Angela de la Cruz‘s practice stems from a feeling of exhaustion with painting as a medium and from a desire to escape the illusion of the picture-plane. ‘My starting point was deconstructing painting. One day I took the cross bar out and the painting bent. From that moment on, I looked at the painting as an object.’
De la Cruz questions the status of painting, its solemnity and its authority, by employing and subverting the language of Modernism. Monochromes and Minimalist abstract works are disrupted physically; torn, broken, folded and taken from their stretchers.
Given anthropomorphic titles such as Homeless, Ashamed or Deflated, the works do not attempt to convey emotions but demonstrate the emotions they themselves are feeling. De la Cruz’s work is nonetheless rooted within the tradition of painting. She explains that ‘by using the rules of painting it is then possible to subvert, revert and break them.’
Human-like in their situations and often referring openly to the body, de la Cruz’s works frequently have the artist’s height and body proportions as parameters for their own dimensions. She has in a letter directly addressed to the paintings, referred to them as ‘the bodies to love or to hate or to suffer.’ Although treated with a certain humour and even a cruelty, de la Cruz’s work is not a vessel for painful, emotional catharsis, but is rather an expression of an indefatigable determination in a hostile world, where even the gallery space seems unsympathetic; crushing works, or lodging them in doorways.