Grimanesa Amorós

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Grimanesa Amorós
Grimanesa Amoros Uros Island.jpg
Grimanesa Amoros Uros Island, Venice Biennial 2011
Born Grimanesa Amorós
1962 (age 54–55)
Lima, Peru
Nationality Peruvian-born American
Known for Light art
Notable work Uros House (2011), Uros Island (2011) "Golden Waters" (2015) "Pink Lotus" (2015)
Awards National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship Grant and the Art in Embassies Program

Grimanesa Amorós (born in Lima, Peru, lives and works in New York City) is an interdisciplinary American artist, globally known for her large-scale light sculpture installations. She has diverse interests in the fields of social history, scientific research and critical theory, which have greatly influenced her work. Her process remains organic and instinctive. The intuitive relationship to technology is a distinctive feature of Amorós’ practice. Amorós researches the locations, histories and communities of the installation sites. Her works incorporates elements from sculpture, video, lighting, and technology to create site-specific installations to engage architecture and create community.[1]

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.[2] It feels somewhere in the art of Grimanesa Amorós, the past is meeting the future.[2] 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.[2] She was one of the speakers in TEDGlobal 2014, talking about ancient culture, landscapes and 21st-century technology.[3] 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.[4] When she was eighteen, she exhibited a sold-out show featuring her paintings.[5]

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.[5]

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.[4]

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.[7] She developed her idea by using LEDs, Lexan and silkscreens to create translucent spheres inspired by the natural elegance of sea foam and totora reeds.[8]

Light Sculptures[edit]

Huanchaco Series[edit]

grimanesa amoros ocupante Ludwig museum Koblenz
Ocupante Ludwig Museum Koblenz 2016

"Ocupante" (2016)[edit]

Now she is the first time out in a German museum: The Ludwig Museum in Koblenz shows three great works of her two large-scale installations and a video with the Spanish title "ocupante" - what occupiers or owners may be called. This title has chosen the Museum of the whole exhibition. For the artist whose work literally taken possession of the museum and its surroundings. At first glance it all looks very technical and abstract, what Grimanesa Amorós has since built up in the Ludwig Museum: An entire floor full of light tubes that are intertwined and wrapped around each other. At the ends of the space they are held by metal frames, but otherwise seem to hover in the shadows. Periodically light pulses and starts through the tubes, sometimes flashing the lights in light on, then they are dimmed again. There is a rhythm like breathing in and out, the viewer perceives him sometime down automatically.[9]

grimanesa amoros pink lotus peninsula hotel New York
Pink Lotus at Peninsula Hotel NY 2016

"Pink Lotus" (2015)[edit]

Golden Waters in Scottsdale, Arizona

In keeping with the initiative’s “pink” theme, Amorós has used LED lights to create a pink lotus flower that highlights The Peninsula New York’s landmark Beaux-Arts façade. By placing the installation on the main façade, Amorós is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month by drawing attention to both the Roman Goddesses, who represent the power of women worldwide and to the lotus flower’s symbolic associations with creation, enlightenment and rebirth. PINK LOTUS creates a dialogue with the existing architecture and the history of the site, with a dramatic 11-minute light sequence that provides the public with a unique visual experience created by the LED lighting.[10]

"Golden Waters" (2015)[edit]

Inspired by the natural elegance of the Arizona canal, which were modeled after the 13th-century waterways dug by the Hohokam tribe,[11] Golden Waters is mounted on a secure structure attached to the Soleri bridge, designed by artist, architect and philosopher Paolo Soleri. The hovering light sculpture extends parallel to the canal channel eighty feet west of the bridge.[12] Golden Waters’ LED tubing system appears to rise from the canal waters below, celebrating theunion of light and water. The horizontal and vertical lines of Golden Waters are a metaphor for the dynamic balance between urban and natural forces that can be experienced simultaneously.[13]

"Breathless Maiden Lane" (2014)[edit]

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.[14] The light installation is a part of VIP The Armory Show (art fair) event.[15]

mirror connection cafam museum of cafa Arata Isozaki light installation light art grimanesa amoros
The Mirror Connection at Museum of China Central Academy of Fine Arts by Grimanesa Amoros

"The Mirror Connection" (2013)[edit]

The Mirror Connection is a light sculpture installation which was opened June 2, 2013 and running through June 22nd, 2013.[16] The exposed circuitry and unpredictable light patterns were both mesmerizing and surprising.[17]

"Fortuna" (2013)[edit]

Fortuna was a temporary site-specific light installation located at Tabacalera in Madrid, Spain. Commissioned by Ministry of Education and Culture in Spain, Fortuna was named after from the Tobacco brand name that was made there in the former Tobacco factory, La Fragua.[18]

