Grimanesa Amorós

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Grimanesa Amorós
Grimanesa Amoros At The Paul And Lulu Hilliard Museum University Of Louisiana 2011.jpg
Born Grimanesa Amorós
Lima, Peru
Nationality Peruvian-born American
Known for Contemporary art

Grimanesa Amorós (born in Lima, lives and works in New York City and Peru) is a multidisciplinary artist with diverse interests in the fields of social history, scientific research and critical theory, which have greatly influenced her work.

Amorós researches the locations, histories and communities of the installation sites. Her process remains organic and instinctive. This intuitive relationship to technology is a distinctive feature of Amorós’ practice. Her works incorporates elements from sculpture, video, lighting, and technology to create site-specific installations to engage architecture and create community.

Grimanesa Amorós has often drawn upon important Peruvian cultural legacies for inspiration for her large-scale light-based installations, which she has presented around the globe from Mexico, Tel Aviv and Beijing to New York’s Times Square. She continues to be inspired from Peru’s history for her art but she does not hold an essentialist or nostalgic view of her subject. She often gives talks at museums and universities where her lectures not only attract future artists but students and faculty engaged with science and technology. It feels somewhere in the art of Grimanesa Amorós, the past is meeting the future. Amorós has exhibited in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Early life and career[edit]

Her artistic ambitions began when she was obsessed with drawing maps at a very young age. Her mother saw talent in her and enrolled Amorós in art classes at the age of eleven. When she was in her teens, she studied Psychology and Art simultaneously. She attended the Miguel Gayo Art Atelier in Lima, Peru.[1] When she was eighteen, she exhibited a sold-out show featuring her paintings.[2]

Concerned about her early success, Amorós moved to New York City to try to make it on her own as an artist. Once there, she won a scholarship to study painting and printmaking at the Art Students League of New York. She started mainly as a painter, but - thinking about paint in sculptural terms - eventually moved on to creating three-dimensional artworks.[3]


Amorós' interests in three-dimensional artworks lead to her exploration of paper-making processes. She brought this sensibility into her work with pieces such as La Incubadora at the Roger Smith Lab Gallery.[1]

Public Work[edit]

After years of showing in gallery spaces, public art had an accessibility and openness that always intrigued her. Amorós' earliest public pieces were Frente Feroz in Harlem, New York City, an installation that incorporated silhouettes made from paper and light, and La Incubadora, at the Roger Smith Lab Gallery in New York City, an installation incorporating paper-made sculpture and atmospheric lighting. These lighting installations led her to the bubble sculptures she would later be known for.[4]

Light Sculptures[edit]

Breathless Maiden Lane[edit]

Breathless Maiden Lane in the financial district, New York City
Breathless Maiden Lane at 125 Maiden Lane New York, NY

Breathless Maiden Lane explores and reveals the atrium's architecture of 125 Maiden Lane, a glass, marble and granite space in New York's Financial District. This is Amorós' sculpture from her newest body of work utilizing LED lights in combination with diffusive material and her signature "bubble" sculptures. The bubbles recall the man-made islands floating on the surface of Lake Titicaca and the long lines of LED tubing allude to distinctive reeds that grow in northern Peru.[5]

Uros Island in the 54th International Venice Biennale Venice, Italy


Racimo on Allure of the Seas in Turku, Finland, 2011

Amorós had been gradually incorporating light into her sculptures, but her first major lighting sculpture was when she was commissioned by ICART for Royal Caribbean International to create a lighting sculpture for Allure of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world.

