20th September 2021
Cristina Iglesias was born in San Sebastián in November 1956. She currently lives and works in Madrid. Throughout her career, Iglesias has defined a unique sculptural vocabulary, building immersive and experiential environments that reference and unite architecture, literature, and culturally site-specific influences.
She studied Chemical Sciences in her hometown, at the University of the Basque Country (1976-1978), and after a brief period in Barcelona practicing ceramics and drawing, she studied Sculpture in the UK at the Chelsea School of Art in London (1980-1982). She started exhibiting immediately after. She was granted a Fullbright scholarship to study at Pratt Institute in 1988.
In 1995 she was appointed Professor of Sculpture at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, Germany, and in 1999 she won Spain’s National Visual Arts Prize. In 2012 she won the Grosse Kunstpreis Berlin, in 2019 the National Graphic Arts Award, and the 2020 Royal Academy Architecture Prize, London.
She has represented Spain twice at the Venice Biennale, at the 42nd edition in 1986 and at the 45th edition in 1993; at the Biennale of Sydney in 1990 and 2012; at the 1995 Carnegie International, Museum of Art Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh; at the Taipei Biennial in 2003; at the SITE Santa Fe Biennial in 2006 and at the Triennale of Folkstone in 2011. She also represented her country at the world fairs held in Seville in 1992 and Hanover in 2000.
Her work has been shown recently in solo exhibitions at Centro Botín, Santander, Spain (2018); Musée de Grenoble, France (2016); BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium (2014); a large retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain (2013); and at Casa França, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2013). Earlier solo shows have been exhibited at Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany (2006); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Republic of Ireland (2003); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2003); Museu Serralves, Fundaçao Serralves, Oporto, Portugal (2002); Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (1999), Guggenheim New York, USA (1997); Renaissance Society, Chicago, USA (1997), Kunstverein Für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany (1988).
Recent public commissions include Hondalea (Marine Abyss) at Santa Clara Island, San Sebastian, Spain (2021), Inner Landscape (the Lithosphere, The Roots, The Water) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA (2020), The Forgotten Streams at Bloomberg Headquarters in London, UK (2017), Tres Aguas, Toledo, Spain (2014), the Vegetation Room (2010−2012) in the Inhotim in Brazil and doors Portón – Pasaje / Gates – Passage at the entrance to the extension to the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, Spain (2007), Deep Fountain, Leopold de Waelplaats, Antwerp, Belgium (1997-2006).
Photo: Jose Luis Lopez Zubiria. Courtesy: Cristina Iglesias. Location: Alfa Arte Foundry.