form of the exterior and the naturalist and real texture of the interior, searching, as Iglesias states, for the spectator to “believe in this for a moment, before realising it is a fictitious composition”.

Carmen Fernández Aparicio