My pieces have stories, with beginnings and ends, that describe imaginary places.
Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of new and recent works by the renowned Spanish sculptor Cristina Iglesias. This is her first solo exhibition with the gallery, opening during London Gallery Weekend and scheduled to coincide with her Royal Academy of Arts commission, a large-scale sculptural environment in the Annenberg Courtyard at Burlington House from early June through the summer.
Over decades, Iglesias has evolved and developed a distinctive sculptural vocabulary that unites architecture, literature, and site-specific cultural influences in immersive built environments, autonomous sculptures, and wall works. She employs a formal language that brings the abstract together with the natural and the artificial, rendered in diverse materials that include metals, stone, ceramic, and concrete. From cunningly mechanized Baroque structures to labyrinths, screens, tidal pools, and deep wells, she poetically redefines space by conflating interior and exterior to produce unexpected new sensory sites for the viewer.
The exhibition in London features works from Iglesias’s ongoing Entwined and Growth series, dense cyborg accumulations of real and imagined vegetal matter. Iglesias composes these by welding sections of cast aluminum, then studding the composite structures with free-form cabochons of colored glass, improvised directly on their surfaces. The Entwined works of 2022 are mural reliefs that spread invasively across the gallery walls, while Growth I (2018) is a freestanding sculpture in five adjacent parts that the viewer can enter to glimpse the world from within its textured contours. Its rhizomatic forms twist and torque, forming a dense yet open thicket. Aligned with the organic exuberance and grotesque theatricality of the Baroque imaginary, the effect is that of a primal sanctuary from the realm of science fiction, rendered in opulent detail.
The Pozo (Well) series (2011–) comprises vessels inspired by grottoes, whirlpools, and springs. Littoral (2022), presented here for the first time, is composed of cast and welded bronze elements whose crags and contours derive equally from the natural and the digital, and seem to follow and contain the ebb and flow of water itself, emulating geological formation. It relates directly to her most recent monumental permanent public commissions, such as Inner Landscape (the lithosphere, the roots, the water) (2020) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Hondalea (2021), an astonishing abyssal environment constructed within the walls of the lighthouse on the island of Santa Clara in San Sebastián, Spain, through which water cascades and eddies in intermittent cycles; and Sea Cave (entrance) (2021), commissioned by Malta International Contemporary Art Space. With these sculptural environments that converse with the integrated concepts of Baroque civic sculpture, Iglesias has invented new places to reflect on ecological power and precarity via the flows of tidal illusion.
Landscape and Memory, a site-specific sequence of Iglesias’s “phreatic zones,” will be on view in New York’s Madison Square Park from May 23 through December 4, 2022.
17–19 Davies Street
London W1K 3DE
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10–6
London Gallery Weekend
Damien Hirst, Cristina Iglesias, Titus Kaphar, Richard Prince
May 13–15, 2022
As part of London Gallery Weekend, Gagosian will have extended hours at all London locations, including the Gagosian Shop in Burlington Arcade, where visitors can browse Richard Prince artist’s books, posters, and other merchandise as part of his Shop takeover. Visitors can view the exhibitions Cristina Iglesias at Davies Street, which opens on Saturday, May 14; Titus Kaphar: New Alte̲rs: Reworking Devotion at Grosvenor Hill, before it closes on May 15; and Damien Hirst: Natural History at Britannia Street.
A range of activities will be offered, including exhibition tours and drop-in drawing hours for visitors of all ages, in addition to treats from Connaught Patisserie and Treats Club. In its second year, London Gallery Weekend is a free annual event featuring over 150 of the city’s leading contemporary art galleries coming together to celebrate culture and creativity.
Installation view, Titus Kaphar: New Alte̲rs: Reworking Devotion, Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London, March 17–May 15, 2022. Artwork © Titus Kaphar. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd