The jury of the 2017 National Plastic Arts Prize gave unanimously the distinction to the artist Ángela de la Cruz (La Coruña, 1965) because of the “radicalism of her work.”
Velázquez’s Attachment to Chromatic Reality
The jury of the prize given by the Spanish Ministry of education, culture, and sport gave unanimously this distinction to the Galician artist due to “the intensity of her work that shows her exploration within the complex relationship between the illusionist space of painting and the physical presence of sculpture.”
Furthermore, the jury highlighted the radicalism of her work and her capability of maintaining the attractiveness of her paintings by holding her concepts. Her work has always had as chromatic referent important artists of Spanish art such as Velázquez and Zurbarán; also, De la Cruz has shown attachment to reality in the paintings of other paramount artists such as Tápies or Millares, and the irony of Goya or Picasso.
De la Cruz uses a self-destructive pictorial language integrated to the work. It highlights the ironic and astute elements of the work. The spectator perceives as a first shock broken or intentionally abused works.
The deformed or broken frames and the twisted canvases that are then hanged as trophies are the elements that tell the final result of a creative process with deliberate and systematic destruction actions in order to achieve this stage.
The given prize was decided by a jury integrated by Luis Lafuente, director general of Beaux Arts and Cultural Patrimony, among Begoña Torres, sub-director general of Beaux Arts promotion. Furthermore, many personalities of the cultural world closed the privileged circle that integrated the jury of this prestigious prize. It is worth mentioning that the first prize also meant a 30.000 euro amount.
An Honest Work
In the artist’s words, she concurs with the idea about the radicalism and the intensity of her work. She got the new in her study in London. For De la Cruz, her beliefs are really strong and easily appreciated as her radical side. However, her most important interest is the continuous development of her artistic language.
Additionally, she states that her pictorial reference was not only influenced by great Spanish painters, but also filmmakers such as Almodovar. De la Cruz is very interested in the work of Andrés Barba nowadays and the topics related to base culture such as fashion, architecture, cinema, philosophy, among others.
Autobiography in Art
Since the 80’s De la Cruz moves to London, where she starts her art studies. In 2004, with her work Clutter with Wardrobes, she integrates objects and furniture picked from the streets to her work. During that time, she makes her first individual exhibition in her home country, an exhibition that inaugurated the Espazo Anexo of Vigo’s MARCO with Larger than Life.
Her works bear that autobiographic touch that reflects her personal experiences. Concrete and vivid experiences lived by herself or her closest entourage within her family.
Ángela de la Cruz has been the only Spanish runner-up for the Turner Prize. This international acclaimed prize is annually given by London Tate.