Inspired by the lighting of the natural world in her travels, Amorós sought to find a way to incorporate technology to express her own interpretation of how nature impacts her.[6] She created Racimo based on her experiences growing up in Peru spending long afternoons in the vineyards. She became fascinated by the color and shapes of the grapes. The shapes also mirrored her fascination with the shapes and colors of ocean foam.[7]

Uros body of work[edit]

Uros House in Times Square, 2011

In her lighting sculptures, Amorós has continuously returned to the theme of the "Uros Islands," which are a series of floating islands in Lake Titicaca bordering Peru and Bolivia. The islands are handmade from dried totora reeds by the pre-Incan Uros people.[8] When Amorós first visited the Uros Islands, she was struck by "the sense of weightlessness and spiritual connectivity" she experienced by walking on these floating islands.[9]

The reeds are also used as a structural material to build everything from houses to boats in the Uros culture. Amorós has incorporated the shapes and patterns of these reeds into her lighting sculptures. Recent works include: [10]

Uros Island at the 2011 Venice Biennale as part of the collateral project Future Pass

Uros House in Times Square, NY[edit]

Part of The Times Square Alliance Public Arts Program in collaboration with The Armory Show (art fair) [11]

Uros Island at the 2011 Venice Biennale[edit]

54th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy. Part of the Collateral Event FUTURE PASS [13]

Lake Titicaca's unique floating oases in a high-elevation waterworld have also been recreated in Uros Island, an installation by Grimanesa Amorós that was featured last year at the Venice Biennale's International Art Exhibition; the installation combines the shifting patterns of light and colors of Venice and of the sacred Inca lake as the sun arcs across the sky. When the sun actually sets over the Venetian exhibition site, and as sparkler stars begin spreading out across the sky, the glowing hemispheric islands in the Uros piece seem to float in mid-air, creating a fascinating illusion that gravity has temporarily disappeared. The biennale show, titled ILLUMINATIONS, was the perfect forum for this computer-controlled light sculpture.[14]

Golden Uros as part of the 2011 APART Festival[edit]

At the Chapelle de la Persévérance in Tarascon, France [15]

Grimanesa Amorós continues to mine images from Peru’s history for her art but she does not hold an essentialist or nostalgic view of her subject. She is completely comfortable using the latest technologies and materials, and she often gives talks at universities where her lectures not only attract future artists but students and faculty engaged with science and technology as well. [16]


She collaborated with Ivri Lider of The Young Professionals, one of Israel’s best-known young pop musicians for the sound track of her video, Miranda. The video premiered with her light sculptures, Light between the Islands in 2013.[17]

Afrodiaspora CD cover for Susana Baca designed by Grimanesa Amorós Studio, 2011

Collaborated with Afro-Peruvian singer and Peru's Minister of Culture, Susana Baca, in her video Between Heaven and Earth. Baca produced an original score for the video, titled "Nacimiento de Voces" ("Birth Voices"). She also produced an interview documentary titled, La Conexion Perfecta de Susana Baca, which was used in Baca's concerts.[18] Amorós' latest collaboration with Baca is with the latter's latest album, Afrodiaspora, where Amorós designed and used images of her artwork with photos of Susana in the CD packaging.[19]

In her Rootless Algas video, she worked with Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson who produced an original score.[19] The video exhibited with her installation of large multi-colored algae made by casting translucent abaca sheets.

In Reflexion Obscura she worked with José Luis Pardo - multiple-Grammy nominated and Latin Grammy Winning Los Amigos Invisibles on the score.[20]

In La Incubadora she worked with multiple Grammy-nominated Meshell Ndegeocello.[1]

In 2011, she did a special collaboration with fashion designer Manuel Fernandez in his "Fashion Art" show, creating a dress titled Precious Nipples.[21]


Template:Like resume-section Most recent exhibitions and public works

125 Maiden Lane, NYC, 2014, La Fragua Tabacalera, Madrid, Spain, 2013; CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2013; Harper’s Bazaar / Art Basel HK, Hong Kong, China, 2013; Georgian National Museum’s National Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2013; Livak Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2013; “Uros House”, The Lite Center, Lafayette, Louisiana, 2013; Yuan Space, Voyager Video Retrospective, Beijing, China, 2012; La Torre De Los Vientos, The Route of Friendship Patronage, WMF, Nina Menocal Gallery, Mexico D.F. 2012; 21c Museum Hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2012; PECO building, Art in the Air, Philadelphia, PA 2012; The Flag Art Foundation “Watch Your Step”, NYC, 2012; Seoul National University Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, 2012; 54th Biennale di Venezia, Illuminazioni – Illuminations Collateral Event Future Pass, Venice, Italy, The Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, the National Taiwan Art Museum in Taichung, Taiwan, and the Beijing Art Museum in Beijing, China, 2011; tribeca Issey Miyake Headquarter, NYC, 2011; Times Square Alliance Public Arts Program in collaboration with The Armory Show, New York