Uros Series[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.[19] 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.[20]

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: [21]

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[22] in collaboration with The Armory Show (art fair) [23] This piece was later on being exhibited at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Lafayette, Louisiana[24]

Uros Island at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011)[edit]

54th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy. Part of the Collateral Event FUTURE PASS [25]

Uros Island, an installation by Grimanesa Amorós that was featured at the 54th Venice Biennale's International Art Exhibition, was inspired bu Lake Titicaca's unique floating oases in a high-elevation water world. 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.[26] The exhibition was traveled to Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan and Today Art Museum in China.[27]

"Uros" at Tibeca Issey Miyake (2011)[edit]

Grimanesa Amoros "Uros" Tribeca ISSEY MIYAKE

Though Tribeca Issey Miyake is hardly a vast, open space typical of interventionist art, in her new installation at the Japanese designer’s boutique the sculptures certainly confront new viewers and easily mixes fashion and fine art. The buoyant, effulgent bubbles create a wonderful tension with the store’s exoskeletal atmosphere designed by Frank Gehry, as well as the perfectly pleated fashions on display. The installation continues her “Uros” series, inspired by artificial landscapes created by pre-Incan people, which has appeared this year at the Venice Biennale and in a public work at Times Square in conjunction with the Armory Show.[28]

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

At the Chapelle de la Persévérance in Tarascon, France [29]

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

Racimo (2010)[edit]

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.[30] 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.[31]


In 2014, Amorous collaborated with AKIKO ELIZABETH MAIE, the newest label from Nepenthes AMERICA INC., presenting ONKOCHISHIN 2014. A theme discovered new horizons by researching the past.[32]

miranda grimaensa amoros video art light between the islands
Grimanesa Amoros Miranda Video Tel Aviv Israel 2013

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.[2]

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

Amorous worked 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.[33] Amorós' latest collaboration with Baca is the Baca's latest album in 2011, Afrodiaspora, where Amorós designed and used images of her artwork with photos of Susana in the CD packaging.[34]

In her Rootless Algas video, she worked with Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson who produced an original score.[34] 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.[35]

In La Incubadora she worked with multiple Grammy-nominated Meshell Ndegeocello.[4]

In 2011, she did a special collaboration with fashion designer Manuel Fernandez in his "Fashion Art" show, creating a dress titled Precious Nipples.[36]


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

GOLDEN WATERS, Soleri Bridge, Arizona, 2015; 125 Maiden Lane, NYC, 2014;[37] Fortuna, La Fragua Tabacalera, Madrid, Spain, 2013;[18] The Mirror Connection, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2013;[16] 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;[38] La Torre De Los Vientos, The Route of Friendship Patronage, WMF, Nina Menocal Gallery, Mexico D.F. 2012; 21c Museum Hotels, 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, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, and The Today 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[16](Beijing, China), The International Videoart Festival of Camaguey (Cuba),[39] CASAmerica (Madrid, Spain), Sotheby's Institute of Art (NYC), INNOV8 Festival[40] (Lafayette, Louisiana), IdeaFestival (Lexington, KY),[41] The Armory Show (NYC), A-PART Contemporary Art Festival (Alpilles-Provence, France),[42] 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),[43] 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 Omi International Arts Center (Columbia County, NY),[44] Rutgers University "Estelle Lebowitz Visiting Artist," (New Brunswick, NJ),[45] Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts(Amherst, VA),[46] Artspace (Raleigh, NC)[47] 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).


  • Grimanesa Amoros: Ocupante, artist Amorós, authors Beate Reifenscheid (Hirmer Verlag, 2016) ISBN 978-37-7742-648-8
  • Grimanesa Amoros: Between Heaven and Earth, Rootless Algas, artist Amorós; essay authors Marek Bartelik, Picardo Pereira (Hostos Center for The Arts and Culture/ CUNY, 2006) ISBN 978-09-654-2735-7.
  • This Is Substantial, artist Amorós, authors Amorós (Everest / Four Colour Imports, 2008) ISBN 978-09-8159-970-0.
  • Grimanesa Amoros: Falling Tell Me Your Story Exhibition, artist Amorós, authors Amorós (Artco Gallery, 2003) ASIN: B002KFAWWY.


