Angela de la Cruz

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For other uses, see Angela of the Cross.

Angela de la Cruz (born 1965) is a Spanish artist. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010.[1][2][3]


De la Cruz was born in La Coruña. She studied philosophy at the University of Santiago de Compostela, before moving to London in 1989, where she studied art at the Chelsea College of Art, Goldsmiths College and Slade School of Art (University College, London). She lives and works in London.[4][5][6] She had a daughter, born in 2005, while she was in a coma after suffering a brain haemorrhage.[7] De la Cruz is now a wheelchair user and uses assistants to make her work because she is physically unable to make the art herself.[8]


While studying at the Slade School of Art (University College London), she removed the stretcher of a painted canvas (it is often said that it was accidentally broken, although she may have removed it deliberately[4]). She was inspired by the resulting saggy painting, and she has become best known for paintings which are deliberately broken or distorted. In her words: "One day I took the cross bar out and the painting bent. From that moment on, I looked at the painting as an object."[9] Her work, treating paintings as a three-dimensional object rather than a two-dimensional representation, follows a tradition that includes the spatialism of Lucio Fontana in the 1940s.[10]

Her 1995 work "Ashamed" is a small straw-yellow painting, broken in half, which is exhibited wedged into a corner between two gallery walls. The similar 1996 work "Homeless", a much larger canvas of similar pale yellow hue, has its frame broken in two and folded, and is exhibited lurking in a corner, standing on the gallery floor. Waldemar Januszczak has described both as "urine coloured".[11] "Self" (1997) comprises two brown paintings: one draped over a chair facing another hung conventionally on the wall. "Ready to Wear" (1997–2003) is series of red canvases, part-ripped from its frame, as if the painting were getting dressed. "Nothing" (1998–2005) is a series of black canvases, crumpled into a heap and abandoned on the gallery floor, resembling a discarded black plastic bag.[7] Some works since 2000 have incorporated objects, such as chairs, tables or wardrobes, sometimes adorned with broken canvases. Her "Clutter" series (2003-5) bring together collections of waste art materials. Her "Deflated" paintings (2009-) hang forlornly from a hook, with no frame. "Flat" (2009) comprises a plastic and metal chair which has collapsed onto the floor.[4]

She was commissioned to paint "Larger Than Life" in 1998 for the ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall.[7]

She exhibited at Manifesta 5 at San Sebastián in 2004. Her first solo exhibition in the UK, entitled "After", was held at Camden Arts Centre in April and May 2010.[7][12] She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010.

In recent years de la Cruz has also used aluminium as a base material for her work. The metal is welded into shape, then crushed, beaten and distorted (by Mike Smith Studio,[13] under instruction from Angela regarding the form) before being delivered to Angela de la Cruz's studio for painting by her assistants. She exhibited some of these works in 'Burst' at the Lisson Gallery, Milan, in 2013.[14]


  1. ^ "Supermarket singer on the Turner Prize Shortlist", The Independent, 4 May 2010
  2. ^ Turner prize 2010: a shortlist that is half-baked, The Guardian, 4 May 2010
  3. ^ "Supermarket singer on Turner Prize shortlist", The Telegraph, 4 May 2010
  4. ^ a b c File Note #50 - Angela de la Cruz - After, Camden Arts Centre, April–May 2010
  5. ^ CV from Lisson Gallery
  6. ^ CV from Anna Schwartz Gallery
  7. ^ a b c d Angela de la Cruz's brush with death, The Guardian, 5 April 2010
  8. ^ A Life in the Day. Angela de la Cruz. Sunday Times
  9. ^ Angela de la Cruz - After, Camden Arts Centre
  10. ^ Angela de la Cruz: After, Camden Arts Centre, London, The Independent, 11 April 2010
  11. ^ Angela De La Cruz peels back perception, The Times, 18 April 2010
  12. ^ Angela de la Cruz's deadly art goes on show, The Guardian - works from "After"
  13. ^
  14. ^

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