'Ellipsis' new solo exhibition by Cristina Iglesias presents monumental suspended pavilion
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'Ellipsis' new solo exhibition by Cristina Iglesias presents monumental suspended pavilion
Cristina Iglesias, The Pavilion of Dreams (Elliptical Galaxy), 2016.Braided iron wire, steel cables, colored light and shadow 52 screens (22 horizontal, 30 vertical) 96 1/2 x 385 7/8 x 200 3/4 in. (245 x 980 x 510 cm) (overall variable) 72 x 47 1/4 in. (183 x 120 cm) (each screen).

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Marian Goodman Gallery is conducting a solo exhibition by Cristina Iglesias in our Los Angeles space. The exhibition features a large-scale installation alongside new sculptures and works on paper and on copper.

Throughout her career, Iglesias has defined a unique sculptural vocabulary, building immersive and experiential environments that combine Minimalist sensitivity to form with complex narrative constructions to create thresholds and portals to the temporal and the imaginary.

The exhibition presents a monumental, suspended pavilion that is being shown in the main exhibition space, and new sculptures in bronze which are on view in the entrance gallery. Continuing her use of non-traditional materials, such as language, water and sound—as highlighted in recent important public projects in New York, Spain, and Houston—the works reinforce the notion of a living landscape. Iglesias’ trellised pavilions evoke imaginary interspaces, while the sculptures on view merge her interest in phreatic zones and the subterranean with outer space.

On view in the Main Gallery is The Pavillion of Dreams (Elliptical Galaxy), 2011-2016, shown for the first time in the United States. A suspended structure constructed from lattice screens, or ‘celosias,’ the work resembles a labyrinthine passageway. Comprised of 52 vertical and horizontal screens, it is made from iron braided wire, forming a filigreed chamber that the viewer can enter. The canopied ceiling and walls unveil fragments of text excerpted from Stanislaw Lem’s cult classic 1961 novel, Solaris. The inscriptions allow a viewer to ‘read’ the sculpture, entering a fictive space that materializes as an elliptical and enigmatic realm through language. Purple light throws shadows on the walls and floor of the room, dematerializing and rematerializing the sculptural support. The distinctive effect of the colored space recalls German Expressionist films in its use of mise-en-scene and illusionistic devices to reflect emotional states and societal anxieties.

Just as the sentient ocean planet, that gives Solaris its title, serves as a symbol of the incomprehensible other, the installation is a visual analog for the experience of the intangible and the way it manifests for the viewer, transforming in shifting spaces of light and shadow.

Turbulence, 2023, is a vortex-like bronze wall sculpture that evokes both movement and stasis, or a slow churning of forces. Here, the eye alights upon the center of the swirl, or “storm,” implicating the viewer within the imaged maelstrom. The title makes references to, as per the artist, “violent or unsteady movement”; a “state of conflict or confusion” but also recalls the generative force of chaos, as a “physical process by which energy throughout the universe is generated.” Both the physical world (oceans and cosmos) and inner life (cerebral states) are bound to cycles of turbulence.

The passage from outer space to earth, or the collision of two different worlds, is brought to life most directly with Lunar Meteorite (Littoral), 2023, a large-scale bronze work which rests on the floor, an organic bas relief rock form with water running inside, reinforcing the geology of time.

A new series of monotypes, on copper and paper, Cave Studies, 2022, silkscreen and acid on copper, materially reflect the concept of encounters. Both series emerge from the artist’s project Hondalea, 2021, a permanent artwork located within an abandoned lighthouse on a small Spanish island in the bay of San Sebastián. The Sea Cave Study works, copper plates with silk-screened photographs of Iglesias’s original wax models that are spot-treated with acid, are derived from her site specific public artwork Hondalea. These prints contrast the ephemerality of nature with materials that are, conversely, solid and stable.

In an adjacent gallery, the artist’s Hondalea Study series, 2021, further ground her longstanding interest in excavating the earth’s ancient core, and the subterranean. Here Iglesias paints on top of lithographs made from photographs of her wax models of Hondalea. On these she whorls blue or green intaglio onto the lithograph, materially impressing onto the print in a vein similar to marine erosion. She paints over the images creating masses of water that seem to be crashing against the rocks, playing with the optical change of making a close-up detail of a sculpture look like an aerial view of a coast. Iglesias’s monotypes and new photogravure works provide unexpected formal and conceptual associations that help Hondalea transcend its site-specificity to be experienced from entirely new perspectives, both geological and art-historical.

This exhibition follows a series of major public projects by the artist including Wet Labyrinth (with Spontaneous Landscape), 2022, at the Royal Academy of Arts, London; Hondalea (Marine Abyss), 2021, an installation at Lighthouse at Santa Clara Island in San Sebastian, Spain, which transformed a defunct lighthouse into a vertiginous sculptural environment sunk into the island's bedrock; Landscape and Memory, her 2022 site-specific installation at Madison Square Park, New York, consisting of five pools featuring underground bronze reliefs embedded into the oval lawn, tracing an ancient stream that once flowed there, and Inner Landscape (the lithosphere, the roots, the water), 2020, commissioned by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, in which a basin made up of a bronze labyrinth of roots and coastal rocks, which recalls tidal pools and becomes, in the artist’s words, “a portal to the underground, to the nature of the Earth, and to the strata of memory.”

Additional notable public commissions over the past decade include Sea Cave (Entrance) in Malta, 2021; Desde lo subterráneo (From the Underground) at the Botin Centre, Santander, 2017; The Ionosphere (A Place of Silent Storms) at the Norman Foster Foundation, Madrid, Spain, 2017; Forgotten Streams at Bloomberg Headquarters, London (2017) and Tres Aguas, Torre del Agua, in Toledo, Spain, 2014; Gates-Passage at the Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain, 2006 and Deep Fountain at the entrance of the Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium, 2006.

Cristina Iglesias

Cristina Iglesias was born in San Sebastián, Spain in November 1956. She currently lives and works in Torrelodones, Madrid. In 2020 she was a recipient of the Royal Architecture Prize, Royal Academy, London. Her work has been shown recently in solo exhibitions at Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI, 2023; Royal Academy, London, 2022; Centro Botín, Santander, Spain, 2018; Musée de Grenoble, France, 2016 and 2022; BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium, 2014; in a large retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain, 2013; and at Casa França, Rio de Janeiro, 2013; and Pinacoteca, Sao Paulo, 2008. Earlier solo shows have been exhibited at the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, 2009; Ludwig Museum, Cologne, 2006; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2003; Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2003; Museu Serralves, Fundaçao Serralves, Oporto, 2002; Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, 1998 and Guggenheim New York, 1997. Iglesias has participated in a number of international exhibitions and has represented Spain at the 1986 and 1993 Venice Biennales and at the Sydney Biennale in 2012.

Marian Goodman Gallery
Cristina Iglesias: Ellipsis
November 18th, 2023 - January 27th, 2024

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