  1. ^ Frank, Priscilla, (July 07, 2015), "Artist Grimanesa Amoros Combines Architecture And Ecology For Spellbinding Public Work", The Huffington Post.
  2. ^ a b c d Farver, Jane, (2013), "Grimanesa Amorós’ Light between the Islands", Litvak Gallery
  3. ^ "Program Speakers A-Z". TEDGlobal. 
  4. ^ a b c Grimanesa Amorós Interview by Wynwood Magazine (PDF), Wynwood, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  5. ^ a b Grimanesa Amorós Interview by Asia Sur - Edición Nº 116, Asia Sur, retrieved July 27, 2015 
  6. ^ Essay by Dan Cameron (1994), The World
  7. ^ Jungle Fever Time Out New York (PDF), Time Out New York, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  8. ^ Cavaluzzo, Alexander, (December 23, 2011), "The Artist Behind the Light Installation at Tribeca Issey Miyake". Hyperallergic. 
  9. ^ ""Ocupante" Ausstellung im Ludwig Museum Koblenz" [" Ocupante " exhibition at the Ludwig Museum Koblenz]. SWR2 Culture (in German). Retrieved Feb 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  10. ^ "Grimanesa Amoros Pink Lotus". The Peninsula New York. Retrieved 2015-10-01. 
  11. ^ Slenske, Michael, (June 30, 2015), "Light art illuminates a canal in the desert", Architectural Digest.
  12. ^ Mufson, Beckett, (June 18, 2015), "Golden Light Flows Like Water in Hanging Installation", The Creators Project
  13. ^ "Grimanesa Amoros. Golden Waters". Wall Street International. 
  14. ^ "Breathless Maiden Lane". Time Art In Buildings. 
  15. ^ "Time Equities Art-in-Buildings Hosts VIP Armory Show on March 8 Maiden Lane". Art PR Wire. 
  16. ^ a b c "GRIMANESA AMORÓS: The Mirror Connection". China Central Academy of Fine Arts, China. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  17. ^ "Grimanesa Amorós: Luminous Circuitry". Installation Magazine. Retrieved 2015-08-07. 
  18. ^ a b "FORTUNA. Grimanesa Amorós". The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, Spain. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  19. ^ Provence Ventoux: Le Blog, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  20. ^ "Aracari Fostering Creativity: Inspiration for Artist Grimanesa Amoros", The Khipu Blog 
  21. ^ Golden Uros article byProvence Ventoux: Le Blog, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  22. ^ "The Times Square Armory Show". Time Square Arts. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  23. ^ "Five Major Public Art Sculptures Unveiled in Times Square", The Official Site of Time Square 
  24. ^ "Fall 2011", Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum 
  25. ^ Grimanesa Amorós Website Uros Island, Wynwood, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  26. ^ Platt, Kevin Holden,"Grimanesa Amorós: Sculpting with Light and Video", Yuan Space 
  27. ^ "Future Pass – From Asia to the World, International Art @ La Biennale di Venezia". Ganzo. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  28. ^ "The Artist Behind the Light Installation at Tribeca Issey Miyake',". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  29. ^ "Festival APART 2011" (PDF). A-PART Art Festival. 
  30. ^ Grimanesa Amorós Interview by Dr. Lee A. Gray, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  31. ^ Grimanesa Amoros Racimo InterviewGrimanesa Amorós Interview, retrieved August 24, 2011 
  32. ^ "Grimanesa Amoros and Akiko Elizabeth Maie: Onkochishin 2014". Musée Magazine. 
  33. ^ Grimanesa Amorós, Between Heaven Heaven and Earth and La Conexion Perfecta de Susana Baca video Grimanesa Amorós website video page
  34. ^ a b Grimanesa Amorós, Between Heaven Heaven and Earth and Afrodiaspora CD album Grimanesa Amorós Afrodiaspora page
  35. ^ "REFLEXION OBSCURA", YouTube 
  36. ^ Valrie Gladstone, NY Times In Transit Outside Madrid, Celebrating a Fashion Designer Who Embraces Art
  37. ^ "Golden Waters". Scottsdale Public Art. 
  38. ^ Grimanesa Amorós: Voyager - Video Retrospective, Yuan Space 
  39. ^ "LA LUZ DE GRIMANESA AMORÓS". Bitácora del Festival Internacional de Videoarte de Camagüey, CUBA. 
  40. ^ "INNOV8: 8 days spotlighting Lafayette innovation". Lafayette Travel Blog. 
  41. ^ "IF Detailed Agenda". IDEA Festival]. Retrieved 2015-07-28. 
  42. ^ "A-PART Contemporary Art Festival". A-PART Contemporary Art Festival. 
  43. ^ "The Bronx Museum for the Arts: Aim Program". The Bronx Museum. 
  44. ^ "ALUMNI 1992-2014" (PDF). [OMI International Arts Center]. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  45. ^ "Estelle Lebowitz Visiting Artist-in-Residence Lectureship". Institute for Women and Art, Rutgers University. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  46. ^ "VCCA Fellows". The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. 
  47. ^ "Artspace, Past Summer Artists in Residence". Retrieved 2015-07-27. 

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