Cristina Iglesias

5 february, 1998 - 15 april, 1998 /
Palacio de Velázquez, Parque del Retiro, Madrid
Exhibition view. Cristina Iglesias, 1998
Exhibition view. Cristina Iglesias, 1998

Since her beginnings in the Eighties, Cristina Iglesias’ (San Sebastián, 1956) work provides a renewed conception of the practice of sculpture. Her search for poetic and symbolic compromise between pieces and space manifests itself in a dynamic visual display.

Iglesias presents fifteen works made between 1991 and 1997 at the Palacio de Velázquez, in which new forms are generated that often result in the creation of accessible, liveable spaces as in Sin título. Habitación de acero inoxidable (1997). Sometimes these spaces are ambiguous and fold upon themselves, as seen in Sin título. Venecia I, (1993) y Sin título. Venecia II, (1993). This is the principle that brings Iglesias’ sculptures to life, which returns to nature as an infinite source of shapes and poetry. Along with space, the qualities of the materials used give rise to a wide variety of confrontations, "in the transparency of the glass, the tactile qualities of the resins, alabaster or wood or the opacity of iron and cement," as listed by Carmen Giménez, curator of the exhibition.

At the intersection of precise shapes, poeticised spaces, symbolic notes and sensorial perception of materials is where her sculpture becomes an entity it transforms into a new being of organic nature, which in turn, in the words of Giménez, "is inspired by the precepts of organic growth to apply it to its own structure." All this can be appreciated in works such as Sin título. Hojas de eucaliptos II (1994) y Sin título. Bosque de bambú II, (1995).

Art critic Nancy Princenthal believes that nearly all of Cristina Iglesias’ sculptures can be defined as screens, which in some cases impede the vision of something intimate and in other cases attract the spectator’s attention and openly show their most intimate details. Her sculptures of one kind or another support the ornament, where texture games take place, such as those that give way to decorations made from fallen leaves which grow between the trunks of eucalyptus, cast aluminium or tapestry covering the inside of her curved plates of iron and fibre cement.

As shown in the labyrinthine route set out by this exhibition, her sculptures are called on to occupy, transform and modulate the space in which they are found but, as noted art critic Adrian Searle, "more than fill or decorate an architectural void, they recreate it. With her architectural forms and her sometimes lavish references to the natural world. (...) they alter the way we look at her settings. It is a matter of interior and exterior, of frankness and restraint." Thus, in the work Sin título. Celosía (1997) these two principles converge: the room-screen and the demarcation of a contained space where the viewer is called to look at its inside, not its outside.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Solomon R. Guggennheim Museum, New York and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Carmen Giménez
Exhibition Tour: 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (June 13 - September 7, 1997); The Renaissance Society, Chicago (October 5 - December 21, 1997); Museo Guggenheim, Bilbao (November 6, 1998 - February 14, 1999)