Film festivals, lectures, and art fairs[edit]

TEDGlobal speaker (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Art Basel Conversation(Hong Kong), American University in Dubai(United Arab Emirates), HATCH (Bozeman, Montana), Rutgers University at Mabel Smith Douglass Library (New Brunswick, NJ), Washington University keynote speaker (St. Louis, MO), China Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing, China), The International Videoart Festival of Camaguey (Cuba), CASAmerica (Madrid, Spain), Sotheby’s Institute of Art (NYC), INNOV8 Festival (Lafayette, LA), IdeaFestival (Lexington, KY), The Armory Show (NYC), A-PART Contemporary Art Festival (Alpilles-Provence, France), Tina B (Venezia, Italy and Prague, Czech Republic, Videoholica Varna, Bulgaria), Art Basel (Basel, Switzerland), Pinta (NYC), Shanghai Art Fair (Shanghai, China), CIRCA (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Art Scope Basel, New York/Miami

Awards and Grants[edit]

The National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship (Washington, DC), The Travel Grant Fund for Artists, NEA Arts International, (New York, NY), The Bronx Museum for the Arts: Aim Program (Bronx, NY), The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation “Participant Biennial Competition” (New York NY), Awards also include the X Tumi USA Award (Miami, FL), Artist residency fellowships by Art Omi (Columbia County, NY), Rutgers University “Estelle Lebowitz Visiting Artist,” (New Brunswick, NJ), Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM), The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (Amherst, VA), Artspace (Raleigh, NC) and Centrum Arts (Port Townsend, WA). Additionally, her works have been selected for the Art in Embassies Program of the U.S. Department of State in Ankara, Turkey (2001) and Lima, Peru (2003).


  1. ^ a b c Grimanesa Amorós Interview by Wynwood Magazine (PDF), Wynwood, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  2. ^ Grimanesa Amorós Interview by Aisasur, Aisasu, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  3. ^ Grimanesa Amorós Interview by Aisasur, Aisasur, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  4. ^ Jungle Fever Time Out New York (PDF), Time Out New York, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  5. ^ "Breathless Maiden Lane". Time Art In Buildings. 
  6. ^ Grimanesa Amorós Interview by Dr. Lee A. Gray, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  7. ^ Grimanesa Amoros Racimo InterviewGrimanesa Amorós Interview, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  8. ^ Provence Ventoux: Le Blog, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  9. ^ - Golden Uros, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  10. ^ Golden Uros article byProvence Ventoux: Le Blog, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  11. ^ Grimanesa Amorós Website Uros House, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  12. ^ Grimanesa Amorós Website Uros House, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  13. ^ Grimanesa Amorós Website Uros Island, Wynwood, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  14. ^ Holden Platt, Kevin. Grimanesa Amorós: Sculpting with Light and Video. p. 19. 
  15. ^ Grimanesa Amorós Website Golden Uros, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  16. ^ Farver, Jane (2013). Grimanesa Amorós Light between the Islands. p. 10. 
  17. ^ Farver, Jane (2013). Grimanesa Amorós Light between the Islands. p. 8. 
  18. ^ Grimanesa Amorós, Between Heaven Heaven and Earth and La Conexion Perfecta de Susana Baca video Grimanesa Amorós website video page
  19. ^ a b Grimanesa Amorós, Between Heaven Heaven and Earth and Afrodiaspora CD album Grimanesa Amorós Afrodiaspora page
  20. ^ Grimanesa Amorós Website Golden Uros, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  21. ^ Valrie Gladstone, NY Times In Transit Outside Madrid, Celebrating a Fashion Designer Who Embraces Art

External links[edit]