Magazine article Artforum International

Angela De la Cruz

Magazine article Artforum International

Angela De la Cruz

Article excerpt

ANTHONY WILKINSON GALLERY

Since 1994, the London-based Spanish artist Angela de la Cruz has been making what she modestly calls "everyday paintings." Her basic technique is simple. To begin with, she makes a blank, monochrome abstract painting in a conventional way, applying oil paint to stretched canvas. But having created an impeccable surface and shape, she then puts them through some grueling paces, distressing and manipulating the painting in a variety of ways. Seeing a group of de la Cruz's paintings is like following a tragicomic abstract version of the Stations of the Cross. Let's call it Stations of the Canvas.

Dislocated Painting VII (Red), 2001, is a blood-colored, squarish work mounted on a deep stretcher. But the canvas has been horizontally torn at the bottom left and the stretcher broken. The work was displayed in the gallery office, hung quite low on the wall. One of the most beguiling things about de la Cruz's work is the way in which it teases the viewer about the status of the artwork. Seeing this painting surrounded and partially blocked by office furniture, you couldn't be sure whether it had been deliberately vandalized or accidentally biffed. Is it an abused masterpiece awaiting restoration or yesterday's eye candy waiting to be trashed?

Loose Fit XI (Large/White), 2001, and Stuck, 2001, are variations on the theme of the misfitting canvas. The former is part of a series in which shinily painted canvases are crudely remounted on stretchers that are much too small. …

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